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BRIEF

Technology for Teaching

World Bank Group


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education for more than one billion students globally and introduced the new reality of distance education for which millions of teachers are unequipped and unprepared. Even when they have access to the technology, teachers are often not trained on how to use it, much less how to effectively instruct with it.

New reality, new approaches to teacher professional development utilizing low-or high-tech solutions

Many of the new high and low-tech resources (ranging from synchronous activities requiring high-speed connectivity to resources delivered offline via radio, printed material, etc.) can offer teacher professional development solutions that can be applied “at scale” (regional, national, or global) with the potential to benefit and engage a large number of teachers, either remotely, face-to-face, or a combination of both.

Technology for Teaching (T4T) is the World Bank’s program to enhance and scale-up TPD opportunities using tech-based solutions. The T4T team is supporting governments’ COVID-19 recovery and resilience efforts by:

  1. Utilizing existing research and anecdotes for development of a tool to help policymakers and practitioners assess and compare contextual and technical factors for successful implementation of TPD programs using technology.
  2. Identifying scalable and replicable TPD interventions that utilize low and high-tech solutions to train teachers and pedagogical leaders
  3. Developing global public goods including technical and operational guidance notes with lessons learned on how to design, implement, and evaluate TPD approaches using tech-based solutions
  4. Providing Technical Assistance to country teams involving hands-on support to client countries implementing TPD reforms using tech-based solutions.

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Image courtesy: © Teach2030

As part of the T4T initiative, a global campaign in partnership with HundrED and with funding from the Global Finance for Education, Teachers for a Changing World,  was launched  to crowdsource scalable on-the-ground solutions to TPD utilizing technology from around the world. After a rigorous review of over 400 applications from 80 countries, the campaign identified the 10 most impactful and scalable TPD programs that effectively utilize low-or high-tech solutions to engage, motivate, and support teachers as the T4T Champions. Watch the video below to see the Champions in action and read along to learn about their programs.


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VIDEO

The 10 T4T Champions are (in alphabetical order):

  1. Comunidad Atenea is a social network born during the pandemic that provides an avenue for teachers to collaborate digitally. With the main goal of improving teachers’ digital pedagogical skills, Comunidad Atenea has adopted the latest trends to reach more than 50,000 unique visitors from over 100 countries in just one year by utilizing TikTok, Zoom, YouTube livestreaming, and WhatsApp.
  2. Global School Leaders quickly adapted its program during the pandemic to create bite-sized learning modules that provide principals with practical advice on how to facilitate remote instruction and learning. The non-profit designed these modules with principals in mind, sharing the modules via the internet for those with access and delivering it in person for those without internet access.
  3. Inspiring Teachers: Peer Coaching Platform connects volunteer teachers based in the U.K. and U.S. to train and mentor teachers in LMICs. The non-profit began with just 5 volunteers in Uganda and a decade later are partnering with local organizations across 11 countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. LeadNow!, a Nairobi-based non-profit that offers an online and blended delivery model, supporting teachers and principals via phone, online feedback, group WhatsApp sessions, and video-conferencing in which users can engage in virtual communities of practice. A COVID-19 response built-off of an existing training and coaching program, LeadNow! started on a small scale in Nairobi and now operating in 6 countries.
  5. OneSky for all Children provides early childhood education trainings to home-based caregivers in China, Mongolia, and Vietnam. The program’s blended learning approach includes classroom training, hands-on mentoring by early childhood specialists, and continuing education through a mobile-friendly online learning community platform.
  6. PerformEd, operating at a national scale in Egypt, is Point of Learning system that focuses on changing teachers’ behaviors through a feedback and reflection cycle. In any given application, the program first conducts a survey to understand teachers’ skills and internet access, enabling trainers to focus on teachers’ needs so that they can provide effective support on an ongoing basis.
  7. ProFuturo Digital Education is a non-profit that provides teacher training at scale with nearly a million users worldwide. In addition, the program also provides learning resources for primary school children through a digital learning platform, technical support to teachers, and a monitoring and evaluation system to continuously assess effectiveness of the program.
  8. Puentes Educativos is a non-profit with a holistic program that engages teachers, principals, families, and community stakeholders through in-person trainings and digital outreach. The program focuses on building 21st century skills and aims to foster students’ creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills across Latin America.
  9. Teach2030 shares high-quality pedagogical practices with teachers in the lowest-cost and most easily accessible way through smartphones. The program is designed to meet the needs of teachers in low-bandwidth settings, providing bite-sized professional development courses that teachers can engage with a ‘little and often,’ earning a certificate at the end of the course.
  10. Tu Clase, tu país works directly with teachers and education systems to support the training of more than a quarter of a million teachers across Latin America. The model supplements face-to-face trainings with virtual learning experiences, providing 10,000 hours of online courses and connecting teachers with certified tutors available around the clock.

The T4T Team hosted a panel discussion in September 2021 with global practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to highlight the operational lessons learned on the integration and scale-up of TPD leveraging technology. Watch the event recording here. To learn about the key takeaways from these T4T Champions, read our blog and visit the Teach Channel on YouTube to watch the video and to stay tuned for more!

The T4T team utilized the findings from existing evidence on technology and TPD to develop technical and operational guidance notes and resources. These products (global public goods) will help countries adopt TPD practices that are scalable and that can support teachers’ continuous development of the competencies needed to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. The global public goods include:

  1. Guidance Note on Technology-Based Strategies to Enhance Teaching Practices from Across the Globe provides guidance on leveraging technology to train and support teachers at each stage of their professional development.
  2. Technology for Teacher Professional Development Navigation Guide provides a summary of evidence on designing and implementing common methods to deliver teacher professional development programs.
  3. Technology for Teaching Evidence Matrix compiles, organizes and examines the evidence available on the effectiveness of teacher professional development programs.

The team has also been engaging with client countries to provide technical assistance for enhancing teaching practices. The three pilot countries are Cambodia, Haiti, and Pakistan​.

The T4T work is benefitting from funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

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Image courtesy: ©LeadNow! by Dignitas