How teachers use mobile phones as education tools in refugee camps

Global 20170314 Dryden 2

Excerpt from this article:

Through long-term research in Dadaab, we found that students use Facebook groups to get feedback on their school essays as well as to interact with peers who can help them face challenges, like being the first girl in their family to go to school. Teachers, too, are using phones as teaching tools. One refugee teacher in Kakuma told us, “I actually use my phone when I am making class presentations… When it happens that a student asks me a very difficult question that I cannot answer, I will even pretend that I am [going] out for a short call or am going to handle any problem in the office, then I can use my phone to google [the answer].”

We asked teachers of refugees in Kenya who they communicate with using their mobile phones. Many have formed instant messaging groups with their peers to discuss teaching challenges and topics covered in their professional development programs. These groups are not initiated by programs, but by the teachers themselves, usually using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.  As one teacher explained, “Around my area, I have a group of friends and also some of my colleagues who are working under [a teacher training] program too, and we have developed a WhatsApp group where we discuss issues concerning teaching. Like if we have a problem in school, we can discuss it and find a solution before we take it forward to our line supervisor or the community mobilizer.”

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