Vision and Hearing Screening Tools Pilot Activity in the Philippines

This report documents the outcomes of a study, implemented jointly by DepEd and RTI International, to pilot a set of electronic vision and hearing screening tools that have been successfully used elsewhere, including by teachers. These tools hold the promise for easy administration, even with limited training, and more reliable data, especially when screening for hearing impairments.

Scaling Access & Impact: Realizing the Power of EdTech (Executive Summary)

Omidyar Network commissioned Scaling Access & Impact: Realizing the Power of EdTech to evaluate what might be necessary to enable, scale, and sustain Equitable EdTech on a national basis. We examined initiatives in Chile, China, Indonesia, and the USA that demonstrate how EdTech reached a broad spectrum of students. Download the executive summary to learn more about some of the events, actions, and initiatives that have contributed to the equitable scaling of EdTech as well as help inform policies using the highest-impact interventions.

Vision and Hearing Screening Pilot Activity Brief

On June 21 and 22, 2018, selected teachers, assessors, and medical officers from the Philippines National Capital Region (NCR) and Region-IV A participated in a two-day training to learn how to use electronic vision and hearing screening tools. The trained screeners then piloted the tools from June 25 to July 4, 2018, in a total of eight schools in the country. The activity was a proof of concept initiative that examined the feasibility of using electronic disability screening tools in the local school context. It also investigated how teachers might be trained to serve as effective screeners for students in their classrooms.

Using Mobile Technology for Sensory Disability Screening: Field Experiences from the Philippines

This presentation was delivered in Manila, Philippines on October 15, 2018 at a dissemination event including DepEd, USAID, and other local stakeholders. The purpose of this presentation was to share approaches and lessons learned from the pilot activities that were conducted in June and July 2018 in the Philippines.

Carmen Strigel Presentation on RTI Screening Technology Experiences

Presentation by Carmen Strigel, Director, Technology for Education and Training, RTI International. Delivered at the RTI Panel Discussion "Vision and Hearing Screening in LMICs: Challenges and Opportunities" held Wed, September 26, 2018 in Washington, D.C. For related resources, see also the topic "Assessments" using the "by Topic" link in the menu above.

Mobile resources to promote teacher efficacy in teaching children with disabilities in Ethiopia- CIES 2018 Presentation

CIES 2018 Presentation, given by Carmen Strigel. Under the USAID-funded READ TA project in Ethiopia, RTI, in collaboration with the Ethiopia Ministry of Education and partners, implemented an Assistive Technology Capacity Building Initiative that directly addressed the issue of gaps in teacher development and lack of appropriate materials to better support children with vision or hearing impairment in mainstream reading classrooms. Following a comprehensive needs assessment and collaborative initiative planning with local disabilities experts and educators, we designed an initiative to address teachers’ main barriers in the implementation of inclusive education in Ethiopia. RTI deployed mobile phones with screening tools for vision and hearing, as well as multimedia lesson plans with disability accommodations to 109 teachers in 63 schools in five regions of Ethiopia over a 3-months timeframe. The study included screening of over 3,700 students in the participating regular classrooms and found that over 9% of children had a vision or hearing impairment. This data indicates that vision or hearing impairment affect not just a few children and classrooms, but may be pervasive in nearly every classroom in Ethiopia.

Endline report - Ethiopia Assistive Technology Initiative in Early Reading Classrooms

During 2016/2017, RTI implemented an assistive technology initiative to improve reading instruction in inclusive grade two public school classrooms in 63 schools in five regions of Ethiopia. Project inputs included a smartphone with screening tools for vision and hearing impairment and explicitly accommodated reading lesson plans for reading and writing instruction in mother tongue. The intervention also included a total of 4 days of teacher training and two classroom monitoring visits per teacher. After three months of implementation, teacher attitudes and self-efficacy to inclusive education improved significantly, as did teacher adoption of foundational inclusive practices in the classroom. At the student level, students identified for a potential vision or hearing impairment in intervention classrooms demonstrated similar learning progress compared to their peers without such impairment, although the study found measurable differences in reading achievement between these groups already at baseline. In conclusion, the innovation of using pedagogical support tools on smartphones as assistive technology at the teacher level appeared to have been appropriate for the context of the participating schools in Ethiopia, as well as effective in improving inclusive reading instruction.

READ TA Ethiopia Assistive Technology Capacity Building Initiative - CIES 2017 presentation

This presentation is an overview of the Assistive Technology Capacity Building Initiative (ATCBI) implemented by RTI International under the USAID-funded READ TA project in Ethiopia. The presentation was given by Wykia Macon and Stephen Backman at the 2017 CIES conference on behalf of also Carmen Strigel and Habtamu Mekonnen.

Mobile Learning and Numeracy: Filling gaps and expanding opportunities for early grade learning

The present study on Mobile Learning and Numeracy examines how mobile learning (m-learning) could influence and improve numeracy education at early grade levels (ages 4-10) especially in low-income countries. Key questions to guide the research include: 1) What are the benefits and challenges of integrating mobile learning into early grade numeracy education? 2) What is the role of a teacher with regard to mobile learning and numeracy education? 3) How can the community and the parents actively contribute to/participate in the child’s numeracy education with the use of mobile devices? and 4) How can mobile technology be used effectively in measuring/assessing numeracy gains? The conclusions and recommendations of this study have been informed by an international working group that met over two days during the first International Numeracy Conference in Berlin in December 2012. We would like to acknowledge the following participants of this working group for their thoughtful contributions: Michaela Brinkhaus (BMZ); Dorothea Coppard (GIZ); Melanie Stilz (Konnektiv Büro für Bildung und Entwicklung); Jens von Roda-Pulkowski (KfW); Abigail Bucuvalas (Sesame Workshop); Mr. Kann Puthy (Primary Education Department, MoEYS Cambodia); Edward Barnett (DFID).

Does technology improve reading outcomes? Comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ICT interventions for early grade reading in Kenya

Article published in the International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 49, July 2016, Pages 204–214. Published abstract: Education policymakers are investing in information and communications technology (ICT) without a research base on how ICT improves outcomes. There is limited research on the effects of different types of ICT investments on outcomes. The Kenya Primary Math and Reading (PRIMR) study implemented a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects and cost of three interventions – e-readers for students, tablets for teachers, and the base PRIMR program with tablets for instructional supervisors. The results show that the ICT investments do not improve literacy outcomes significantly more than the base non-ICT instructional program. Our findings show that cost considerations should be paramount in selecting ICT investments in the education sector.