Santally Mohammad Issack
Associate Professor
Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies
University of Mauritius
M...
The System
VCILT and Teacher Education
• Established in 2001 with the mandate to promote the
use of ICT in the teaching an...
VCILT and Teacher Education
• 2009 - another innovation in the teacher
training system by introducing the Honours
Bachelor...
Educational Philosophy
• Time for Radical Change in Teacher Education –
Bob Moon (2010)
• time to implement new technologi...
Model of online instruction
Knowledge acquisition phase
Knowledge application phase
Knowledge construction and reflective ...
The Transformative Approach
• inculcate new educational culture in aspiring
educators who are embarked in a university
deg...
The Projects
SIDECAP
• European Union (EU) funded project as part of its ACP-
EU Cooperation Programme in Higher Education...
Rapid e-Learning Methodology
• creating video lectures through the integration of
two simple technologies namely Microsoft...
Microsoft Partners in Learning
• rapid e-learning project created a link tunnel between the
SIDECAP project, the in-servic...
R&D Model
The Impact and Outcomes
From Academia to Community Practice
• Education for Development and Poverty Alleviation - The Help...
Innovative Operation Model
Multiple Impact Social Partnership
• essentially an integration of the Research and Development model
in education technol...
A First Account of Field Activity
• Socially Oriented ‘Professional’ Activities
– Interactive Materials Development Traini...
Community Support
• Needy Students Support in La Gaulette State
Secondary School
• Donation of foodstuff to needy families...
Reflections
• Contrary to developed countries, Research and
development in the context of developing countries should
also...
In a country like Mauritius where free primary,
secondary and tertiary education (to some
extent) has been a landmark in t...
Living labs are emerging as a new model to support co-
creative, human-centric and user-driven research,
development and i...
Thank You
Help us to Help Our People
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MISP: A Multiple-Impact Social Partnership Model to promote Educators’ Development, Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Mauritius

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The organization Helping Our People has been setup in 2011 by a team of education professionals working at the Virtual Centre for Innovative Technologies (VCILT) at the University of Mauritius. In 2009, the VCILT embarked on the SIDECAP project, funded by the EU-ACP in a consortium regrouping the Open University of the UK, the University of the West Indies, the University of the South Pacific and the University of the Highlands and Islands. The work of the VCILT in the context of the SIDECAP project was essentially focused on the repurposing of Open Educational Resources to fit in the local Mauritian Context. At the same time, the VCILT received an internal grant to work on the development of interactive learning materials using the integration of text-to-speech technology in instructionally designed PowerPoint presentations. In this paper we report how the research activities of the two projects led to a series of development and applications in the real-world context for the continuous professional development of educators, the establishment of a social entity, an NGO called Helping Our People, a partnership with Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific under the Partners in Learning Program and the Youth Empowerment Program to alleviate the suffering of those living in vulnerable conditions in the country.

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MISP: A Multiple-Impact Social Partnership Model to promote Educators’ Development, Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Mauritius

  1. 1. Santally Mohammad Issack Associate Professor Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies University of Mauritius Microsoft PIL Network Workshop – April 2014 @ University of Mauritius A Multiple-Impact Social Partnership Model to promote Educators’ Development, Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Mauritius
  2. 2. The System VCILT and Teacher Education • Established in 2001 with the mandate to promote the use of ICT in the teaching and learning system • 2004 - the first online course, a Masters in Educational Technology (formerly the Computer-Mediated Communication and Pedagogies) was launched, mainly targeting educators
  3. 3. VCILT and Teacher Education • 2009 - another innovation in the teacher training system by introducing the Honours Bachelor online degree in Educational and Instructional Technology • a first step towards the implementation of a formal recognition of prior learning as an alternate entry route to University studies.
  4. 4. Educational Philosophy • Time for Radical Change in Teacher Education – Bob Moon (2010) • time to implement new technologies in teacher training courses so as to focus on the continuous professional development of educators. • Moon (2010) highlights “there is absolutely no way the bricks-and-mortar institutions of teacher training created in the last century will be adequate for the 21st century needs”.
  5. 5. Model of online instruction Knowledge acquisition phase Knowledge application phase Knowledge construction and reflective practice phase Role of the teacher/lecturer undergoes a paradigm shift from the know-it-all to the manager, orchestrator and facilitator
  6. 6. The Transformative Approach • inculcate new educational culture in aspiring educators who are embarked in a university degree course of study… • provide a route for in-service educators to upgrade their qualifications through an innovative degree in education technology by transforming them into digital migrants.. • influence policy makers by demonstrating that technology has increased access to education and has transformed traditional practices.
  7. 7. The Projects SIDECAP • European Union (EU) funded project as part of its ACP- EU Cooperation Programme in Higher Education (EDULINK) • A lifecycle model for the repurposing of OERs was proposed which has been applied to the design and development of online programmes • Online continuous professional development course for Mauritian Educators. The course which can reasonably be considered a μOOC (Micro Open Online Course) attracted about 300 educators in 2010.
  8. 8. Rapid e-Learning Methodology • creating video lectures through the integration of two simple technologies namely Microsoft PowerPoint and Text-to-Speech. • rapid e-learning methodology allowed for the development of interactive learning materials in reduced time period and with minimal technical computing skills. • disseminate the technique in workshops to educators and education practitioners
  9. 9. Microsoft Partners in Learning • rapid e-learning project created a link tunnel between the SIDECAP project, the in-service educators and the Microsoft Partners-in-Learning (PIL) Program (www.pil-network.com) in Mauritius. • rapid e-learning methodology relies intensively on Microsoft PowerPoint as the prototyping and development workbench. • The idea is to decentralize the content development process to enable educators to develop curriculum related materials in a shorter time-span than it would normally take a small-dedicated team of content developers, as is currently the practice under the Sankoré Project
  10. 10. R&D Model
  11. 11. The Impact and Outcomes From Academia to Community Practice • Education for Development and Poverty Alleviation - The Helping Our People Entity – Very Early Childhood Programme – Elder Persons in need – Any type of direct support for genuine poverty cases Some pertinent questions that we asked ourselves are: – How can a child who sleeps with a half empty stomach concentrate on school and study? – How can a child who is deprived from basic necessary nutrition develop his brain enough to be able to pass through our school system effectively? – How can a parent send his kid to school when that same parent is unable to find basic amenities needed for a decent living?
  12. 12. Innovative Operation Model
  13. 13. Multiple Impact Social Partnership • essentially an integration of the Research and Development model in education technology and the community engagement model with the establishment of the Helping our People Entity • Based on the education research philosophy for social change through action research and the Living lab paradigm for Teaching and Learning • 4P innovation framework where the Public sector is represented by the VCILT and the University, the Private Sector represented by Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific or other actors in the future, the People being academics, educators, the Youth volunteers (students), the beneficiaries and the partnership among those actors is mediated through a collective social movement called Helping Our People.
  14. 14. A First Account of Field Activity • Socially Oriented ‘Professional’ Activities – Interactive Materials Development Training in Mauritius – Partners-in-Learning Network Initiation in Rodrigues – 2013 Education Technology Seminar – PiL Network Bootcamp
  15. 15. Community Support • Needy Students Support in La Gaulette State Secondary School • Donation of foodstuff to needy families • Medical Expenses Support for Children with Health Problems
  16. 16. Reflections • Contrary to developed countries, Research and development in the context of developing countries should also embody community service as an important and key element to promote social justice and alleviation of poverty. • Educational institutions are more and more called upon to assume a preponderant role in the socio-economic development process of the country through sustainable initiatives to promote community building, social progress and inclusion for all. • The real issue in developing countries is that less and less value is attached to research for development.
  17. 17. In a country like Mauritius where free primary, secondary and tertiary education (to some extent) has been a landmark in the socio- economic development and political stability in the country, it is deplored that research in education for development has long been a sidelined issue despite having three four public universities and one dedicated institution for teacher training. Concluding Remarks
  18. 18. Living labs are emerging as a new model to support co- creative, human-centric and user-driven research, development and innovation in order to better cater for people’s needs. The Mauritian society is at a junction where traditional models of research and development have started to show their limits to sustain a modern society that can effectively address growing challenges like education reforms, poverty alleviation, global economic crisis, and environmental protection. The MISP model although operational at a micro-level and is at an infancy stage, tries to embody the new open innovation concepts as proposed by the Living Lab ecosystems and can serve in the longer term as an example for other initiatives. Concluding Remarks
  19. 19. Thank You Help us to Help Our People

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