EDC, through the USAID Global Book Alliance in Action (GBAIA) program, is delighted to work with the Global Digital Library to provide interactive audio instruction (IAI) to children across the world currently affected by COVID-19-related school closures.
Interactive audio instruction is not new. EDC has been designing and developing IAI programs for over 30 years, reaching more than 100 million learners in over 25 countries. EDC’s collection of IAI materials are now finding new purposes in a time when parents and educators are seeking creative solutions for students to learn at home during the pandemic.
Historically delivered via radio, the IAI programs are much more than just radio shows. The episodes, or lessons, contain instructions that guide teachers and students to targeted learning outcomes and create situations to maximize interactivity—between teachers and students, between students and the IAI program characters, and among students themselves. The lessons, while possible to execute without additional support, can be enhanced by teacher guides, pupil workbooks, and other materials.
In addition to radio broadcasts, IAI programs have been loaded onto MP3 players and recorded on CDs and cassette tapes. Now, they are available online, accessible on mobile phones, tablets, and computers in connected classrooms, making IAI a highly flexible and accessible modality.
Originally designed for school use, IAI can also be used at home. Parents, older siblings, or other caregivers can use the materials and act as the teacher, providing a free and accessible way to help mitigate the loss of literacy and learning due to school interruptions.
On a larger scale, governments and nonprofit organizations can download the materials and broadcast them over radio networks to reach children in areas with low or non-existent Internet connectivity.
Once schools reopen after the current crisis, IAI materials can to be used in classrooms to improve tutoring and help children catch up.
EDC is excited to support GDL Radio as well as the wider Global Digital Library to make high-quality learning materials available to all. EDC encourages governments, implementing partners, community members, and parents to access these materials to help children learn to read during these challenging times.
|Simon James is an international development practitioner who has worked on a variety of formal and nonformal education projects. He is currently the chief of party of the GBAIA project.|