Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning
Title: Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning
Author: Bas Hoefman
Source: Educational Technology Debate
Publisher: infoDev and UNESCO
Date (published): 11/07/2011
Date (accessed): 12/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"The Mobile landscape in Africa has rapidly evolved over the past decade with 380 Million mobile subscribers and 1 million added every week. This growth has been fueled in a large part by the liberalization effort resulting in the formation of independent regulatory bodies and increased competition in the market. This has enhanced numerous grassroots efforts to empower the poor and marginalized by providing access to knowledge through technology, more so a platform for communication. SMS and voice is being used in innovative ways to share knowledge and improve learning among students in Africa.
Technology role out for learning is still stalled by a number of factors in Africa including:
* Poor ICT policy implementation especially in the areas of Health and Education. These two areas are complimentary – will you educate an unhealthy nation?
* Most schools in Africa still do not accept mobile phone possession in classroom or even at school. Aspects of high teacher absenteeism and quality of teachers are still apparent.
* Limited mobile coverage especially in the rural areas which has also led to poor internet connectivity. Mobile operators are always seeking a win-win market situation– how then should we package these programs to make them interesting to the operators?
* Africa is characterized by too many ICT pilots of which most have not materialized to ongoing impact generating programs.
* Technology is powered by Electricity, which is a challenge to most of rural Africa."