Using a community engagement ethos, SIAB works with on-the-ground educational and community partners to co-design technology deployment, training and content suitable to the immediate needs of end-users. Using a replicable Design Driven Innovation (DDI) process, the SIAB technology enables facilitators and teachers to make learning relevant to the local environment.
The principles behind the SIAB pedagogy are to make learning relevant, interesting and fun for the learner, to give the learner agency over the learning and content, and to give the learner the skills and tools to learn “how to learn”. These principles drive the training approach for teachers and facilitators, as well as the approach teachers are encouraged to use with SIAB in the classroom.
IADT staff work with partners to monitor, evaluate and support the sustainability of the project, measuring impact on educational participation and learning outcomes in different environments.
Design Driven Innovation, User Needs, Feedback and Iteration
Focusing on a DDI approach, SIAB uses an inclusive and reflexive methodology in direct collaboration with local partners. Teachers and facilitators are trained in the use of SIAB technology and methodology to find creative solutions to local learning needs. High quality, engaging and interactive content can be created in a very short time, using simple content creation apps.
Blended Approach to Content Use and Content
The SIAB approach to content is a blended approach, using the native photographic, video making and audio recording capacity of the iPad to integrate local examples into lessons. Problem posing methods, language experience approaches in the creation of digital stories, as well as game based learning call all be used as tools to enhance learning. Once content is created in the course of a lesson it can be shared and re-used by other teachers and learners.
The focus is on using the device as a tool to learn “how to learn”. Once the learner becomes a creator and author (regardless of literacy level), they have voice and agency, thus building confidence, creative and critical thinking skills, an appetite for and the necessary skills to become an active learner.
The training approach used by SIAB is designed to build digital, literacy and numeracy skills embedded in local lived experiences, involving reflection, critical thinking and problem solving approaches. Training participants are teachers, healthcare workers, facilitators and staff from partner organisations. The focus of training is in capacity building of local partners and participants, and sustainability, building participant’s skills to create the next generation of trainers.
We believe that technology can never replace the teacher; it can only provide a tool to enhance the teachers’ skills. Our training approach is to build on skills that teachers already have and work to teachers’ strengths, and to set up structures where a community of teachers can support and learn from each other, as well as sharing created content and lessons.
At the end of a training workshop participants will be comfortable with using all SIAB kit components: using the iPad, setting up the projection and solar energy components. They will also be able to create quality content themselves or easily import offline content. Most importantly, the training aims to provide ICT self-efficacy; allowing ICT to be used as the powerful enabling tool it can be.
Using a Cultural Historical Activity Theory framework (Engeström, 2014) allows the SIAB team to evaluate outcomes taking into account the complex environments and systems that learning interventions are taking place within.
Assigning roles, responsibilities and duties in the successful implementation of the project is a key part of the training, and ownership of the project is handed over locally at the end of the pilot period. A School in a Box champion is assigned to the project to ensure that any problems are reported back to the SIAB team, and to create a structure to enable participants to share content and skills with each other.
Throughout that period the SIAB team are available to provide remote support, mentoring and troubleshooting. Partner organisations must sign up to a Memorandum of Understanding to allow the SIAB development team to gather data in order to continue to iterate and improve the project.