Internet not Available! Using Offline Networked Learning to Enhance Teachers’ School-Based Continuing Professional Development in Zambia

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2022-09
Authors
Woodward, Clare
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Publisher
Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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Abstract
PCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // "Access to effective Continuing Professional Development can be difficult for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, impacting their capacity to learn from best practice and improve their teaching approaches. Internet and cellphone services are seen as potential solutions, offering digital resources and online training. However, these are hindered by limited or expensive network coverage, leaving poorer-resourced and more remote schools behind. // Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) has trialled an innovative approach for teachers: an offline networked learning approach. Deploying low-cost, battery-powered small computers as networked hubs has enabled collaborative, digitally enhanced professional development training where internet access is too expensive or unreliable. Central to ZEST is the idea of teachers learning together in Teacher Group Meetings. Raspberry Pi computers, accessed via teachers’ own smartphones, have allowed educators to work together in proximity, sharing open digital resources. // Through interviews and observations and drawing from Blumenfeld et al.’s diagnostic framework (2000), we report on teachers’ and school leaders’ impressions of the benefits and challenges of this novel approach. We reflect on its adoption, appropriation, enactment, and maintenance by school systems. We offer findings that may be more broadly applied to support school-based professional development in similarly restricted environments." // Paper ID 6083
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Subject
Digital Divide, Teacher Education, Professional Development, Open Educational Resources, Access
Country
Zambia
Region
Africa
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