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Mentors In The Cloud: The Tech Revolution And Teacher Professional Development For Ei E

1043 words - 5 pages

1 RESTATING THE PROBLEM
This action plan is based on research outlined in the literature review, “Review of Literature Relating to the Professional Development of Teachers Working with Refugee Students” (Saad, 2014), and “seeks to address the questions broached during an interview with Mr. Bastouni, the principal of the Insani School in Saida, Lebanon. The interview indicated several challenges of instructional supervision for Mr. Bastouni, namely ensuring instructional quality, and providing relevant professional development opportunities for teachers that supply them with strategies to engage the students while differentiating instruction” (Saad, 2014).
The Insani School was founded by a ...view middle of the document...

Especially in the EiE context, “crisis may provide an opportunity to introduce a new approach to teacher training” (Sinclair, 2002, p. 53). Therefore, although the teachers at the Insani School are certified and motivated, it does not mean they shouldn’t be provided with relevant professional development opportunities, and feedback for reflection on their practice.
2 EVALUATING THE RESEARCH
The literature revealed the challenges faced when working in the context of education in emergencies (EiE). Lack of resources, conflicting agendas of international actors, prior experience of the students and staff of schools, and many other factors weigh in on the quality of education provided to displaced children.
To highlight some key findings from the literature I’d like to point out the following:
• In-service training programs that are followed by open learning or distance education are very beneficial (Sinclair, 2002).
• It is important for teachers to receive training on how to reduce student stress and increase concentration (MacNevin pg. 57).
• Distance learning might be effective if it is paired with observation and feedback—it would be prudent to look into using technology (not paper) based distance learning models (Ebbutt & Elliot, 2003).
• Action research can be effective if teachers are given support through a “structured reflection” model (O’Sullivan, 2001).
• Mentorship paired with clinical evaluation can be effective for helping refugee teachers implement student-centered lessons (Kirke and Winthrop, 2007).
• With the right models and tools technology (especially video) can be an extremely effective tool for delivery of teacher professional development through distance learning (Ho and Kane, 2013).
From the literature I gathered that the most effective way to meet the professional development needs of the teachers at the Insani School would be to devise a plan that incorporated mentorship, action research and clinical evaluation utilizing technology and distance learning as the medium of delivery.

3 THE TECH REVOLUTION FOR EDUCATION
In the past decade a number of online education services have gained notoriety, and caused a conversation about what role technology should play in education. Dr. Sugata Mitra has argued for a “school in the cloud” where students can guide themselves through inquiry and problem solving with only the facilitation of a “granny in the cloud” (Shriram, 2013). I’m going to argue through my action plan that in cases...

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