BridgeIT was launched in the Philippines in 2003, developed jointly by Nokia and the Pearson Foundation. The first program in the Philippines was also developed in partnership with the International Youth Foundation and with support from the United Nations Development Programme. The program is now being implemented in ten countries worldwide, funded and supported by Nokia and the Pearson Foundation, in conjunction with varying partner organizations in each country. BridgeIT brings teacher training and educational content to teachers and classrooms through mobile phone technology. Each teacher receives a Nokia mobile phone, through which they are able to access and download a variety of educational content and teacher training material. The mobile devices therefore serve two functions: the first being to deliver educational content directly to teachers through mobile networks, the second being to conduct teacher training and allow teachers to connect to one another in a network of support and ongoing professional development.
Educational content in the form of video, audio, and text files are developed and stored on BridgeIT’s server, organized by topic and grade level. A small group of local teachers work alongside the local BridgeIT team to go through this digital content and map it against local/national standards to create accompanying activities. Once the content has been localized, it is uploaded to BridgeIT’s server for BridgeIT teachers to download and use alongside the accompanying lesson plans and activities. Videos and digital content can be downloaded directly to teachers’ mobile phones, TVs, or projectors, and used alongside the lesson plans in the classroom.
A key component of BridgeIT’s model is its comprehensive teacher training program, delivered through a blended model of in-person teacher training workshops and virtual support through mobile technology. Teachers are trained in not only how to use the mobile devices, but also in how to effectively use the technology to engage students. Teachers can also use the mobile phones to take videos of themselves teaching or of their students’ work, and share them on the server with the wider network of teachers using BridgeIT.
Part of what has enabled BridgeIT to replicate effectively has been its approach to forging local partnerships. In each country that it operates, BridgeIT works closely with Ministries of Education and other local organizations to ensure that BridgeIT content and solutions are localized and meeting each context’s specific needs. Content is adapted and developed locally, in the local language, as part of this process.
For more detail on the Center for Education Innovations.