Mobile delivery of professional development materials: A global literacy professional development network
Ms Amy Pallangyo
International Reading Association
The Global Literacy Professional Development Network, a project of the International Reading Association and Collaborative for Teaching and Learning with the Bangladesh Reading Association and Reading and Writing Association of Indonesia, proposes a presentation of its effective cutting-edge approaches for delivering teacher training materials using mobile phones at the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week. The presentation will address the theme of Professional Development, providing an overview of the program, a demonstration of the mentoring videos, details on the video development and delivery processes and evidence of effectiveness. It also will address contexts in which these approaches are most useful, barriers to be overcome, and educational policies that enhance or impede implementation. Finally, the presentation will engage audience members in discussion about additional proven strategies for mobile phone delivery of training materials.
About the Project: The Global Literacy Professional Development Network is a unique collaboration that combines global expertise, local leadership and mobile delivery of teacher training content to support literacy instruction in rural developing contexts. With funding from the Pearson Foundation and Nokia Corporation, the program currently has been underway in Bangladesh and Indonesia for one-and-a-half years. Its goals are to:
- Develop teacher capacity to provide effective literacy instruction.
- Improve the learning environment for young students.
- Create local leadership structures to ensure sustainability.
- Use creative technology approaches to access schools that are geographically inaccessible.
The program’s key features are its Diagnostic Teaching Model emphasizing practical instructional strategies, use of continuous assessment, and sustainability of the training model; and its customized. Nokia Education Delivery (NED) using mobile technology to deliver quality education materials to remote, hard-to-reach schools, as well as create new resources. Using mobile phones, teachers and trainers access and download inspiring and engaging educational videos from a constantly updated catalogue; and also collect and transmit video of local teaching efforts to inform further development of training materials. Videos are created by program staff using footage from participating classrooms. To date, over 80 videos in three languages have been used in professional mentoring in local settings.
The Global Literacy Professional Development Network has been underway for one-and-a-half years. Over 1,000 teachers have been trained; country leadership teams have been instituted; and local trainers have been certified as mentors. In total, the program will reach 1,600 teachers in 1,500 schools.
Results from one-and-a-half years of implementation demonstrate that:
- Trainers and teachers view video content monthly, accessed through the NED software.
- Trainers and teachers use mobile devices for weekly communications with each other and program leaders; twice monthly communications in Bangladesh and weekly communications in Indonesia.
- Resulting impact on classroom instruction has improved across multiple instructional criteria: up to 26% in Student Engagement, 17% in Depth of Curriculum, 16% in Quality of Instruction, 28% in Physical Learning Environment, and 18% in Literacy Culture.
Ms Pallangyo, MEd, Clinical Reading Specialist, serves as IRA’s Global Literacy Program Coordinator for their Global Operations Unit, supporting hybrid primary reading teacher training in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Sierra Leone. She is a highly experienced primary literacy specialist, working in and with schools in the United States for over 25 years. Ms Pallangyo is the former Vice President of the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, where she developed and tested three different comprehensive literacy models for Pre-K through secondary school. She has developed multiple primary and secondary literacy programs, trained teachers, and is experienced in managing large-scale literacy programs. In addition, she worked as a performance assessment developer with Measured Progress in the United States – as their primary and secondary reading assessment developer, the developer of the Kentucky Writing Portfolio Assessment, and a co-developer of the Kentucky Early Learning Profile, an EGRA-like assessment toolkit for formative classroom student assessment. She has evaluated multiple large-scale literacy projects over the last 14 years. She is currently based in Tanzania (East Africa), where she is the co-founder of the Kilimanjaro Literacy Association and in her spare time oversees rural village education programs for environment literacy.