UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning


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Presented at eLearning Africa, Windhoek, Namibia, May 2013

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  • Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/305425495/sizes/o/ CCMOBILE PHONES (from ITU or GSMA)There are an estimated 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. 3.2 billion mobile phone subscribers.90% of world’s population and 80% of people living in rural areas have mobile coverage.105 countries have more mobile phone subscriptions than inhabitants. Developing countries accounted for more than 80% of the 660 million new mobile subscriptions added in 2011.In 2011, 142 million mobile subscriptions were added in India alone. Mobile broadband subscriptions have grown 45% annually over the last four years. Sales of tablet computers are expected to surpass sales of PCs by 2016.Cisco: There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015 (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/03/world-mobile-data-traffic-to-explode-by-factor-of-26-by-2015/)For the first time in the history of the world, most people can be reached and can communicate with each other.
  • The simple answer is there has been a “fortuitous convergence” Mobile devices have saturated society and they are—based on our research—increasingly relevant to education.
  • Guiding question: How can countries best leverage mobile technologies to support EFA goals and enrich learning?All of this work has provided (and will continue to provide) essential input for the Mobile Learning Guidelines. The guidelines seek to synthesize a great deal of information into a lean document that will be useful to people like you.
  • Note, there is no need to create a new ICT policy for mobile learning alone
  • Many policy makers don’t know about the educational potential of mobile learning, or do know about it but don’t know how to respond.
  • Four versions in total
  • We identified 13 unique benefits of using mobile technologies for learning.Be aware that this was, of course, an exercise in distillation. There are other benefits and even the benefits we separated out are hardly islands; there is a great deal of cross over. For example, it can be argued that a defining characteristic of personalized learning is that it can happen anytime and anywhere. And certainly learning that can happen anytime and anywhere is going to extend the reach of education. With these qualifications in mind though, I think the list is an important starting point for policy makers and others who are asking: “What’s all the fuss about mobile learning?” I think the list highlights the main benefits of mobile learning while also differentiating it from learning facilitated by other, non-mobile ICTs. I only have time to say a few words about each of these 13 benefits, but should you want additional information, the Guidelines themselves are on the internet and can be accessed… well… anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • And now with those benefits in mind…UNESCO has proposed a set of 10 policy guidelines to help perhaps maximize the traction and impact of those benefits. As before, these recommendations are by no means comprehensive and there is also a bit of blurring between them. That said, they articulate how you and your colleagues might like to approach mobile learning and relevant ICT in education policy. Let me briefly provide some explanation for each of the 10 recommendations. Please keep in mind that the actual document is available to you, so no need to scribble notes.
  • But remember: the mobile landscape, as with the educational landscape, is uneven. Varied: infrastructure, costs, handset features, perceptions, literacy levels, etc.Most people buy there airtime here, pre-paid in small amounts.Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zantinge/5467811/sizes/l/in/photostream/ CC
  • UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning

    1. 1. Steve Vosloo Senior Project Officer: Mobile Learning Presented at eLearning Africa Windhoek, Namibia, May 2013 UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning
    2. 2. The mobile revolution
    3. 3. UNESCO is committed to understanding their potential to expand educational opportunities and sharing this information with others.
    4. 4. Our Guiding Question: How can countries best leverage mobile technologies to support the Education for All goals and enrich learning?
    5. 5. UNESCO’s work in mobile learning Approach: • Conducting research and disseminating knowledge • Providing guidance to member states • Action projects for pilot testing and capacity building • Convening community Main focus areas/activities: • Policy for mobile learning • Teacher development and mobile technologies • Literacy for women and girls through mobiles • Mobiles for reading • Crowdsourcing for Education for All • Mobile Learning Week
    6. 6. Turning on Mobile Learning in… • Africa and the Middle East • Asia • Europe • Latin America • North America • Global Themes
    7. 7. Mobile Learning for Teachers in… • Africa and the Middle East • Asia • Europe • Latin America • North America • Global Themes
    8. 8. Mobile Technologies for Teacher Development Nigeria: Support the pedagogical practice and content knowledge of English language teachers Senegal: Improve the teaching of science and math in primary schools Mexico: Enhance the teaching practice of Spanish language teachers working with students who speak indigenous languages Pakistan: Develop the professional practice of early childhood care and education instructors working in rural areas
    9. 9. UNESCO’s work in mobile learning Online Complementary Resources Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning Working Papers Series on Mobile Learning Teacher Development: Four Country Projects Mobiles for Literacy Development of Women and Girls Project Mobiles for reading
    10. 10. Why guidelines? • Mobile learning is not being fully leveraged to support education • Pockets of excellence/potential • But very few countries have a coherent plan/national policy, supported by leadership • Very little integration with existing ICT4E policies, which were written in “pre-mobile” era
    11. 11. Continuum of response to mobile learning No response Ignore/watch/ban Engage
    12. 12. Aims of the guidelines: • Raise awareness and put mobile learning onto the ICT in Education agenda. • Promote value and practicability of mobile learning. • Make high-level recommendations for creating policies that enable mobile learning. Primary audience: • Policy makers
    13. 13. Collaboratively produced • Established an expert advisory team with wide geographic distribution • Consultative workshop (2-3 July) • Public input (Aug.-Sep.): responses from individuals in over twenty countries • Meetings with over 15 UNESCO delegations and numerous government representatives
    14. 14. Collaboratively produced • South Korea • India • Thailand • Turkey • South Africa • Nigeria • Mexico • Uruguay • Senegal • United States • Russia • Pakistan • Columbia • China
    15. 15. What is mobile learning? Unique benefits of mobile learning Policy guidelines Complementary resources
    16. 16. Key areas covered BENEFITS Expanding reach Assessment Types of learning Communities Formal/informal PCPD Disabilities System strengthening GUIDELINES Policies Teacher training Content Gender and equal access for all Connectivity Safety System strengthening Leadership
    17. 17. UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning Unique Benefits of Mobile Technologies for Learning Policy Recommendations
    18. 18. 1) Expand the reach and equity of education 2) Facilitate personalized learning 3) Provide immediate feedback and assessment 4) Enable anytime, anywhere learning 5) Ensure the productive use of time spent in classrooms 6) Build new communities of students 7) Support situated learning 8) Enhance seamless learning 9) Bridge formal and informal learning 10) Minimize educational disruption in conflict and disaster areas 11) Assist learners with disabilities 12) Improve communication and administration 13) Maximize cost efficiency
    19. 19. UNESCO Guidelines on Mobile Learning Unique Benefits of Mobile Technologies for Learning Policy Recommendations
    20. 20. 1) Create or update policies related to mobile learning 2) Train teachers to advance learning through mobile technologies 3) Provide support and training to teachers through mobile technologies 4) Create and optimize educational content for use on mobile devices 5) Ensure gender equality for mobile students 6) Expand and improve connectivity options while ensuring equity 7) Develop strategies to equal access for all 8) Promote the safe, responsible, and healthy use of mobile technologies 9) Use mobile technology to improve communication and education management 10) Raise awareness of mobile learning through advocacy, leadership and dialogue
    21. 21. The mobile landscape is uneven
    22. 22. Next steps 1. Readwww.unesco.org/education/mlearning- resources/ 2. Localise to your context, revisit ICT4E policies 3. Provide feedback se.vosloo@unesco.org
    23. 23. Thank you