I. Zualkernan

American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
After analyzing why certain schools systems keep getting better around the world, McKinsey proposed McKinsey’s Staged Intervention Model (MSIM) that classifies school systems into the four capability levels of poor to fair, fair to good, good to great, and great to excellent. For example, school systems in the poor to fair category have low skill teachers and educational managers, and exercise tight and centralized control over teaching and learning to minimize variation between classes and schools. On the other end of the spectrum are schools that have high skilled participants and use loose guidelines for teaching and learning while providing local control to teachers and educational managers to encourage innovation. Each capability level is characterized by a “theme.” For example poor to fair is characterized by the theme of “achieving the basics of literacy and numeracy” while the final stage is themed by “improving through peers and innovation.” Each theme is tied to interventions. For example, the poor to fair theme suggests three interventions; training and scaffolding low performing teachers, getting schools to a minimum quality level, and getting students in seats. Each intervention, in turn, can also be broken down into specific activities. For example, training and scaffolding of low performing teachers can be divided into providing scripted lessons, coaching on curriculum, incentives for high performance, school visits by center, and increasing instructional time on task. In addition to stage-specific interventions, some learning interventions were observed to occur across the various capability stages and include revision of curriculum and standards, and using student data to guide better delivery etc. One key insight from this model is that school systems at various stages of development need to do different things in order to move up to the next stage. This paper uses MSIM to suggest appropriate sets of mobile or m-Learning interventions for each stage of the MSIM. In doing so, the paper provides guidelines on the types of mobile learning interventions that a school system should invest in at a particular stage of their development. An extensive literature review of m-Learning interventions from 2010-2013 was conducted to reveal that a variety of pedagogical approaches like inquiry-based learning, blended learning, problem-based learning, scenario-based learning, social and collaborative learning, seamless learning, game-based learning, constructivist learning, ubiquitous learning and m-learning using remote labs have been proposed. However, the use of each approach needs to be mediated with the stage of a school system. For example, schools in earlier stages may focus on using mobile phones to deliver standardized lesson plans for teachers, and to conduct student learning outcome assessments using multiple-choice questions. Schools systems in the advanced stages, however, may use mobile phones to engage students in inquiry-based peer-to-peer learning scenarios. In addition to pedagogy, governance is another important aspect of the staged model. For example, since the earlier stages require top-down control, the mobile phones can be used to monitor teacher attendance. However, it would be more appropriate for schools in higher stages to setup peer-to-peer mobile networks for teachers to share their individualized lesson plans and to engage in communities of practice.