Mobile Learning Technologies as a Means of Maintaining Education Delivery In Crisis Situations

Mobile Learning Technologies as a Means of Maintaining Education Delivery In Crisis Situations

Hoda Baytiyeh (The American University of Beirut, Department of Education, Beirut, Lebanon)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2019070101

Abstract

The disruption of education services during major crises poses a challenge for international agencies, governments, schools, and communities. The article demonstrates a potential role for mobile technologies in supporting continuity of education delivery during temporary school closures caused by such crises. Discussing how school administrators can reduce the impact on students, this article describes an interactive online educational environment and outlines the advantages of available mobile learning devices for this purpose. With proper training, teachers can integrate mobile learning tools in both classroom activities and out-of-classroom learning. The article will be of interest to educational policy makers and school administrators with responsibility for ensuring continued education delivery in the aftermath of major crises.
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2. Maintaining Delivery Of Education Services During Crises

Armed conflict and sectarian violence can severely disrupt delivery of formal education services, with long-term impacts on children’s attainment and on enrollment and retention in schools (Justino, 2016; Valente, 2011). Children’s educational attainment is particularly compromised by exposure to violence; according to Lai and Thyne (2007), armed conflicts reduce educational enrollment across all levels. In regions affected by violent conflict, the threat of kidnapping is a significant impediment to student enrollment and teacher retention and can lead to school dysfunction during active periods of fighting, with sporadic school closures. Additionally, schools may be damaged or temporarily be occupied by displaced people, or they may be used by military or other armed groups (Standing & Parker, 2011). As well as the impact on student safety and educational attainment, school closures and disruption of education delivery mechanisms impact severely on psychological development, including identity development. Students who are at risk of being injured or killed or who are forcefully displaced from their homes and communities and separated from their parents and families may suffer trauma or join militant groups.

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