Customizing contextually appropriate mobile learning content: Lessons learned from developments in literacy in Pakistan

Ms Brenda Erlinger

Developments in Literacy



In Pakistan, like many other parts of the developing world, teachers in marginalized communities have gaps in basic content knowledge that hinders their ability effectively teach. Developments in Literacy is addressing this issue by providing primary and middle school teachers access to lessons via mobile phone tailored to fill knowledge gaps, thereby deepening understanding of the subjects they teach.

Mobile learning not only provides access to information for teachers to assume responsibility for their own learning, it potentially provides an unlimited amount of material to help teacher master subject matter. It also improves teachers’ digital literacy skills. However, high quality, contextually and culturally relevant digital content is challenging to identify through open sources or in the Pakistan marketplace. This presentation provides a template for systematically evaluating content and explores lessons learned in identifying and creating concept clarity content for teachers based on Developments in Literacy’s experience implementing a mobile learning intervention across Pakistan impacting 200 Math and English primary and middle school teachers.

The presentation will be applicable to practitioners and policy makers alike. Those designing and implementing mobile learning activities will gain exposure to useful tools and anticipate local needs of rural populations. Policy makers will come away better informed on how to assess mobile learning initiatives to ensure teachers and students are presented with appropriate content that they can readily apply to their lives. Participants in this presentation will be invited to provide input on meeting diverse linguistic needs across a single project.



Developments in Literacy (DIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering underprivileged children in Pakistan.

DIL builds and operates schools and develops innovative solutions for quality education. With its successful models for teacher training, curriculum enhancement, vocational training and technology integration, we provide high quality education to marginalized children and youth. This empowers them with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to redefine their futures and that of their communities. Wherever DIL provides value added education, girls and women are able to transform their lives.

Supported by the Pakistani diaspora in the United States and United Kingdom, DIL was established in 1997 to address poor access to quality education in Pakistan’s underdeveloped areas. Beginning with a handful of schools and students, today DIL works across Pakistan in 122 campuses, educating over 18,000 students, of which 68% are girls. The organization employs over 900 teachers, almost all of which are women. Our robust teacher-training program benefitted more than 30,000 children in 2012 alone.



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