Lucian Vumilia Ngeze
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Teacher professional development helps to change the classroom practices of teachers and the learning outcomes of students. In this 21st century, countries are increasing efforts in training teachers to integrate technology in teaching and learning. In Tanzania, teacher training has been slowed down due to financial constraints coupled with many barriers such as lack of ICT infrastructure and lesson design skills to integrate technology. Those who are selected for training are always few in numbers.
This innovation used a locally developed online course to train school teachers on modules and tech tools to integrate ICT in their subjects.
We developed a 10-day online course (run over Moodle) named "Online ICT Course for School Teachers”, from June 15 - 25, 2018. Coverage: Introduction to ICT integration, Electronic devices in teaching and learning; Internet Connection to mobile devices, Internet in Teaching, effective use of videos, animations and simulations in teaching, and online collaboration tools. Two live interactions using YouTube were involved to clear doubts.
A total of 134 teachers, teaching different subjects and from all regions of Tanzania registered and participated in the course. The course involved two Live sessions via Facebook Live and YouTube Live to help in clearing doubts. We created a YouTube Channel named Tehama Shuleni where all our resources were uploaded and made public for future reference (Refer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgjdjTN3PWrmGw2ogWAW7hQ/videos)
We developed another 5-week online course named "Becoming a 21st Century Teacher" to train teachers on how to become teachers of this 21st century be creating learner-centred enironments for students to learn. It started on May 20, 2019, and ended on July 3rd, 2019. It is hosted over MOODLE platform (https://moodle.mwalimuhub.ac.tz/).
Voices from the Field
When asked to share some general comments, some responses were: “provide more courses like these to the teachers”, another said, “I think I need to know more about ICT for instance how to prepare animation, simulation as well as video so as enable improve in using different media include ICT”. Others wanted government involvement: “I suggest you to introduce to the government about this project so that many teachers can get access...".
Sustainability of the Innovation
Based on the feedback from the participants and a Needs Analysis survey collected from them, such online courses can be made sustainable in many ways:
(i) Involving school management so that they are aware of this opportunity to teachers and can support the initiatives at the school level.
(ii) Sharing experiences with other teachers at the school level.
(iii) Creating a professional learning community of teachers where best practices in the use of ICT in teaching different subjects can be shared.