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Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy Digital

place Philippines

Technology-Supported TPD on Early Language, Literacy, and Numeracy, any time, anywhere.

Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy Digital (ELLN Digital) is a teacher professional development course for K to 3 teachers that uses a low-tech, inclusive blended learning approach. Designed for scale, the aim of ELLN Digital is to provide flexible, high-quality training to hundreds of thousands of teachers nationwide in a timely way, replacing the traditional face-to-face cascade model.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
March 2021
With this ELLN Digital blended learning, no teacher will be excluded. It is a new way of doing in-service training that will help us implement our projects and programs better and more efficiently.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

We co-designed ELLN Digital with the Philippine Department of Education as a more inclusive, scalable alternative to the face-to-face cascade model that could reach all teachers quickly without compromising the quality of the learning experience. We also aimed to show how digital technology could be harnessed in contextually appropriate ways so technology access didn’t become a barrier in itself.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

A practice-based course, ELLN Digital combines self-learning with offline, interactive, multimedia modules, classroom practice and co-learning with peers in a school-based professional learning community. With this blended approach, teachers learn from and with standardized, quality assured course content that supports them in localizing instructional materials and strategies for their diverse learners. Teachers receive a copy of the ELLN Digital Course Package and study each lesson in the courseware on their own at their own pace. They then apply in the classroom their new knowledge and skills, and then meet with fellow teachers in a Learning Action Cell to reflect on the lesson and their classroom practice. Teachers go through this cycle of learning, application, and reflection until the course is completed. Since the courseware is offline, lack of internet access is not a barrier to participation. Supplementary online resources are available to those with internet.

How has it been spreading?

The success of ELLN Digital’s 2016 pilot led to a national scale up in 2019 to reach over 250,000 K to 3 teachers in a phased roll-out over the next three years. During the pandemic school year (2020-2021), the ELLN Digital model was adapted to prepare school leaders and teachers for remote learning. Two courses were created and launched in July and September. To date, over 500,000 have taken these courses, more than half of the public school workforce.

The ELLN Digital model is also currently being adapted and piloted in Ghana, Honduras, and Uzbekistan for their own large-scale in-service teacher training.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Contact FIT-ED at ellndigital@fit-ed.org for a downloadable copy of the ELLN Digital Course Package.

You can also adapt the ELLN Digital model for your own context -- create your own self-learning modules and organize your Learning Action Cells face-to-face or online. Contact us if you want advice on how to do this.


Adapting and scaling teacher professional development approaches in Ghana, Honduras and Uzbekistan
The TPD@Scale Coalition is currently working on "Adapting and scaling teacher professional development approaches in Ghana, Honduras, and Uzbekistan" as part of the Global Partnership for Education’s Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (GPE KIX) Global Grants program. The project is working in three diverse contexts—Honduras, Ghana, and Uzbekistan—to contextualize, customize, test, and continuously improve upon two proven TPD@Scale models: Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy (ELLN) Digital in the Philippines and Teacher Education through School-based Support in India (TESS-India).Read more here.
Learning Continuity Plan and Capacity Building of Teachers and School Leaders
With the additional challenges in education brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) adopted a Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) that aims to ensure the safety and well-being of learners, teachers, and personnel, and the continuity of learning.DepEd’s National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), member of the TPD@Scale Coalition, is in charge of the professional development of teachers and school leaders to help them shift from face-to-face learning delivery to remote learning.  Two of the main outputs of the initiative are the Learning Delivery Modalities 1 and 2 courses, which aim to prepare school leaders and teachers for remote learning. The delivery model is based on the Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy Digital Model.Read more
ELLN Digital National Scale-up
In June 2019, the DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction issued DepEd Memorandum 00181 (DM-CI-00181) mandating the “National Orientation of the Adoption of the Blended Learning Model for TPD: Roll Out of the ELLN Digital for K to 3 Teachers.” The memorandum designated the Bureau for Learning Delivery (BLD) as responsible for the activity and its outputs. The national orientation was delivered in 3 island cluster workshops (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao) from July to August 2019. The workshops afforded the opportunity to test and validate the workshop tools and the process. Each of the 3 island cluster workshops ran for 5 days (inclusive of 1 day for participants’ arrival and registration and half a day for departure). Over the course of the 3 cluster workshops, the agenda and activities were iterated based on observations and debriefing by the FIT-ED and DepEd teams. The workshop agenda was developed to model how the participants were expected to carry out each step in the process of planning, preparation and implementation of ELLN Digital Cycle 1 in their respective regions, divisions and schools. Participants were presented with a thorough overview of the program, its goals for teacher professional development, and target schedule as it rolls out in their respective regions and divisions. In order to ensure proper implementation, participants were also trained in the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) tool, which will allow administrators to chart and support the progress of teachers in their respective schools and divisions. Division implementation planning, plenary discussions, accreditation process, and sharing of divisions’ ICT plans were also part of the workshops.DepED’s national teacher professional development (TPD) programs use the face-to-face train-the-trainer model where participants, upon their return to stations are tasked to cascade their learning to colleagues at the region and division level, and on down to school-level implementers and teachers. (DepEd Order No. 11, s. 2019) The BLD invited FIT-ED in its capacity as TPD@Scale Coalition - Philippines team as experts to help deliver and facilitate the island cluster workshops. In support of the DepEd process for scaling ELLN Digital nationally, FIT-ED/TPD@Scale Coalition-Philippines team introduced the concepts of adaptive learning and improvement science at the cluster workshops.In its capacity as the Secretariat for the TPD@Scale Coalition, FIT-ED took learnings from partners such as the Brookings Institute in applying evidence-based research methods to enable quality improvement in education systems. FIT-ED then developed tools to assess readiness for ELLN Digital and track the progress of implementation. The cluster workshops provided an opportunity for DepED ELLN Digital region and division implementers to validate the tools and process drafted by FIT-ED.The final scaling process and tools package was released in September 2019, shared by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Learning Delivery via Google Drive to all workshop participants and designated people responsible for ELLN Digital implementation in the field units.
An Evaluation of ELLN Digital: Technology-Supported Teacher Professional Development on Early Language, Literacy, and Numeracy for K-3 Teachers
The evaluation of the ELLN Digital pilot was conducted by the IDRC-funded TPD@Scale Coalition for the Global South in 2017 (TPD@Scale Coalition), and published in 2018 (ELLN Digital Evaluation); jointly funded by DL4D and USAID’s Philippine-American Fund.Conducted by experts from the University of Western Australia and the Education University of Hongkong, the study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the TPD, a blended learning version of the established face-to-face ELLN course. Data were collected via end-of-course survey; pre- and post-course assessments of teacher pedagogical and content knowledge, and teacher strengths and needs; interviews, focus group discussions, and observations in six case study schools. Qualitative findings and an end-of-course survey indicate that participating teachers and school principals were positive about the course, its design, and content. They were generally of the opinion that valuable learning had occurred and had impacted on teaching practice and on children’s learning. Teachers were generally positive about the blended learning model, which combined a community of practice (the “Learning Action Cell” or LAC) with a CD courseware intended to be studied prior to LAC meetings in a flexible, self-paced learning mode. Quantitative findings on teacher learning indicate that the pedagogical and content knowledge of participating teachers were significantly better in the post-test overall, with some variation between the subgroups of teachers.Download the evaluation here.
Launch of TPD@Scale Philippines
The Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) launched TPD@Scale Philippines on August 28, 2018 with a workshop for regional and division field offices on the program’s inaugural blended learning course for teachers called ELLN Digital. “ELLN” is short for Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy; “Digital” refers to the blended learning design of the course, a combination of guided independent study using multimedia courseware, classroom application and reflection, and face-to-face co-learning in school-based learning communities. The course, intended for K to 3 teachers, covers the fundamentals of teaching reading and arithmetic in the early grades.Over 120 chief education supervisors and curriculum implementation chiefs from all over the country gathered in Quezon City to prepare for the national roll-out of ELLN Digital to over 300,000 teachers in more than 38,000 schools by November of this year.“The Department is committed to ensuring improved student performance nationwide. And the key to this is sustained high-quality teacher professional development,” says Rosalina J. Villaneza, Chief Education Program Specialist, Bureau of Learning Delivery-Teaching and Learning Division.“DepEd takes very seriously the need to provide all their teachers with high quality professional development opportunities in a cost-effective and timely way,” says Victoria Tinio, Executive Director of FIT-ED and Coalition Secretariat Director. “They are alert to the challenges of serving a teaching force that’s over 600,000 strong, and are keen to innovate with technology to address these challenges while keeping to the principles of effective adult learning. DepEd will be an important part of the Coalition, generating valuable lessons for other countries in scaling TPD in diverse, often constrained environments.”
ELLN Digital Pilot
ELLN Digital was piloted in 2016-2017 with over 4,000 teachers in 240 schools nationwide. The pilot was a collaboration between DepEd and the Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED), with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development through the Philippine-American Fund.November 2016Course run: 16 weeks, Nov 2016 to Feb 2017Enrolled: 4,040 K-3 teachers, 240 schools, 31 divisions, 11 of 17 regionsCompleted: 3,848 (all or some modules) or 95% of enrollees

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