Use of Cost-Effective Digital Technologies for Empowering Pakistani Women of Disadvantaged Communities – A Reflective Narrative

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

The paper reflects on my experiences of introducing innovative and financially sustainable digital technologies for improving teaching and learning. I piloted three cost-effective technologies (i) blogs (ii) podcast and digital voice recorder and (iii) Google site, with (i) future teachers (ii) visually impaired teachers, and (iii) Pakistani young women. The sample for future teachers includes all prospective female teachers, enrolled for a teaching course during January-May 2017 at one of the public sector universities in Pakistan. For the second case, female teachers working with visually impaired students at one of the institutions during the same period were taken into consideration. Whereas, Pakistani young university going women were selected for the third case to use a Google site from September 2018-January 2019. In all cases, selected participants belonged to disadvantaged communities. Face-to-face discussion among male and female is considered as inappropriate in Pakistani culture. Therefore, I familiarized future teacher with the use of blogging for sharing their reflective practices. While podcast and digital voice recorder were introduced to visually impaired teachers for improving their communication skills. Whereas, I designed a website on mental health education to empower Pakistani young women towards mental health. I‟ve used reflective narratives to record my experiences, whereas I have analyzed the impact of each technology on participants through a survey. Overall, these technologies gave ownership of learning and teaching to individuals. Blog has supported future teachers to collaborate, share, and become a reflective practitioner. Whereas podcast and digital voice recorder have helped visually impaired teachers to improve their communication skills, and use these tools in classroom practices. While introducing a website has empowered the intended participants for their well-being. This paper is significant to understand, how the integration of cost-effective technologies can improve teaching and life-long learning practices, accelerate collaboration, and widen educational accessibility within available resources. // Paper ID 35

Women and Girls' Education,Digital Literacy,eLearning