Innovations in smart phone based professional development

Harrison, Stephen and Chishava, Charlotte (2021). Innovations in smart phone based professional development. In: UKFIET Conference Building Back Better in Education and Training?, 13/09/2021-16/09/2021, Online.

URL: https://www.ukfiet.org/2021/building-back-better-i...

Abstract

The COVID- 19 crisis hit at a crucial point of the development of the SAGE programme in Zimbabwe. With 88 Community-Based Learning Hubs established, and the first cohort of learners moving into their second year of engagement with the programme and a new cohort of learners, it disrupted the programme’s evolution from its inception into consolidation and growth phases.

Covid 19 necessitated the need to both build capacity to adapt to new modes of learner engagement i.e. working with learners at a distance. Whilst also continuing to offer further training and support around specific aspects of teaching and learning for the volunteer educators.

This presentation explores the innovative responses to supporting learners and educators at a distance. It will examine the role of learning design, communication technology (What’sApp) and collaboration has played in turning crisis into opportunity and necessity into creativity.

This exploration draws upon reflections from programme partners from both Plan International and the Open University, as well as utilising programme learning and initial research findings. It explores how the capacity development approach adopted ensures all volunteers take control of their learning and facilitate dialogues with district-based colleagues and local mentors to aid their professional development further.

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