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 Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Tanzania-based m-Education program called Bridgeit, locally known as Elimu kwa Teknolojia (Education Through Technology), involves an innovative process of disseminating educational programming directly to the classroom via a mobile phone. The program is a function of a multi-sector partnership involving Tanzania’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT), the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), the Pearson Foundation, the International Youth Foundation, Nokia Corporation and funded by a three-year $2 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Through the Bridgeit program, teachers are provided with access to a digital catalog of educational videos that are typically 4-7 minutes in length. The teachers download the videos from the server via a mobile phone connected to a television installed in the classroom. With each video comes a lesson plan crafted to allow teachers and students interact with the ideas introduced by the video. Hence, a typical teaching period would involve a viewing of the video followed by teacher-led exercises and activities aimed at reinforcing the ideas the students have just learned.

Leveraging the power of cell-phone technology, Bridgeit improves the quality of teacher instruction and increases primary school student achievement in math, science, and life skills. In Tanzania, over one year, Bridgeit has been implemented in 150 schools, training 1,544 primary school teachers, and benefiting 40,400 rural and urban students.

(Sources: ETD, IYF)

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