Why mobiles in learning?


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Presentation given at 2012 UNESCO & CoSN International Symposium on mLearning: Exploring the Power of Mobility to Transform Learning. 5 March, Washington DC,USA.

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  • Purposefully broad definitionAnywhere, anytime learningFocus is on mobility, not technologyNot just learning, but education support (administration, EMIS, data capture, etc.)For UNESCO, much of the focus is on mobile phones – given their pervasivenesshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ict4d/3000017623/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Already in the hands of teachers and students (not so much an issue of access as effective use)Fundamentally influenced how people communicateHow young people socialise, play, stay in touchSo important in “life” but not in learning?http://www.flickr.com/photos/40042565@N06/3680270679/sizes/z/in/photostream/
  • Cool. “It’s my life” (self-maintained)IntimateFamiliar"Kids think of phones as an extension of themselves in a way that they don't think of with laptops or workstations. Part of what you have is this intellectual partnership with your cellphone where you do some of the thinking, and your cellphone does some of the thinking, and then you're smarter.” Chris Dede (http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2012/02/08/02mobile.h05.html)http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwanja/3169449999/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Only viable option to reach some peopleOnline via mobile first and/or only for many peopleUJ: 645 pre-service teachers: 50% have not touched a PC, all have mobiles UNESCO/Nokia Pakistan literacy projectYoza Cellphone Storieshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/6672085355/
  • Quick access to informationAbility to create content, interact, share – participate in information societyLearning becomes socialOpportunity to develop 21st century skills of online communication, negotiation, critical reading and thinkinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/27048731@N03/5003262681/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Not just fun, cool, novelSupport reading and writingImproving math scoresIncrease motivation to learnVirtual teaching, learning and tutoringFormative assessment and also immediate and rich feedbackConnecting formal, non-formal and informal learningPersonalised and self-directed learningCheap and immediate field reportingSave communication costs for schoolsSlowly, but very surely, the evidence is buildinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stevevosloo/4918829341/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Sending out administrative alerts (cheaper and quicker)Allowing data capture and self-reporting from the field (cheaper and quicker)Virtual tutoringAlternative: posting letters, making individual calls, not making contact, sending officers to individual schools to collect datahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/praetoriansentry/5736036590/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • DISTRACTING and DISRUPTIVENot everyone has the same phone - inequityCostLack of standardsLack of contentOnline safety, privacy, health questionsToo much screen time?Lack of teacher traiininghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/secretlondon/3376852895/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Global education crisisGlobal recessionMany countries won’t reach EFA goalsWhile mobiles will NOT save education we MUST fully exploit how they can improve education access, quality and equityBan / Ignore / Engagehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/2366493563/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Why mobiles in learning?

    1. 1. Why mobiles in learning?Steve VoslooCoSN UNESCO International Symposium on Mobile LearningWashington DC, 5 March 2012
    2. 2. What are mobiles?
    3. 3. Why? Mobiles are in peoples’ hands
    4. 4. Why? Mobiles are personal
    5. 5. Why? Reaching the unreached
    6. 6. Why? Mobiles are (increasingly) connected
    7. 7. Why? Mobiles support education
    8. 8. Why? Cheaper (and often more effective)than the alternative
    9. 9. Why NOT mobiles in learning?
    10. 10. Why mobiles in learning?
    11. 11. Thank youtinyurl.com/unescomobilelearningse.vosloo@unesco.org@stevevosloo