Mobile Learning in Africa: a case of anonymous SMS


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Mobile Learning in Africa: a case of anonymous SMS

  1. 1. Mobile Learning in Africa: a case of anonymous SMS <br />Dick Ng’ambi<br />University of Cape Town<br />Keynote presented at Mobilefest, Rio de Janeiro <br />26th May, 2010<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Africa & South Africa<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Cape Town, South Africa<br />3<br />
  4. 4. University of Cape Town<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Statistics<br />Africa has the highest quota of mobile phone subscribers per 1,000 inhabitants in the world<br />Estimated that in next 5 years, Africa’s buying of mobile phones will be 550%<br /><ul><li>16% have a home telephone (land line) (down 2% since 2008)
  6. 6. 70 % personally own a cell phone</li></ul>5<br />
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  8. 8. Source:<br />7<br />
  9. 9. Source:<br />8<br />
  10. 10. Source:<br />9<br />
  11. 11. Cell phones bridging the digital divide<br /><ul><li>Provide a bridge for students with poor conditions of access</li></ul>For example a small specific cluster of students<br />From low socio-economic groups<br />Difficult conditions of access on campus<br />Off campus access is difficult or very difficult<br />Poor practical access (share off campus computer with > 4 people)<br />Used cell phones often and for academic purposes<br />Czerniewicz, L & Brown, C (2007) survey of South African university students<br />10<br />
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  15. 15. Project goals<br />To empower ‘silenced’ , ‘dominated’ & ‘marginalised’ voices to become co-producers of knowledge<br />To leverage institutional resources (i.e. computer laboratories) through use of devices already in student hands with which students carry all the time<br />To widen students’ access to peers based on the content of contribution and not on who they are <br />To create a learning evaluation tool that ensures quick identification of students’ learning challenges <br />14<br />
  16. 16. An anonymous knowledge sharing tool called Dynamic Frequently Asked Questions (DFAQ) was designed and developed (by presenter) at the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) at the University of Cape Town (UCT)<br />Some DFAQ features (see later) are being integrated into SAKAI Learning Management System at UCT.<br />15<br />
  17. 17. Anonymity<br />16<br />
  18. 18. Text as expression of thought<br />17<br />
  19. 19. Technology Mediated Expression<br />18<br />
  20. 20. 19<br />Transformation of mind<br />
  21. 21. How DFAQ works<br />Messages are sent to a short code [+27 XXXX]<br />Each DFAQ forum is assigned a code (such as Puc2010). Prefix a message with a forum code. <br />Puc2010 Where is mobilefest 2010 being held?<br /> A successful posting is assigned a unique number, for example 14 <br />User can either answer or comment on a posting or add their ‘voice’ to it.<br />To answer SMS: <br />Puc2010-14 Rio de janeiro<br />To add to an existing posting: <br />Puc2010-14 + How many times has it been held in that city?<br />20<br />
  22. 22. To check on latest answer or comment to a post, send: <br /> Send message:<br />Puc2010-14<br />To read from a forum noticeboard for latest news:<br />Send message:<br />Puc2010<br />To post a message on the noticeboard from authorised mobile numbers:<br />Send message:<br />Puc2010-news Don’t miss Mobilefest at PUC this week <br />21<br />
  23. 23. Other features of DFAQ<br />Any previously posted message can be added to and extended by anyone<br />Users have access to both the web interface (when on campus) and a mobile interface (when away from campus)<br />All messages in DFAQ can be forwarded to a mobile phone<br />DFAQ has been used to address different educational challenges (see below)<br />22<br />
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  29. 29. Uses enabled by DFAQ<br />28<br />
  30. 30. Scaffolding critical reading<br />29<br />
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  32. 32. SMS for exam prep<br />31<br />
  33. 33. Virtual noticeboard<br />32<br />
  34. 34. Open consultation<br />33<br />
  35. 35. 34<br />
  36. 36. Student counseling <br />35<br />
  37. 37. Collaborative memos<br />36<br />
  38. 38. Decision making<br />37<br />
  39. 39. Collective questioning<br />38<br />Aggregation of ideas – mediated my anonymous SMS <br />
  40. 40. Some free SMS<br />39<br />
  41. 41. “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything” <br />Edward John Phelps (1822-1900) <br />Speech at Mansion House on 24 Jan 1899.<br />40<br />
  42. 42. Thank you<br />Contact: <br />Dick Ng’ambi<br />Centre for Educational Technology<br />University of Cape Town<br />South Africa<br />Email:<br />41<br />