A digital platform for supervised self-directed learning in emergencies: the case of the Syrian crisis

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Technology, Pedagogy and Education


© 2019, © 2019 Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education. The well-known Syrian crisis has made it very challenging for thousands of Syrian children to have access to education. In this article, the authors propose a framework for designing a digital education platform to allow children inside Syria as well as in the refugee camps in bordering countries to have access to education. The authors start by looking at the efforts performed in the field of education in conflict-affected regions, and they extract from them the lessons learned and recommendations. They provide four main characteristics of war impacting children’s education: (1) insecurity, (2) instability, (3) lack of resources, and (4) lack of adult supervision. They then use these four characteristics, along with the extracted recommendations, as the grounds for drafting three design considerations for the implementation of a digital education platform. The three design considerations are: supervised self-directed learning method, context-aware education and children-oriented design. Finally, the authors use these design considerations to provide design recommendations for the four main elements of a digital education platform: hardware, software, curriculum and supporting services. They conclude by discussing the validity of the digital platform, its implementation feasibility, and challenges facing the implementation.

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