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. The unique delivery model uses the power of technology to leverage the delivery of appropriate educational programs prepared in conjunction with the 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 13:00 to 16:30. 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 the 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. This is the most important room in the process. It is here that 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 the Western Cape). Although the number of professional development sessions varies across centers, most host three to four sessions per day, four days per 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 through the program. All are intended to last an average of four months.
Every student trainee has his or her own online "mentor" who is responsible for keeping him or her 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 email contact with each one of their students, mentors provide "one-on-one coaching" and individualized attention to students as well as facilitate "chats," tele-conferences and/or tele-debates between students. All student inquiries are answered within 24 hours. In addition, mentors also are responsible for updating course materials, and evaluating student performance.
Online delivery has placed a premium on the need for high quality teaching and learning materials. Realizing this need, the (Spanish) Ministry of Education put together an inter-disciplinary 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 between theory and practical applications, complementary activities and activities designed to reinforce key curricular concepts, and self-, peer- and mentored-evaluation. All materials are available online (yet in a secure location so that they can be accessed by students only) and in "hard" (e.g., CD-ROM, paper) format.
Outside of Spain, as of December 2002 Nicaragua is the only case where the Aula Mentor program has been introduced as a 7-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 the learner more control over the information, and empowers the trainee to set his or her own pace in the learning process. This flexibility has been used with positive results in teacher training and development programs (Hatfield & Bitter, 1994; Mousley & Sullivan, 1996; Lambdin, Duffy & Moore, 1997). These programs use video clips to provide prospective teachers with exemplary models of instructional methods, classroom management, innovative techniques, or 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 the teaching process. The technique exposes the trainees to a variety of model teaching experiences to which they can return whenever necessary. The videotaped lessons also help them become familiar with the classroom experience in a controlled, anxiety-free situation, before they start the field placement. The trainees may also be videotaped during their field experience and the tape is analyzed with the supervisor. Reviewing the tapes, the 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 & Raina (1998) employed an Interactive Television system (ITV) to provide training for primary school teachers. The project is a joint effort between the Indira Gandhi Open University and the Indian Space Research Organisation. It combines two-way video and audio interaction broadcasted via satellite, pre-recorded videotape instruction and face-to-face interaction with facilitators at the remote sites. Through the technology, a larger number of teachers, including those located 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 a very long list of web sites. This list focuses only on websites that are intended to provide assistance to a wide range of teachers in their day-to-day classroom work.The sites have been selected to illustrate the variety of supports that can be provided to teachers through the Web. Some items were complied for TechknowLogia. 
The Best on the Web for Teachers
This web site is like a teacher's library. It 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 offers a message board.
Sites for teachers
A compilation of web sites that have resources for teachers
Offers lessons and interactive activities for specific grade levels
This site compiles materials from the web for teachers and administrators. Materials include: 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 educational resources, free to K-12 teachers and students - over 20,000 resources and 3600 lesson plans.
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, non-profit, and commercial Internet sites. The user can search by general subjects (such as "science"), specific subjects (such as "biology"), and by various key words. The search results provide a brief abstract of the materials. The user can also click on a more detailed description including the grade level of a material, the type of pedagogy used, national curriculum standards that may be addressed by the material, the source, and the cost (most are free but some require payment of a fee.) There is also a link to the website where the materials can be found.
Science Learning Network
A consortium of twelve science museums around the globe is producing high quality inquiry-based k-6 science learning modules that are made available through this site. The topics tend to be related to current events or otherwise of interest of students. Some of the modules can only be used interactively on the Web, but others can be used in classrooms.
Eisenhower Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education (ENC)
This U.S. Government sponsored organization has the mission of identifying 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 material includes the instructional philosophy, the intended audience, sometimes-evaluative information, the publisher, and a link to publisher's Web site.
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
This site is operated by the public radio and television system of the United States. It offers lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany some of its television programs. The programs are expected to engage the 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 re-broadcast a few years later.
British Columbia Ministry of Education:
Special Education On-Line Documents
This government-operated site provides a wide range of resources for teachers having students with special needs. 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, deaf, 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, as well as 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. They can post questions asking for guidance from other teachers and share lesson plans and classroom management strategies. More than 2 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 teachers of mathematics 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 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 and Nina de las Alas. November/December 2000. "WorthWhileWebs." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org