13,817 The Drum Beat 771, March 13 2019, Educating and Empowering the Next Generation through ICTs

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The Drum Beat 771
March 13, 2019
Educating and Empowering the Next Generation through ICTs

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In this issue:

* INTEGRATING TECH INTO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM
* LEARNING TECHNICAL SKILLS
* ICTs TO SUPPORT EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG WOMEN
* ICTs AND HEALTH INFORMATION TO EMPOWER (YOUNG) WOMEN
* YOUNG PEOPLE PARTICIPATING IN LEADING THE CHARGE FOR CIVIC CHANGE
* PLEASE LEND YOUR VOICE TO THE CI SURVEY

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The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), one of The CI’s longtime supporters, funds a variety of research projects that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 3 (good health and well-being), Goal 4 (quality education), Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), and Goal 16 (peace and justice). For instance, IDRC supports programming on the potential for information and communication technologies (ICTs) to empower the next generation – children, youth, and mothers-to-be – in support of these goals. This issue of The Drum Beat provides examples of research-based projects around the world that reflect IDRC’s emphasis on using information, education, and communication to build the capacity of children and young people to grow into educated, employed, and engaged citizens.
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From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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INTEGRATING TECH INTO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM
  • 1.Scaling Digital Learning in Kenya
    This project, implemented by the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP) at Canada’s Concordia University, applies interactive multimedia software coupled with extensive professional development for teachers to enhance teaching and to improve the learning of children in Kenya. The Learning Toolkit (LTK+) is a suite of interactive, bilingual multimedia tools available free to the education community. It is designed to support the development of literacy, inquiry, self-regulation, and other cross-curricular competencies. Research has found that the success of LTK+ was largely attributed to the students’ enjoyment in using technology and gadgets to play educational games.
  • 2.Unlocking the Future of Education in Colombia
    Led by a team at the Universidad EAFIT (Medellín, Colombia), this project is identifying the dynamics, factors, stakeholders, and institutions involved in scaling up e-learning models to effectively integrate ICTs into the classroom. Research outputs and academic papers are being prepared for publication in an open access modality. In addition, the research team is implementing a public communication plan that defines how to put digital learning on the public agenda of municipalities and governorates – whether with the design of a strategic line in its development plans or in the design of public policies.
  • 3.Conecta Ideas (Connect Ideas)
    This ICT-based programme teaches mathematics in 24 low-performing Chilean schools attended by students with low socio-economic status. The project is: assessing effects on student learning, estimating costs, determining key factors for success, and providing protocols to ensure effective implementation and scale-up of the programme. Evidence gleaned through the project is expected to inform education policies across the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • 4.Digital Learning for Development in Asia (DL4D)
    Administered by the Philippines-based Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED), this global research network aims to improve educational systems by expanding the understanding of digital learning, fostering collaboration on research, and scaling proven innovations. Two of the DL4D studies are focused on digital games for early literacy learning: a guidebook about developing digital games that teach literacy and an impact evaluation of a mobile game used in a reading programme in Cambodia. Another study investigates using elements of game-playing and mobile learning strategies for language learning in Mongolia. Yet another is an impact evaluation of a blended learning model for teacher professional development (TPD) on early literacy and numeracy in the Philippines.
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LEARNING TECHNICAL SKILLS
  • 5.Digital Learning Innovation for Host Communities (Lebanon and Jordan) and Syrian Refugees
    The International Education Association, Birzeit University (BZU), and UNESCO are developing and testing digital educational tools and resources in an effort to address the education crisis (including both inherent and refugee-related challenges) in Jordan and Lebanon. For example, workshops for 14- to 18-year-olds focus in part on Coder-Maker, which provides foundations in programming, design, creation, assembly, programming in real-life STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) applications, and understanding of open architecture hardware. Students acquire key skills such as problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking, communications, critical thinking, and collaboration.
  • 6.Skills for Employment: Scaling-up Technical and Vocational Training in Africa
    Launched in July 2016 by Uganda’s Makerere University, this 2-year research project aims to improve the overall quality, relevance, and inclusiveness of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to meet the entrepreneurial needs of countries in East and Southern Africa, thereby enhancing the employability of the young TVET graduates. TVET centres offer practical skills and knowledge that are often absent in theory-based university classes. These include technical skills such as filming, which could be useful for a range of future job opportunities, which often require multimedia skills.
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ICTs TO SUPPORT EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG WOMEN
  • 7.Empowering Palestinian Girls through Digital Learning Innovations in STEM Fields
    The West Bank and Gaza’s Ministry of Education is releasing a new curriculum for grades 5-12 designed to emphasise educational best practices. Part of this curriculum involves distributing computers and tablets to students. This project, launched in 2018 by the Unit for Learning Innovation at the Center for Continuing Education at BZU, seeks to assist teachers in their adoption of the new curriculum. It will support the evolution of the curriculum over several years (to close gender gaps and to consider concepts such as social change and the future of work). The project also aims to support the development of quality open educational resources in the Arabic language and will ultimately seek to inform the West Bank and Gaza’s Ministry of Education policy on digitising education.
  • 8.AYITIC Goes Global
    Led by Registro de Direcciones de Internet para América Latina y Caribe (LACNIC), AYITIC Goes Global seeks to identify strategies to increase the access of young women (aged 18-29) to employment in Haiti by building digital capacities in the field of ICT. The AYITIC team is working to derive lessons about how to successfully raise women out of poverty through online employment in complex settings such as Haiti. This involves studying which factors lead to successful training completion and employment, looking at both characteristics from beneficiary groups as well as pedaegogical strategies employed to understand what works best. The programme evaluation also seeks to understand how the initiative may be replicated in other Latin American countries, as one of the project’s objectives is establishing partnerships for scaling.
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ICTs AND HEALTH INFORMATION TO EMPOWER (YOUNG) WOMEN
  • 9.WawaRed
    The ultimate goal of Peru’s WawaRed is to improve health services by reaching pregnant women with information designed to prevent unnecessary deaths and complications. Standardising and sharing data through an electronic health record system is a means of ensuring that the right information and advice can benefit vulnerable mothers and children. For example, the system sends customised text messages to pregnant women based on their health profile and in their local language. Over the course of this project, more than 54,000 pregnant indigenous women were registered in the WawaRed system, more than 100 midwives were trained to use eHealth records and to gather data, and 28 ministry statisticians were trained in data analysis.
  • 10.mMom Thai Nguyen
    mMom is an integrated mHealth (mobile health) system designed to improve maternal and infant health knowledge and behaviour among ethnic minority women in northern Vietnam, who are isolated from mainstream maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services. As part of 3-year pilot project, expectant and new mothers received SMS messages with health information and reminders. Participants said the text messages delivered valuable information during critical periods of pregnancy and early infanthood. Many health workers reported that women phoned more frequently about their own health and that of other children or family members. Women reported sharing and discussing the messages with their husbands, which is uncommon in a society where maternal and infant health have traditionally been considered women’s domain.
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YOUNG PEOPLE PARTICIPATING IN LEADING THE CHARGE FOR CIVIC CHANGE
  • 11.HarassMap
    HarassMap is a volunteer-based initiative with a mission of creating an environment in Egypt that does not tolerate sexual harassment. Using social media platforms and data collection techniques known as crowdsourcing, HarassMap receives reports of harassment from anonymous witnesses and victims, maps them on the HarassMap website, and uses the data to develop offline work with communities across Egypt to re-establish social consequences for harassers and create zero-tolerance “safe areas”. Many of the young women who volunteered for HarassMap have become strong public speakers and advocates, working on policy and laying the groundwork for a world where they don’t have to live in fear of violence.
  • 12.Arab Youth as Political Actors
    Created by the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), this project, which ran from 2016 to 2018, used action-research methodology to encourage and enhance the roles of youth in political and social reform in Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Syria. Among the concrete strategies and tools to emerge from the project: an online “Activist Tool-Kit”, a web-based platform with short videos meant to document what is new and successful in new forms of engagement and civic action, and to share this widely. In addition, a documentary film serves as an audio-visual compilation of the research conducted by the project, which allows youth groups across the region to become aware of one another.
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PLEASE TAKE OUR SURVEY
ENQUIRY: Your priorities, opportunities and challenges!
What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! We will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.
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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
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The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDIBBC Media ActionBernard van Leer FoundationBreakthroughCiturna TVFundación Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI)HeartlinesJohns Hopkins Center for Communication ProgramsMaternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)MISAOpen Society FoundationsOxfam NovibPAHOThe Panos InstitutePuntos de EncuentroSAfAIDSSesame WorkshopSoul CitySTEPS InternationalUNAIDSUNICEFUniversidad de los AndesWorld Health Organization (WHO)W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

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