MTLC Graduate Assistant Travels to Africa Promoting the Use of Technology
Maria Kelly, research assistant for the Mobile Technology Learning Center, spent two months this summer traversing the African continent applying technology tools for data collection, enhancing learning and teaching environments and promoting the use of technology for social networking and resource acquisition.
Beginning in Malawi, Maria Kelly, research assistant for the Mobile Technology Learning Center, spent two months traversing the African continent supplementing the local, mobile-informed research she has been assisting with as part of MTLC. She spent six weeks as an educational research fellow for Save the Children, training the staff and a team of enumerators in how to use a tablet and educational software to design assessments and collect data.
Two of those six weeks were spent in rural primary schools, assisting the enumerators in their use of the Google Nexus tablets and the Tangerine app to conduct numeracy assessments, data related to demographics, and family and home numeracy habits.
Maria next travelled to USD’s partner school, the Daraja Academy, in Kenya to assist Dr. Heather Lattimer in collecting follow-up data related to how equipping teachers and students with mobile devices (in this case, iPads and iPod touches) affects learning and teaching.
Her African adventure came to a close in Ghana, where she joined Dean Paula Cordeiro, Dr. Joi Spencer, and others from USD in implementing school improvement modules designed for proprietors of low-income private schools receiving microlending loans. Maria was responsible for the Health & Wellness module, but the team collectively spoke to the importance of using technology for social networking and resource acquisition. Each proprietor and head teacher attending the training was assisted in setting up a Gmail account and an Edmodo group.