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Mr Tom Power

Tom Power

Profile summary

Professional biography

Tom leads pioneering research and development projects exploring the use of supported open learning to strengthen Continuous Professional Development for educators. Predicated on a distinctive pedagogic framework, rigorous research, and equitable collaboration, his work addresses the needs of educators serving children from lower-income households in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa—at scale—and has been applied across primary, secondary, and non-formal education, covering a broad range of subjects and skills. Tom works through diverse international partnerships, identifying ‘big picture’ strategic issues whilst dealing with complexity and uncertainty, often helping education decision-makers shift focus from materials and technologies to supporting learning. The impact of Tom’s work is seen through strengthened teaching practices, improved learning outcomes, and new public policies. 

Tom is Deputy Associate Dean, Knowledge Exchange and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

Tom is co-convenor of the Professional Learning and Technology Hub within the Centre for the Study of Global Development, researching the ways in which frugal technologies can be harnessed to improve professional learning for frontline workers in health and education—often in challenging circumstances. The hub emphasizes the social practices, contexts, and purposes which frame professional learning and the use of technology—and seeks to generate actionable evidence and insights on strengthening professional knowledge, practice, networks, and outcomes.

As the Principal Investigator of the 3MPower project (Mobile Learning for the Empowerment of Marginalised Mathematics Educators), Tom is leading an international research team exploring the at-scale use of mobile learning for Continuing Professional Development in numeracy teaching, by primary teachers in Bangladesh. The study is particularly concerned with issues of equity and impact in relation to gender, rurality, and mobile learning.

Previously, Tom led a collaborative research project with voluntary sector organisations in Zimbabwe—World Vision and Care International—exploring how community volunteers were mobilised and supported via their mobile phones, to set up community learning initiatives for children affected by Covid-19 school closures. (See report and blog).

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)CentreFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

The ‘trainer in your pocket’: mobile phones within a teacher continuing professional development (CDP) program in Bangladesh (2013)
Walsh, Christopher S.; Power, Tom; Khatoon, Masuda; Biswas, Sudeb Kumar; Paul, Ashok Kumar; Sarka, Bikash Chandra and Griffiths, Malcolm
Professional Development in Education, 39(2) (pp. 186-200)


English in action: school based teacher development in Bangladesh (2012-12)
Power, Tom; Shaheen, Robina; Solly, Michael; Woodward, Clare and Burton, Sonia
Curriculum Journal, 23(4) (pp. 503-529)


Towards a new architecture for teacher professional development in South Sudan (2012)
Power, Tom
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6(4) (pp. 368-379)


Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning in Bangladesh: teacher perspectives (2010-11)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3) (pp. 201-215)


The classroom in your pocket? (2007-09)
Power, Tom and Thomas, Rhodri
Curriculum Journal, 18(3) (pp. 373-388)


Deep impact: a study of the use of hand-held computers for teacher professional development in primary schools in the Global South (2004-03)
Leach, Jenny; Patel, Rakhee; Peters, Alexis; Power, Thomas; Ahmed, Atef and Makalima, Shumi
European Journal of Teacher Education, 27(1) (pp. 5-28)


An Evaluation of Computer Aided Learning (BRAC-CAL) in Secondary Schools in Bangladesh. (2017-08)
Power, Tom; Babu, Rasel and Chowdhury, Tanjeeba
Pasha, Altamas ed.
Research Monograph Series
Publisher : BRAC Research and Evaluation Division | Published : Dhaka, Bangladesh


Educational Technology Topic Guide (2014-10)
Power, Tom; Gater, Rosalind; Grant, Catherine and Winters, Niall
HEART Topic Guides
Publisher : The Health & Education Advice & Resource Team (HEART) | Published : London


Effecting Change Within and Across a National Education System (2019)
Power, Tom; Eyres, Ian and McCormick, Robert
In: Eyres, Ian; McCormick, Robert and Power, Tom eds. Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale. Lessons from Bangladesh (pp. 1-6)
ISBN : 978-1-3500-4347-3 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London


Approaches to Teacher Professional Development in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries. (2019)
Power, Tom
In: Eyres, Ian; McCormick, Robert and Power, Tom eds. Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale. Lessons from Bangladesh. (pp. 47-65)
ISBN : 978-1-3500-4347-3 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London


The EIA approach to Teacher Development (2019)
Power, Tom
In: Eyres, Ian; McCormick, Robert and Power, Tom eds. Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale. Lessons from Bangladesh. (pp. 67-78)
ISBN : 978-1-3500-4347-3 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London


The 'new' new technology: exploiting the potential of mobile communications and open educational resources (2013)
Power, Tom
In: Moon, Bob ed. Teacher Education and the Challenge of Development:a global analysis. Education, Poverty and International Development (pp. 212-226)
ISBN : 978-0415600712 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Mobile technologies: current practice, future possibilities (2009)
Power, Tom and Sankale, James
In: Vrasidas, Charalambos; Zembylas, Michalinos and Glass, Gene V. eds. ICT for education, development and social justice. Current Perspectives on Applied Information Technologies (pp. 123-146)
ISBN : 9781607520221 | Publisher : Information Age Publishing | Published : Charlotte, NC. USA


Is there a role for information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the education and development or disadvantaged rural communities? (2009)
Power, Tom; Porteus, Kimberley; Ramadiro, Brian; Thsume, Nomakholwa; Makalema, Shumi and Thomas, Rhodri
In: Vrasidas, Charalambos; Zembylas, Michalinos and Glass, Gene V. eds. ICT for Education, Development and Social Justice (pp. 85-102)
ISBN : 9781607520221 | Publisher : Information Age Publishing | Published : Charlotte, NC, USA


Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale: Lessons from Bangladesh (2019)
Eyres, Ian; McCormick, Robert and Power, Tom eds.
ISBN : 978-1-3500-4347-3 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London


Changes in teaching and learning: what counts, who to, and how is it counted? (2015-09)
Power, Tom; Mathew, Rama and Siddique, Ashraf
In : Learning for Sustainable Futures. Making the Connections. (15-17 Sep 2015, Oxford)


Evaluating classroom practice: a critical analysis of approaches to evaluation in large scale teacher education or education technology programmes, in international development contexts (2014-11-18)
Power, Tom and McCormick, Robert
In : 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICER 2014) (17-19 Nov 2014, Seville, Spain) (pp. 1269-1275)


Educational technology: evidence of impacts on teaching and learning. Findings and recommendations from the DFID Topic Guide on Educational Technology, 2014. (2014-09-16)
Power, Tom
In : Education, Technology and Women. Key Issues in Development. (16-17 Sep 2014, Dhaka, Bangladesh) (pp. 12-13)


Supporting development through improving English language teaching and learning in Bangladesh (2014-09-09)
Power, Tom and Erling, Elizabeth
In : British Association for International and Comparative Education Conference (8-10 Sep 2014, Bath)


Teacher education, mobile learning, and the challenges of scale (2014-02)
Power, Tom
In : Teacher Educator Conference 2014 (TEC 14) (21-23 Feb 2014, Hyderabad)


How to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of m-Education Innovation through sustainable delivery, during and after funded support? (2013-10)
Power, Tom
In : 3rd Annual mEducation Alliance International Symposium: Commit Fair for Project Scaling (15-16 Oct 2013, Washington, DC, USA)


From education to health: lessons from cross-disciplinary teaching, research and development activity, in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (2013-09)
Power, Tom; Long, Lesley Anne and Eyres, Ian
In : 12th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development: Education and Development Post 2015: Reflecting, Reviewing, Re-visioning (10-12 Sep 2013, Oxford, UK)


Assessing the impact of large-scale teacher professional development (TPD) in Bangladesh: English in Action (EIA) (2013-04-30)
Shaheen, Robina; Walsh, Christopher; Power, Tom and Burton, Sonia
In : American Educational Research Association (27 Apr - 01 May 2013, San Francisco, California)


Using mobile phones to support ELT in Bangladeshi schools (2012-03-22)
Power, Tom; Walsh, Christopher and Hedges, Claire
In : 46th Annual International IATEFL Conference and Exhibition (19-23 Mar 2012, Glasgow)


Low cost mobile phones for large scale teacher professional development in Bangladesh (2012)
Walsh, Christopher S.; Shaheen, Robina; Power, Tom; Hedges, Claire; Katoon, Masuda and Mondol, Sikander
In : 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2012) (15-18 Oct 2012, Helsinki, Finland)


Going digital on low-cost mobile phones in Bangladesh (2011-11)
Walsh, Christopher and Power, Tom
In : Annual International Conference on Education & e-Learning (EeL) (07-08 Nov 2011, Singapore)


Transforming English language learning in rural classrooms: OERs, mobile technologies and scale (2011-05-25)
Power, Tom; Umar, Abdurrahman and Hedges, Claire
In : eLearning Africa: 6th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training (25-27 May 2011, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)


IT and English teaching: example from Bangladesh (2011-05)
Power, Tom
In : International Conference on Improving the Quality of Secondary Education (10-12 May 2011, New Delhi, India)


Rethinking Development and the Use of Mobile Technologies: Lessons from Bangladesh (2011)
Walsh, Christopher and Power, Tom
In : Global Learn Asia Pacific 2011 (28 Apr - 01 May 2011)


Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning to the English language classroom in Bangladesh (2010-11-25)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
In : The Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (24-28 Nov 2010, Kochi, India)


Mobile technologies for (English) language learning: An exploration in the context of Bangladesh (2010-03)
Power, Tom and Shrestha, Prithvi
In : IADIS International Conference: Mobile Learning 2010 (19-21 Mar 2010, Porto, Portugal)


Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning to the English language classroom in Bangladesh (2010)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
In : 4th International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention (IMETC 2010) (26-29 Sep 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Is there a role for mobile technologies in open and distance language learning? An exploration in the context of Bangladesh (2009-06-24)
Power, Tom and Shrestha, Prithvi
In : 8th International Language and Development Conference (23-25 Jun 2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh)


Equipping Language Educators at Scale: Open Educational Resources and Institutional Collaboration for Professional Development and Practice (2009-06-24)
Power, Tom; Deane, Michele and Hedges, Claire
In : 8th International Language and Development Conference (23-25 Jun 2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh)


In the palm of your hand: supporting rural teacher professional development and practice through the use of mobile phones and other handheld digital devices (2007-04-20)
Power, Tom and Sankale, James
In : Meraka Innovate Conference (18-20 Apr 2007, Pretoria, South Africa)


Using suites of free refurbished computers may cost over four times more than buying and using ‘state of the art’ learning technologies (2006-09-07)
Power, Tom
In : British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2006 (6-9 Sep 2006, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)


mLearning: the classroom in your pocket? (2006-09)
Power, Tom and Thomas, Rhodri
In : British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference (3-6 Sep 2008, Warwick, UK)


4D Technologies: appropriating handheld computers to serve the needs of teachers and learners in rural African settings (2005-10)
Leach, Jennifer; Power, Tom; Thomas, Rhodri; Fadani, Xolisa and Mbebe, Andile
In : mLearn 2005 (25-28 Oct 2005, Cape Town, South Africa)


Building teachers' professional knowledge through ICT: experience and analysis across the digital divide (2002-09-13)
Leach, Jenny; Moon, Bob and Power, Tom
In : European Conference on Educational Research (11-14 Sep 2002, School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)


ICT and the building of professional knowledge: Experience in different African contexts (2002-08-01)
Kwelemtini, A.; Leach, J. and Power, T.
In : 2nd Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning : Open Learning: Transforming Education for Development (29 Jul - 2 Aug 2002, International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa)


Introduction. Resource Pack to Support Remote Learning (2022-01)
Power, Tom
UNICEF & The World Bank


Print. Resource Pack to Support Remote Learning (2022-01)
Hedges, Claire and Power, Tom
UNICEF & The World Bank


Digital. Resource Pack to Support Remote Learning (2022-01)
Power, Tom and Hedges, Claire
UNICEF & The World Bank


Mobile. Resource Pack to Support Remote Learning (2022-01)
Power, Tom and Hedges, Claire
UNICEF & The World Bank


Community Help for Inclusive Learning and Development (CHILD): A Study of How Mobile Phones Were Used to Recruit and Equip Community Volunteers to Support Children’s Learning During Covid-19 School Closures in Zimbabwe. (2021-02-04)
Power, Tom; Buckler, Alison; Ebubedike, Margaret; Tengenesha, Martha; Jama, Mbuso; Ndlovu, America; Mukoyi, Jane; Ndou, Mashudu and Mubaira, Simbarashe
The EdTech Hub, London.


A Quasi-Experimental Study of the Classroom Practices of English Language Teachers and the English Language Proficiency of Students, in Primary and Secondary Schools in Bangladesh (2017-09-01)
Power, Tom; McCormick, Robert and Asbeek-Brusse, Elsbeth
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


How are English language teachers supported to develop professional knowledge and practice, within their schools? Qualitative Study (2017)
Power, Tom; Mathew, Rama and Griffiths, Malcolm
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


English Speaking and Listening Assessment Project - Baseline. Bangladesh (2016-03)
Power, Tom; Cullen, Jane; Woodward, Clare; Mathew, Rama; Payler, Jane and McCormick, Robert
The British Council, Dhaka.


Classroom Practices of Primary and Secondary Teachers Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Burton, Sonia; Siddique, Ashraf and Rahman, Shajedur
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka.


English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Teachers and Students Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Siddique, Ashraf; Burton, Sonia and Rahman, Shajedur
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka.


English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Students Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) Large-Scale Quantitative Study (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Siddique, Md. Ashraf; Burton, Sonia and Rahman, Md. Shajedur
English in Action


English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Teachers and Students Participating in English in Action: Second Cohort (2013) (2014-12)
Eyres, Ian; Power, Tom; McCormick, Robert and Burton, Sonia
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Synthesis Report: Evidence of the Relationship between English and Economic Gain in Bangladesh (2014-12)
Erling, Elizabeth and Power, Tom
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Classroom Practices of Primary and Secondary Teachers Participating in English in Action: Second Cohort (2013) (2014)
Woodward, Clare; Burton, Sonia; Power, Tom; McCormick, Robert and Siddique, Md. Ashraf
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Learning from BSF: Lessons from the Basic Services Fund, South Sudan, 2006 to 2012 (2013-02)
Johnson, Richard; Ockelford, Jeremy and Power, Tom
Department for International Development


Scoping Mission for an English Language Training (ELT) Programme in South Sudan. Final Report (2011-07-28)
Power, Tom and Simpson, John
Department for International Development, Cambridge, UK.


DEEP IMPACT: an investigation of the use of information and communication technologies for teacher education in the global south: Researching the issues (2006-02-23)
Leach, Jenny; Ahmed, Atef; Makalima, Shumi and Power, Tom
Department for International Development (DFID), London, UK.