Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI)

http://bit.ly/17GXlOL

This project’s goal is to bring curriculum and teacher training to least developed countries. This project is implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) , an international NGO. Unlike radio broadcasting, participants must follow questions (like answering questions, having a discussion). Radios are very affordable and require little infrastructure. Broadcasts can reach isolated villages where access to education can be very limited. As the article mentions, schools may have a lack of resources that the program requires ( school supplies, adequate school buildings, etc). Thus, local support and funding is essential because the project will not be able to stand alone. This program has been implemented throughout Africa and South America.  Right now, the program is focused on primary education. For example in Paraguay, there is a math broadcast geared towards 4-6 years old children.  I think another barrier may be how serious the students take the radio programming. As the student get older, the technology may seem “less” exciting and has no authoritative figure. Clearly adequate and consistent teacher training is essential in maintaining order and attention in a class, and there is so much a radio can say. This project actually has mentors to help train teachers, but, as the article mentions, consistent training and time implemented in lessons is a barrier in this project.

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One response to “Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI)

  • daniellekraus

    I think this is a great program and seems like a stepping stone in implementing technology into rural schools. If you’ve read my post on an e-learning program in rural South Africa that implemented Smart Boards to help teach math and science, you can see that one of my biggest doubts was that rural schools would have the infrastructure to use a Smart Board, if they could even afford to buy it. The IRI program uses a much simpler form of technology that is probably already present in rural households and schools. The training for this program would also require less skills with technology, and the radios would be much easier to use than a Smart Board. This program seems like a much more realistic and reachable program for truly rural areas than incorporating Smart Boards into the classroom.

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