aliim smartphone schools contextualizing mobile learning for syrian refugee girls janae bushman
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SMARTPHONE SCHOOLS:Contextualizing Mobile Learning
for Syrian Refugee GirlsAliim.org
of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon between the ages of15-18 years attend formal secondary school
61 Million Children Around the World are Out-of-School
Education Cannot Wait
30%of Refugee Girls areEnrolled inSecondary School
of the out-of-school
children worldwide live
in areas of conflict
secondary school enrollment is 1/3 lower inconflict-affected countries compared with other
If Students Can't Come to School,We Must Take School to Them
Connect education and mobile learning theory toconflict-affected context
Needs Impacts Tools
STEP 1: NEEDS
Research by the Women's Refugee Commission finds that education interventionsfor adolescent girls affected by conflict should include:
Needs of Girls Affected by Conflict
Informal Learning OpportunitiesProvide informal learningopportunities for out-of-schooladolescent girls
Flexible StructureConsider daily routines, care takingresponsibilities and time issue
Address BarriersAddress barriers that keepadolescent girls from participatingin schooling
Include the VulnerableBe aware of the needs ofvulnerable girls, including girlsunaccompanied, out-of-school,married, young mothers, anddisabled
Hundreds of Thousands Not in School
70,000 refugee children in Jordanremain outside any type of
29% of girls in Jordan &Lebanon leave home only
once or less during theweek, preventing manyfrom attending school.
No morethan 3years
Nearly 4 years after the beginning of the Syrian conflict we still need a way to scale up accessto quality education for refugees:
In Jordan, if youth are out ofschool more than 3 yearsthey are ineligible to enrollin formal school again.
300,000 Syrian refugees inLebanon were out-of-school during the 2013-2014 school year.2
Examples Negative Impacts Smartphone Schools:Mobile Learning Solutions
Lack of EducationalInfrastructure
No space in schools; insufficienttransportation; limited number oftrained teachers; Lack of certifiededucation programs.
Decreases access to education:Many Syrian refugee students areexcluded from education includingthe most vulnerable.
Develop a non-formaleducational infrastructure bycreating both local and virtualcollaborative environments,utilizing technology, mentors,and certification options.
High Cost of SchoolAttendance
Fees; transportation; clothing;supplies; wash facilities; missedincome for families; parents needhelp at home.
Decreased Enrollment Rates: Thesefactors discourage parents fromenrolling students in school.
Eliminate the need fortransportation, fees, schoolclothes and supplies. Make theprogram flexible for students toparticipate in their free time.
Safety Concerns Parents feel school is unsafe for girls;harassment and discrimination inschools; tensions with host-community; deteriorating security.
Low Attendance Rates and Levels ofMeaningful Learning: These factorsdisrupt learning in school anddiscourage students fromconsistently attending.
Allow students and parents thefreedom to choose locationsthey feel are safe learningenvironments.
Lack of Support toAddress RefugeesSpecial Needs
Students struggle with adapting tonew curriculum; students can'tunderstand language of instruction(English and French); studentsstruggle coping with trauma anddistress; students fall behind peersfrom the host-country.
Low Levels of Meaningful Learning:These factors inhibit students fromsucceeding in school, which leads toincreased drop-out-rates, greaterfrustration, and loss of hope andmotivation.
Reach vulnerable students.Provide psychosocial support,language learningopportunities, catch-up classes,local supervisors, virtualmentors and community andparent support.
Barriers to Accessing Quality Education Amongst Syrian School-AgedRefugees in Lebanon and Jordan According to UNHCRs 3RP for 2015-2016
Smartphone SchoolsPreliminary Needs Assessment in Sida, Lebanon
Surveyed parents and youth, both attending / not-attending school
Survey in SyrianSchool
Small Focus Groups ina Shelter
What we learned from our Survey Results
13 out of 19 parents said they didnot currently live close to a school.
Key Barriers to Formal Schooling
While school costs about $50USD/month, most parents can only pay
$25 USD/month for 1 child to go toschool.
CAN'T AFFORD COST
SCHOOL IS TOO FAR
Openness to Non-Formal Education
Students indicated they want to learnEnglish, Business, and Finance to help
them get good jobs.
Half of the students said theycontribute to their family income.
WORK TO EARN MONEY
Total Respondent Number: 19 students and 19 parentsAverage age of respondent/adolescent: 13-14 years old
Location: Sidon, Lebanon
Feel mosques, and their home aresafest places for learning outside offormal school, but also open to community center.
Though formal schooling is preferred,the majority of parents said they atleast want their kids to go to school,even if it is not accredited.
If given tools, most parents wouldspend at least 1 hour/day to help theirchild learn at home.
84% of students feel it's extremelyimportant to have a mentors help,10% said it was important, and 6%not important.
Survey Results: Student Use of Technology and Internet
74% of students knowhow to use a computer
68% have at least onesmart phone in theirfamily
53% say they use theinternet once or more
16% use it at least onceper week
STEP 2: IMPACT
Mobile Learning Impacts
Work Backwards: What socialimpact do you want your mobilelearning program to have onparticipants and their communities?
Tip 2Fit for Purpose: Clarify objectivesto be achieved throughtechnology and through socialcomponents1
Cognitive - What do I want my graduates to know? Affective - What do you want your graduates to think or care about Behavioral - What do you want your graduates to be able to do?
Smartphone Schools Program Impact
Amongst Out-of-School Syrian Refugeesand Marginalized Youth
Ages 12-16 in Lebanon and Jordan
By Delivering Non-Formal Educational Toolsthat Empower Students to:
be resilient in their current situation
Increase Access to Quality and Relevant Education
contribute positively to their new communities
actively build a good future for themselves
English Certification - Students will be prepared to successfully take and pass the TOEFLiBT/Junior TOEFL
Social Cohesion - Students will feel a sense of belonging to both virtual andphysical learning communities by interacting, teaching, and serving those intheir communities.
Peace Building - Students will feel a sense of purpose,think for themselves, practice tolerance, value humanrights, and deal with the traumas of war productively
Literacy and Numeracy Skills - Students will learn
7th and 8th grade literacy and numeracy skills in boththeir mother language (Arabic) and in English
Life Skills - Student will learn about how to dealwith new environments and different cultures,personal finance basics, goal setting, basicentrepreneurial computer skills
Empowerment Projects: Solidify Learning by Doing
At the End of Each Curriculum Unit, Students Must Complete a Project Using Critical Thinking Skills
Individual to CommunityCollaboration
Contextual Application:Learner Driven / Meta Learning
Perceptive Writing:Active Learning
Research-BasedInquiry and Reasoning:Collaborative Learning
Virtual Journals Community ProjectGroup Presentation
Problem Solve Individually
Sets Own Goals
Strategize Approach withmentor
Problem Solve as a Group
Formulate Questions andIdentify Resources
Opportunities to Lead
Solidify Learning by TeachingOthers
Apply Lessons to Surroundings
Utilize various modes ofcommunication
Self-Reflection: Relationship toNew Environment
Feedback from Mentor and Peers
STEP 3: TOOLS
Enabling Technology to Achieve Learning Objectives
Asynchronous and Synchronous Technology
Use Effective Learning Principles(Watkins, Carnell, and Lodge, 2007)
1. Produce work based on feedback (Active learning)
2. Collaborate with others (Collaborative learning)
3. Make choices about their learning (Learner-driven)
4. Monitor and review how they learn (Meta-learning)
Student Motivation and Incentives
Leverage GamingPrinciples and
AB Test UserInterface for