The Role of Interactive Radio Instruction in the COVID-19 Education Response

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At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced over 1.5 billion students out of school, governments in resource-constrained countries have looked to interactive radio instruction (IRI) to ensure educational continuity. In the past week, we spoke with the Rising Academy Network to consider what an IRI programme could look like and why policymakers have adopted this intervention.

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Educational Response to COVID-19 from Jordan and other Arab Countries

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Author: Nour Awamleh, Research and Program Development Coordinator, Queen Rania Foundation

Update: A later version of this article was published on 13 April 2020 and appears on the Queen Rania Foundation website.

The Activating Edtech project in Jordan aims to develop an agile, iterative and evidence-based approach to the decision-making process within the Jordanian Ministry of Education. Activating Edtech aims to understand problems and assumptions in education, then tests out the possible solutions to those problems while trying to activate technology, where possible. The project started in January 2019 and continues to today. After introducing the team, we turn to the education response to COVID -19 across a number of Arab countries.

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Arabic version of Design Thinking for Educators

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Launched in January 2019, Activating EdTech Jordan is a project that aims to introduce agile development practices to educational technology policymaking. This project is led by the Jordanian Ministry of Education in partnership with the Queen Rania Foundation and Open Development & Education with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This post introduces the Activating EdTech project and our translation of Design Thinking for Educators.

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Activating EdTech Jordan: Sprint 6

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This week sees Sprint 6 for Activating EdTech Jordan. It also marks roughly one year since the start of the programme in January 2019. The programme is run by the Queen Rania Foundation under the EDRIL programme, funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

Some of our outputs are available here: https://zenodo.org/communities/aet

New report on TVET in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Our new report on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Sub-Saharan is available in German:

Haßler, B., Stock, I., Schaffer, J., Winkler, E., Kagambèga, A., Haseloff, G., Watson, J., Marsden, M., Gordon, R., Damani, K. (2019). Berufsbildung in Subsahara-Afrika: Eine systematische Aufarbeitung des Forschungsstandes. VET Repository, Bundesinstitut für Berufs-bildung, Bonn, Germany. Creative-Commons-Lizenz CC BY 4.0. URN: urn:nbn:de:0035-vetrepository-775510-9 VET Repository: https://lit.bibb.de/vufind/Record/DS184013.

A Digital Object Identifier is available too https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3334690.

An English-language version will be available in April 2020. Please register here for a PDF copy: https://bjohas.de/go/tvet2020.

Some links I always share

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I’m at the TeacherFutures workshop (pre-PCF9) organised by the Commonwealth of Learning. Really interesting conversations with colleagues from Cameroon, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa.

In these conversations, I usually refer to a few Open Educational Resources, particularly for teacher professional development. These include the following teacher professional development resources:

These programmes are not the only such programmes, but they are distinct in that they provide concrete resources that are publicly available under Creative Commons.

There are a couple of other programmes I refer to. One is OpenUpResources (https://openupresources.org/), producing an open mathematics curriculum (in the USA) as well as Kolibri (https://learningequality.org/kolibri/), an innovative hybrid online/offline learning management system (with similar idea to some of the ideas advocated around 10 years ago here).

Announcement of the EdTech Hub: UK aid funds world’s biggest educational technology research project

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The Overseas Development Institute, the REAL Centre (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge), Results for Development, Jigsaw, Brink and Open Development & Education, together with the World Bank, will partner with DFID to help improve the use of educational technology in low-income countries.

UK aid is joining forces with British universities, researchers and education experts from around the world to create the largest ever education technology research and innovation project.

More than 380 million children worldwide will finish primary schools without being able to read or do basic maths. One of the major challenges for education technology in parts of Africa and Asia is that while governments and schools focus on buying hardware such as laptops and tablets, opportunities for teachers to improve their practice (drawing on the use the technology) to support children’s learning.

The new UK aid supported Educational Technology Hub (the #EdTechHub) is bringing together universities, research companies and education experts to help children, teachers and governments in developing countries get up to speed with the new technology in their classrooms. The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with the World Bank on the EdTech hub, which aims to create the largest global body of research that looks at how education technology is being used and how this can be improved.

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Research and Innovation to Fulfil the Potential of EdTech

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70 YEARS IS TOO LONG TO WAIT

It will be 70 years before we achieve universal primary education for all children, according to the Global Education Monitoring Report’s business-as-usual scenario. How much longer until those children are learning well and their teachers are well-supported? 

70 years is too long to wait. We know technology has the potential to accelerate progress and increase equity — or, it could distract and exacerbate inequality. That’s why, a new programme — the EdTech Hub — we will galvanise a global community in pursuit of catalytic impact, focusing on evidence so we can collectively abandon what does not work and reallocate funding and effort to what does.

With support from UK Aid and in partnership with the World Bank and others, the EdTech Hub will work to advance knowledge and practice through research, innovation, and engagement. It is committed to using rigorous evidence and innovation to improve the lives of the most marginalised.

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TVET Community Report

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Dear TVET forum members,

You may recall our earlier message regarding setting up a TVET directory for Sub-Saharan Africa — many thanks to all those who contributed to this (see here). Since then, with the help of those who have responded, we identified relevant literature and have undertaken a comprehensive literature review of the TVET research literature on TVET in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as conducted numerous interviews. Our results are summarised in a 160-page report (in English).

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