2009: A year in review


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An overview of what I did in 2009 as the 21st Century Learning Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation

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2009: A year in review

  1. 1. 2009: A year in review Steve Vosloo 21st Century fellow, Shuttleworth Foundation
  2. 2. I focussed on mlearning Why?
  3. 3. 90% of SA’s urban youth have access to a mobile phone
  4. 4. This has changed the way they socialise, play and communicate
  5. 5. Schools ban mobile phones, press coverage is biased -- opportunities are lost
  6. 6. Very few teachers see the potential of mlearning
  7. 7. But mobile phones are incredibly powerful Web access is increasingly mobile primary Huge potential for learning -- not being exploited So, I did 3 things ...
  8. 8. 1. Raised awareness of mlearning
  9. 9. 2. Documented mlearning
  10. 10. 3. Researched mobiles for literacy 51% Households in SA without a single leisure book
  11. 11. Would our teens read novels on their phones like in Japan? Can mobile phones alleviate the chronic shortage of books?
  12. 12. Kontax: an m-novel • www.kontax.mobi (WAP-enabled phones or computer browser) and MXit • Aimed at 14-17 year olds • Written in English and isiXhosa (world first) • 21 days, 21 chapters • Embedded in a lite social network
  13. 13. >10,000 reads >300 comments >1,500 ideas
  14. 14. “It's great ... for me it really hard to pick up a book to start readin but i don mind readin on my phone” (dotty1) “Awsum :) Im realy nt much of a reader but reading of my phone jst seems alot easier...and co0ler! :)” (Gucci) “Am not a person who reads books,so i only dd this 2 check hw a book on da web wil b like.So its not bad, and am lookin 4ward 2 chapter 2.” (Slize)
  15. 15. "The more exposure you have to the written word [including txtspk] the more literate you become and we tend to get better at things that we do for fun" Beverly Plester, Coventry University
  16. 16. Findings • Most digital writing takes place on mobile phones (but it’s short, like SMS) • Most reading takes place on mobile phones or on paper • Teens want to write their own pieces (poems, lyrics, stories, etc.) • The isiXhosa version was popular • Strong correlation between language choice and communication mode
  17. 17. Coverage and awards
  18. 18. Mobile phones are a viable platform for distributing books and enabling reader participation This removes the barrier of printing costs, putting information back into the hands of the people
  19. 19. Opportunities for 2010 • More stories. There are only 3 m-novels in SA. We need a “mobile library” — full of public domain titles for access via mobile phones • Grow Kontax: more readers and more languages, e.g. !"‫م روا‬ история. A successful m-novel is a powerful way to promote mpublishing • A platform for self-publishing to get teens writing • Invite teachers to use m-novels in the classroom
  20. 20. Contact me email: steve.vosloo@shuttleworthfoundation.org blog: innovatingeducation.wordpress.com slides: slideshare.net/stevevosloo twitter: twitter.com/stevevosloo web: vosloo.net