Resource 2.3.1 - Multimedia Training and Support
The case of Shoma - South Africa 
The MIH Group, the holding company for MultiChoice, M-Net, and M-Web, has developed a unique model of delivering educational and training programs for the professional development of South African educators. This delivery model uses the power of technology to leverage the delivery of appropriate educational programs prepared in conjunction with the country's national and provincial education departments. The programs are relayed from the M-Group's Broadcast Center in Randburg, via satellite, to a video server linked to a television set and to a network server, which, in turn, serves 24 workstations.
Shoma was designed, in part, to accommodate the greatest number of teachers possible during after-school hours, generally between 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.. To do this, Shoma's model consists of three "rooms," each lasting a specific amount of time within a 2½ -hour period.
Broadcast Room. This room is equipped with a television monitor, a video server and satellite dish. Here, teachers watch a video, which lasts about 10–12 minutes and is focused on a particular theme. All videos involve a combination of explanation by one or more experts, interwoven with classroom demonstrations. Each video ends with a probing question that teachers are to discuss for about 20 minutes, with guidance by one or more provincial department curricular specialists who have been trained by Shoma to facilitate the lessons.
Computer Room. In the second room, teachers engage in computer-based learning designed to reinforce the content shown in the video. Teachers work individually for approximately 45 minutes on the computers, reading text, watching digitized video and audio clips, answering questions, and completing exercises.
Lesson Development Room. The most important room in the process, this is where teachers have the opportunity to practice the theory learned in the broadcast and computer rooms. In this room, teachers work together to develop their own lesson plans for the following week, based on what they learned during the broadcast and computer-based learning.
Integral to the Shoma training methodology is the use of facilitators to mediate the learning process in all three tiers. Facilitators are drawn from the ranks of curriculum developers whose responsibility it is to provide support to educators on curriculum issues.
Currently Shoma is working in 14 centers in eight of the nation's nine provinces (with the exception of Western Cape). Although the number of professional development sessions varies across centers, most host three to four sessions a day, four days a week, serving approximately 320 teachers per year—over 5,000 across all centers in 2001 and approximately 13,500 since 1998.
The Case of Aula Mentor 
The "Aula Mentor"  ("Aula" means classroom), created by National Center for Education Information and Communication of the New Technologies Program of the Ministry of Education in Spain, uses the Internet to bring together educators throughout the country and beyond. It offers a range of courses and options for self-paced, self-study through tele-tutoring. A total of 61 courses are offered, each of which lasts an average of four months.
Every student trainee has his or her own online "mentor" who is responsible for keeping the student trainee on track and monitoring and evaluating progress made on all course work. Recruited, trained, and selected by the (Spanish) Ministry of Education, the mentors are the key component of the program; they are responsible for ensuring that learning objectives are met online. Through daily e-mail with each one of their students, mentors provide "one-on-one coaching" and individualized attention to students, and they facilitate "chats," tele-conferences, and/or tele-debates between students. All student inquiries are answered within 24 hours. In addition, mentors are responsible for updating course materials and evaluating student performance as well.
Online delivery has placed a premium on high-quality teaching and learning materials. Recognizing this need, the (Spanish) Ministry of Education put together an interdisciplinary team of experts (in content, pedagogy, program design, and implementation) specifically charged with elaborating materials for online delivery and others to support content delivered online, such as CD-ROMs and study guides. These materials are intentionally sequenced and balanced among theory and practical applications, complementary activities and activities designed to reinforce key curricular concepts, and self-, peer, and mentor evaluation. All materials are available online (in a secure location so that they can be accessed by students only) and in "hard" (e.g., CD-ROM, paper) formats.
Outside of Spain, as of December 2002, Nicaragua is the only country where the Aula Mentor program has been introduced as a seven-month long pilot experiment.
Resource 2.3.2 - Videos for Teacher Training 
By turning the information into images that can be replayed whenever necessary, the technology gives learners more control over the information and empowers trainees to set their own pace in the learning process. This flexibility has been used with positive results in teacher training and development programs (Hatfield & Bitter, 1994; Lambdin, Duffy, & Moore, 1997; Mousley & Sullivan, 1996). These programs use video clips to provide prospective teachers with exemplary models of instructional methods, classroom management, innovative techniques, and concept and symbol developments. The videos include clips of actual instructors at work, interviews with students and instructors about their classroom experiences, analyses of the styles and techniques presented and their rationale, and any other information that helps the trainees to develop an analytical approach to teaching. The technique exposes trainees to a variety of model teaching experiences to which they can refer whenever necessary. The videotaped lessons also help them become familiar with the classroom experience in a controlled, anxiety-free situation, before they start their field placements. Trainees also may be videotaped during their field experience and can analyze the tape with their supervisors. By reviewing the tapes, trainees can compare the exemplary models with their own teaching to better understand their weaknesses and strengths and make necessary improvements.
Another advantage of video technology is its preserving power. Maheshwari and Raina (1998) used an interactive television system (ITV) to train primary school teachers in a joint effort between Indira Gandhi Open University and the Indian Space Research Organisation. This program combines two-way video and audio interaction broadcast via satellite, prerecorded videotape instruction, and face-to-face interaction with facilitators at the remote sites. Through the technology, a larger number of teachers, including those in remote areas, were able to receive instruction directly from the experts. This direct line of communication avoided the loss of information that commonly occurs in the alternative option considered for the project—the cascade model, whereby training flows down through levels of less experienced trainers until it reaches the target group; in the process, complex information tends to be lost.
Hatfield, M.M. & Bitter, C.G. (1994). A multimedia approach to professional development of teachers. A virtual classroom. In D.B. Aichele (Ed.), Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Lambdin, D.V., Duffy, T.M. & Moore, J.A. (1997). Using an interactive information system to expand preservice teachers'; visions of effective mathematics teaching. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 5 (2/3): 171-202.
Maheshwari, A.N. & Raina, V.K. (1998). Inservice training of primary teachers through interactive video technology: An Indian experience. International review of Education, 44 (1): 87-101.
Mousley, J. & Sullivan, P. (1996). Interactive multimedia as a resource for preparing teachers for problem based mathematics instruction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.
Resource 2.3.3 - Selected Internet Resources for Teachers
There are thousands of Websites for educators. Searching the Web using search engines such as Google produces an extensive list of sites. The list below focuses only on those Websites that are intended to assist a wide range of teachers in their day-to-day classroom work. They have been selected to illustrate the variety of supports that teachers can access via the Web. Some items were compiled for TechknowLogia 
The Best on the Web for Teachers
This Website, which is like a teacher's library, is a compilation of Websites and online materials offering lesson plans, curriculum materials, teaching ideas, educational games, tutorials, teacher tools, workbooks, and worksheet makers. It also has a message board.
Sites for Teachers
A compilation of Websites with resources for teachers
Offers lessons and interactive activities for specific grade levels
This site compiles Web materials for teachers and administrators, including subjects and standards, lesson plans, special needs and counseling, classroom tools and tips, and research and reference.
Free downloadable maps
MarcoPolo Education Foundation
MarcoPolo provides more than 20,000 resources and 3,600 lesson plans, free of charge, to K–12 teachers and students.
Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM)
This U.S. government-sponsored site is a portal to lesson plans and teacher guides available on various federal, state, university, nonprofit, and commercial Internet sites. Users can search by general subjects (such as "science"), specific subjects (such as "biology"), and various key words. Search results provide a brief abstract of the materials. Users can also click on a more detailed description, including the grade level of material, the type of pedagogy used, national curriculum standards that the material may address, the source, and the cost (most are free, but some entail a fee.) There are also links to the Websites where the materials can be found.
Science Learning Network
A consortium of 12 science museums around the globe is producing high–quality, inquiry-based K–6 science learning modules that are available through this site. The topics tend to be related to current events or otherwise of interest of students. Some of the modules can be used interactively only on the Web; others can be used in classrooms.
Eisenhower Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education
This U.S.-government sponsored organization identifies effective math and science curriculum materials, creating high-quality professional development materials for teachers of math and science and disseminating those resources to teachers, parents, and students. Users can search materials by subject, grade level, and cost. The online description of each resource includes the instructional philosophy, intended audience, evaluative information (for some of the sites), publisher, and a link to publisher's Website.
Resources for Students and Teachers of French as a Second Language
These sites link to lesson plans, exercises, and other resources for teaching languages to non-native speakers.
PBS Teacher Source
The U.S. public radio and television system operates this site, which offers lesson plans and teacher's guides to accompany some of its television programs. The programs seek to engage students, and the lessons and activities are intended to extend their learning. Many of the TV programs are available on videocassette, and a few are rebroadcast a few years after they first appear.
British Columbia Ministry of Education:
Special Education On-Line Documents
This government-operated site provides a wide range of resources for teachers with special-needs students. It includes government policies for such students, a review of special education provisions in this province of Canada, and resource guides for teachers on each of several kinds of special need students (blind, hearing-impaired, gifted, etc.).
This site offers a broad array of services for teachers, including live "chats" with prominent authors of education-related books, chat boards for teachers to exchange ideas, job announcements, and lesson plans and publications. There are affiliated Websites in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
Teachers Helping Teachers
This is mostly a self-help site for teachers. where they can post questions asking for guidance from other teachers and share lesson plans and classroom management strategies. More than two million people have visited the homepage of this site since it was established in 1995.
Ask Dr. Math
This site uses hundreds of volunteer college math majors to answer questions from high school mathematics teachers and their students. The questions and answers are archived in a searchable database.
TEAMS Electronic Classrooms
Part of the Los Angeles Department of Education (LACOE), this site offers resources for elementary school teachers, including lesson plans, guided activities for teachers, student interactive activities, parent resources, and varied information. Teachers can also join TEAMS to publish their own projects.
32 Excerpted from: (a) Joanne Capper. October - December 2002. "SHOMA: A Multimedia Approach to South Africa's Teacher Development." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org; (b) Claire Brown, Violet Sithole & Robert Hofmeyr. May/June 2000. "South Africa: Teacher Training in the Sky." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
|Excerpted from: Aimee Verdisco. October-December 2002. "The Aula Mentor Program: Making Connections and Building Capacities across Continents." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org |
Excerpted from: Sonia Jurich. September/October 1999. "The Impact of Video Technology in Education: From Here to Where?." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
|36 Gregg Jackson & Nina de las Alas. November/December 2000. "WorthWhileWebs." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org |