Ict and Teacher Education in the Global South: Costing the Benefits of Learning

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2004-07
Authors
Power, Tom
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF3 // The Digital Education Enhancement Project (DEEP - www.open.ac.uk/deep) has been working with teachers and teacher educators in South Africa and Egypt, to explore the potential of open learning, enhanced by the use of ICT, for the professional development of teachers in the Global South: aiming to improve teaching and learning in literacy, numeracy and science. // This work takes place against a background of the growing gap between the numbers of trained teachers in low-income countries, and the demand therein for primary education. It is clear that bricks and mortar institutions, offering fulltime, centre-based teacher education, will be unable to close this gap alone. If applied appropriately, open learning approaches, fully availing themselves of the power of ICTs, may make a significant contribution to the millennium goal of Universal Primary Education. // We believe such approaches provide a powerful tool for the professional development of teachers: elsewhere we have reported the positive outcomes of such a programme, in relation to both subject knowledge and pedagogic practices; to pupil motivation and achievement. // In this paper, we consider a cost / benefit analysis of the range of resources required, contrasting the model of state-of-the-art mobile technologies for teachers with the more typical model of IT suites of refurbished computers. // The question this paper seeks to address is this: are the approaches explored by the DEEP project a cost effective means for the nations of the global south to rise to the challenge of creating a teaching workforce, sufficient in numbers, knowledge, skills, practices and professional dignity, to provide meaningful Universal Primary Education?
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Uniated Kingdom
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Europe, Africa
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