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The Trainer in Your Pocket - transforming teaching through mobile video

Seeing the possibilities for strengthening classroom practice in the palm of your hand

Teachers need to see and hear how effective teaching and learning can work in classrooms like theirs, with many children and few resources. The Trainer in Your Pocket puts videos of authentic classroom practice, filmed in local schools, in the palm of teachers’ hands. Using their own phones, on or off-line, these videos guide teachers to improve children’s learning at mass scale.

Spotlight
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

EdTech: Bangladesh

Web presence

2012

Established

7.4M

Children

5

Countries
Target group
Teachers
Updated
October 2023
Empowering teachers to improve teaching and learning outcomes at scale

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Millions of teachers worldwide need help to improve the quality of teaching. There are not enough ‘expert’ trainers to meet this need directly, and cascade training is not effective, with ideas and practices getting lost in transmission. Teachers need to see real life examples of how they can make learning more effective via small changes that can make a big difference over time.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

The Trainer in Your Pocket replaces ineffective one-off teacher professional development (TPD) workshops with ongoing support. Teachers use authentic videos on their phones to improve their teaching of specific subjects or stages of learning. They see teachers like themselves, their classrooms, and their students, while a narrator highlights what the teacher in the video is doing differently and supports noticing and reflection. Teachers can use the videos anytime, at home or at work, on their own and with their peers. TPD meetings are made more effective by providing opportunities for teachers to discuss the video content and its application in their classrooms.
In UK Aid-funded English in Action (www.eiabd.com), led by Cambridge Education with The Open University, UK, as academic lead, the videos were used by 54,000 teachers teaching 7.4m students in Bangladesh. Students’ ability to communicate in basic English rose from 36% to 70% and from 40% to 80% at primary and secondary level.

How has it been spreading?

This innovation by The Open University, UK, spread from Bangladesh to India, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Bangladesh’s Government is now using video in at-scale TPD courses on its national eLearning platform.
Classroom videos from the TESS-India TPD programme have had over 3.5M views.
The approach has been integrated in Teacher Development Programme, Nigeria, enhancing learning outcomes for over 2M young Nigerians each year.
Zambia’s teachers use the videos off-line on their phones linked to Raspberry Pis at Teacher Group Meetings. Lesson time spent in student group and pair work has tripled (5% to 15%).
We aim to embed the innovation across TPD programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Foundational Literacy/Numeracy and Science.

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

Teachers must be provided with examples of classroom practice that they can identify with, be inspired by, and learn from. All that is required for making the videos are teachers willing to improve teaching/learning, academic advisors to coach them for the filming and a narrator to guide other teachers in applying variants of these practices with their own learners. For info: tom.power@open.ac.uk

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

By offering direct access to digital Teacher Professional Development (TPD) resources, guiding teachers through new classroom activities, and providing ongoing support from teachers and school leaders, this solution can empower teachers.

This idea can be easily contextualized and probably user-friendly as every teacher can store and play the videos. this idea can be applied for other contexts where teachers have digital accessories.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Media

Power, T. J. M. P. and Hedges, C. L. (2018). English in Action School-Based Teachers Development - Body of Evidence. English in Aid (EIA); Open University. https://oro.open.ac.uk/88298/
EIA Awards
iGATE Participatory TPD Videos: Students assessing each other's work
Woodward, C. et al. (2022) ‘Internet not available! Using offline networked learning to enhance teachers’ school-based continuing professional development in Zambia’. In: Tenth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, 14-16 Sep 2022, Calgary, Canada. http://oro.open.ac.uk/85244/
Impact case study : Results and submissions : REF 2021
Eyres, I., McCormick, R. and Power, T. eds. (2019). Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale: Lessons from Bangladesh. London: Bloomsbury Academic. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/sustainable-english-language-teacher-development-at-scale-9781350043473/
Power, T., McCormick, R. and Asbeek-Brusse, E. (2017) A Quasi-Experimental Study of the Classroom Practices of English Language Teachers and the English Language Proficiency of Students, in Primary and Secondary Schools in Bangladesh. http://oro.open.ac.uk/57059
Stutchbury, K. and Woodward, C. (2017). Mediated Authentic Video: A Flexible Tool Supporting a Developmental Approach to Teacher Education. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 4(2). http://oro.open.ac.uk/54617/
Adinolfi, L. (2016) Utilising tablets and one-to-one coaching to create classroom videos for teacher development in India, in Pickering, G. and Gunashekar, P. (eds) Ensuring quality in English language teacher education. New Delhi, British Council. pp. 197-202. http://oro.open.ac.uk/66894/
Walsh, C. S., Power, T., Khatoon, M., Biswas, S. K., Paul, A. K., Sarka, B. C. and Griffiths, M. (2013). The ‘trainer in your pocket’: mobile phones within a teacher continuing professional development (CDP) program in Bangladesh. Professional Development in Education, 39(2) pp. 186–200. http://oro.open.ac.uk/36476/

Implementation steps

Audience targeted:
This guidance is for teacher educators at national, district and Upazila levels
Purpose:
Clarify intended purpose and learning outcomes for the teacher professional development (TPD)
Resources:
Identify available digital resources relevant to the TPD, including videos, classroom activities, and discussion activities for teachers, or develop new resources
Technology:
Identify what mobile technology and data access teachers and schools have, and use this to decide how teachers will access the resources
Technology infrastructure:
Decide on the most appropriate platform(s) to curate and/or host the digital resources
Teacher support within schools:
Decide how teachers will be introduced to the TPD activities and resources, and how teachers and school leaders can support one another over time, to put the activities into practice in schools
Teacher support between schools:
Decide how teachers and school leaders can support each other over time across schools
Teacher support and monitoring:
Decide how to support and monitor the impact in the classroom and who will do this—is teaching and learning improving?

Spread of the innovation

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