Improving educational outcomes & reducing absenteeism at remote villages with mobile technology and WhatsApp: findings from rural India

Resource type
Journal Article
Authors/contributors
Title
Improving educational outcomes & reducing absenteeism at remote villages with mobile technology and WhatsApp: findings from rural India
Abstract
Reduction of teacher and student absenteeism, together with consistent teacher support and training, are critical factors in improving the quality of education in rural India. As part of an ongoing project involving schools and educational centers in rural areas spread across 21 Indian states, this study investigated how implementation of two simple, accessible technologies could not only reduce absenteeism but also increase teachers' effectiveness and improve student performance. In addition to students and teachers, key stakeholders included educational coordinators who provided support and monitoring regarding use of WhatsApp and two additional apps designed specifically to support simple educational improvements. In our study we coded and analyzed nine months of messages (n = 8968), both photographs and texts, posted by 26 participants. The number of text messages related to attendance was strongly positively correlated with frequency of interactions between coordinators and teachers. Our approach resulted in increased teacher and student attendance, as well as improvements in lessons and other planned educational activities. This model functions well in rural settings where there is poor internet connectivity and lack of supporting infrastructure. Remote schools can easily adopt this tablet-based model to reduce teacher absenteeism, improve teaching techniques, improve educational resources, and increase student performance.
Publication
Education and Information Technologies
Volume
23
Issue
1
Pages
113-127
Date
January 2018
Language
English
ISSN
1360-2357, 1360-2357
Loc. in Archive
2013521521; EJ1166549
Extra
Publisher: Springer, 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013 Cam URL: https://ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2013521521?accountid=9851
Citation
Nedungadi, P., Mulki, K., & Raman, R. (2018). Improving educational outcomes & reducing absenteeism at remote villages with mobile technology and WhatsApp: findings from rural India. Education and Information Technologies, 23(1), 113–127. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-017-9588-z