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Context and Appropriate Technology: The Unavoidable Partnership

Resource type
Conference Paper
Context and Appropriate Technology: The Unavoidable Partnership
Teachers in rural parts of Kenya lack opportunities for professional development (PD). In addition, the teachers have no access to eLearning opportunities like their colleagues in urban parts. Among the factors that do not favor Kenyan rural teachers’ access to PD through eLearning include: lack of access to relevant technologies and lack of electricity. This paper shares research findings on provision of teachers’ PD through a blended learning approach, utilizing appropriate technologies in a rural school in western Kenya. Ten teachers and two Professional Development Teachers (PDTs) participated in this research. In the study, teachers’ needs assessment was done, to inform the instructional design on the topic: How to teach a large class of mixed ability students. The PD was implemented by engaging teachers in a variety of activities including: pairs of teachers collaboratively using a tablet to access self-study content; teachers studying through multimedia content; teachers planning and delivering lessons using activity-based learning and cooperative learning approaches; and PDTs and teachers participating in fortnightly face-to-face meetings. The findings of the study suggest that teaching practices of rural educators can be improved working with local experts to create locally-relevant content for needs-based PD, implemented in a blended learning approach while providing technology stewardship. Teachers accessed and studied through offline content; planned for and implemented cooperative learning and activity-based learning in lessons, using locally available materials; engaged in reflective conversations on successes and challenges; and spontaneously engaged in very lively professional dialogues. While teachers appreciated that it took long to prepare for active learning lessons, it was less strenuous to implement the lessons, because the students took responsibility for their own learning.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Government, ECEG
Short Title
Context and appropriate technology
Library Catalogue
Onguko, B. (2012). Context and Appropriate Technology: The Unavoidable Partnership. Proceedings of the European Conference on E-Government, ECEG, 502–509.