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International Review of Education

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 503–528 | Cite as

Improving student learning via mobile phone video content: Evidence from the BridgeIT India project

  • Matthew Wennersten
  • Zubeeda Banu Quraishy
  • Malathi VelamuriEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Past efforts invested in computer-based education technology interventions have generated little evidence of affordable success at scale. This paper presents the results of a mobile phone-based intervention conducted in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in 2012–13. The BridgeIT project provided a pool of audio-visual learning materials organised in accordance with a system of syllabi pacing charts. Teachers of Standard 5 and 6 English and Science classes were notified of the availability of new videos via text messages (SMS), which they downloaded onto their phones using an open-source application and showed, with suggested activities, to students on a TV screen using a TV-out cable. In their evaluation of this project, the authors of this paper found that the test scores of children who experienced the intervention improved by 0.36 standard deviations in English and 0.98 standard deviations in Science in Andhra Pradesh, relative to students in similar classrooms who did not experience the intervention. Differences between treatment and control schools in Tamil Nadu were less marked. The intervention was also cost-effective, relative to other computer-based interventions. Based on these results, the authors argue that is possible to use mobile phones to produce a strong positive and statistically significant effect in terms of teaching and learning quality across a large number of classrooms in India at a lower cost per student than past computer-based interventions.

Keywords

Mobile phones Education Technology intervention BridgeIT India 

Résumé

Améliorer l’apprentissage des élèves via des vidéos sur portable : résultats du projet indien BridgeIT – Les efforts investis par le passé dans des interventions technologiques censées favoriser l’éducation ont livré peu de données prouvant un succès rentable à grande échelle. Les auteurs présentent les résultats d’une intervention menée via le téléphone portable dans les États indiens d’Andhra Pradesh et de Tamil Nadu en 2012/13. Le projet BridgeIT a fourni un ensemble de matériels éducatifs audio-visuels organisés en un système d’exercices contenant des graphiques. Les professeurs d’anglais et de sciences en 5e et 6e années étaient informés par messages textes (SMS) de la disponibilité de nouvelles vidéos, qu’ils téléchargeaient sur leurs téléphones portables au moyen d’une application libre et montraient à leurs élèves, avec des activités proposées, sur un écran de télévision avec un câble de sortie TV. Au cours de leur évaluation de ce projet, les auteurs de l’article ont établi que les notes des élèves participant à l’intervention s’étaient améliorées avec des écarts-types de 0,36 en anglais et de 0,98 en sciences dans l’État d’Andhra Pradesh, par rapport aux élèves de classes correspondantes non participants à l’intervention. Les différences entre les écoles participantes et de contrôle du Tamil Nadu étaient moins marquées. L’intervention s’est en outre avérée rentable par rapport aux autres utilisations technologiques. À partir de ces résultats, les auteurs avancent que l’utilisation du téléphone portable dans un grand nombre de classes en Inde peut engendrer un impact très positif et statistiquement significatif en terme de qualité de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage, et ce à un faible coût par élève, contrairement aux interventions informatisées précédentes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Wennersten
    • 1
  • Zubeeda Banu Quraishy
    • 2
  • Malathi Velamuri
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Independent ConsultantChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Education, Tech Mahindra FoundationMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Chennai Mathematical InstituteChennaiIndia

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