Online Professional Development Changing Education Perceptions and Practices in Namibia

Through the USAID/Namibia-funded Initiative for Namibian Education Technology (iNET), dot-EDU is providing professional development to Namibian teachers using online education.

Screen shot of wide world website Through access to the web-based Teaching to Standards with New Technologies (TSNT) course and asynchronous communication with instructors and peers, Namibian teachers in the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) are learning how to use technology to improve their education abilities.

NIED Teachers Experience Online Learning
Teachers throughout Namibia have taken TSNT and have already been implementing the lessons into their work. Gisele Siririka, Education Officer responsible for Broad Curriculum at NIED, says that the course has changed her perceptions about ICT and education.

Two Namibian teachers, Gisela and Isabel, discussing an online activity. TSNT has been the first online professional development activity for all participants. While requiring some adjustment at first to this new working style, the general feeling of the graduates is summed up by Gonnie Kruger, Senior Education Officer for Broad Curriculum: What excites me is that we can look at the course and realise how many new insights we gain about curriculum issues. Many of us want to subscribe to another online course after this one!

Teaching to Standards with New Technologies (TSNT)
This six-session course focuses on how to integrate technology into curriculum and assessment to improve student learning. As part of the course, each participant develops or refines a curriculum unit based on Namibian standards and available technology resources.

Focused on the practical applications, the course includes a section on the "HOW, WHEN, and WHY" of technology integration to enhance students' understanding within the context of specific teaching and learning objectives.

These courses require the educators to work through an online/web-based environment. They interact with their peers asynchronously, through a bulletin board, with each participant's picture shown with his/her contribution. The online environment allows teachers the flexibility to access the course at any time throughout the day or night and also keep track of ongoing discussions with their peers.

WIDE World: online education
WIDE World, a project of Project Zero (PZ) and the Educational Technology Center (ETC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), developed and delivers Teaching to Standards with New Technologies and a number of other online professional development courses for teachers.

iNET: Transforming Namibian Education through technology
The overall goal of the iNET activity is to strengthen the teaching capacity in Namibia through improving the technological resources of the National Institute for Educational Development. Activities include:
  • Revamping existing Teacher Resource Centers housed near teacher training colleges in the towns of Windhoek, Ongwediva, Rundu, and Katima.
  • Networking all 13 regional education offices of the Ministry of Basic Education, Sport, and Culture (MBESC), in order to increase access to educational data and inform policy development and planning.
  • Establishing networked computer labs in the Colleges of Education. These labs will include peripherals and Internet connectivity.
iNET is implemented by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and is a follow-on activity to the Computer Assisted Teacher Training (CATT) project implemented under USAID's LearnLink Initiative.

dot-EDU was awarded the iNET Project on February 2003 for 24 months (Award No. under the dot-EDU Leader Award No: 520-A-00-02-00109-00).

For More Information, Contact:
Kelly Morphy
Senior Program Officer, dot-EDU/Technology Center
Academy for Educational Development
Tel: 202 884-8706

Field: Perien Boer
Deputy Director, iNET Namibia
Academy for Educational Development

Related DOT-COM Activity
Namibia - Initiative for Namibian Education Technology (iNET)
Related DOT-COMments Newsletter Articles
Related Links
  • NAWA (USAID Namibia Newsletter)
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Click on Academy for Educational Development (AED) logo to visit AED
Click on Educational Development Center (EDC) logo to visit EDC
Core funding for the DOT-COM Alliance is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade, Office of Infrastructure and Engineering (EGAT/OI&E), Office of Education (EGAT/ED), and Office of Women in Development (EGAT/WID), under the terms of Award numbers: GDG-A-00-01-00009-00, dot-GOV; GDG-A-00-01-00014-00, dot-ORG; GDG-A-00-01-00011-00, dot-EDU.
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