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Journal Article

JiFUNzeni: A Blended Learning Approach for Sustainable Teachers Professional Development  pp77-88

Brown Bully Onguko

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: JiFUNzeni blended learning approach is a sustainable approach to provision of professional development (PD) for those in challenging educational contexts. JiFUNzeni approach emphasizes training regional experts to create blended learning conte nt, working with appropriate technology while building content repositories. JiFUNzeni approach was field‑tested though a design‑based research intervention conducted in rural western Kenya. The field test included design, development and implementation o f a blended learning course for teachers professional development utilizing appropriate technologies including tablets powered by solar energy, open educational resources and open source software. One year after the intervention, follow‑up interviews wer e conducted with eight of the ten teachers and two professional development tutors (PDTs) who participated in the research. The findings from the follow‑up interviews shared in this paper revealed that: teachers still used cooperative learning and activ ity‑based learning strategies in their teaching. The PDTs on the other hand designed, developed and implemented one other jiFUNzeni blended learning course for twelve teachers in one school in Korogocho slum in Nairobi city. Implementation by PDTs of jiFU Nzeni approach confirmed that they had learned through a sustainable way of delivering professional development in challenging educational contexts. The PDTs utilized the instructional design approaches learned through their participation in the research in designing blended learning content, while they also innovated new ways of developing self‑study content as an important creative addition to what they had previously learned. Two teenage children participated in digital content development by advising the PDTs on some appropriate ways of applying technology thus, attesting to the fact that digital natives are important reciprocal supporters to digital immigrants and vice versa.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Appropriate technology, blended learning, challenging educational context, jiFUNzeni approach, offline web content, open educational resources

 

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