Trainer in Your Pocket, an initiative from The Open University’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS), has been selected as one of the top 15 EdTech innovations in Bangladesh by HundrED, an organisation that highlights impactful and scalable EdTech innovations. Since the initiative's launch, over 54,000 teachers have used Trainer in Your Pocket to improve children’s learning, reaching 7.4 million students in Bangladesh.
Trainer in Your Pocket provides videos of authentic classroom practices filmed in local Bangladeshi schools to teachers through mobile phones. Teachers can use the videos anytime, at home or work, on their own and with their peers, which allows them to observe effective teaching in similar classrooms and improve their support of children’s learning.
Prof Tom Power, Professor of Education, Pedagogy & Development, said: “This is wonderful recognition for the innovation and impact of the ‘Trainer in Your Pocket’ which we developed through the English in Action project. When this work began, no one really knew how affordable mobile technologies could be used to help English Language Teachers learn to teach more effectively or how the technology could work sustainably in remote rural schools. The combination of supported open learning—local support for teacher development within and between schools, combined with digital professional development resources on teachers’ mobile phones—has proven to be an effective and scalable approach to teacher development, leading to wider impacts and further innovations within and beyond Bangladesh.”
Claire Hedges, Centre Manager for the Centre for the Study of Global Development (CSGD) said: “Trainer in Your Pocket is a strong example of CSGD values in the way that it respects and values the experience, skills and knowledge of teachers and is context sensitive.”
Millions of teachers worldwide need help to improve the quality of teaching, but there are not enough ‘expert’ trainers to meet this need directly. Trainer in Your Pocket replaces ineffective one-off teacher professional development (TPD) workshops with ongoing support. Teachers can view real-life examples of how they can make learning more effective via small changes that can make a big difference over time. The Bangladeshi Government now uses video in at-scale TPD courses on its national eLearning platform.
The initiative was developed as part of the English in Action project. Prof Tom Power and Claire Hedges from CSGD led The Open University’s contribution in a collaboration led by Cambridge Education and funded by UK aid.