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Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Africa Jenny Leach Open University, UK John Traxler University of Wolverhampton, UK

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Presentation on theme: "Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Africa Jenny Leach Open University, UK John Traxler University of Wolverhampton, UK"— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Africa Jenny Leach Open University, UK John Traxler University of Wolverhampton, UK

2 Our Issue The apparent disjunction between innovation and sustainability Are they incompatible? In Africa, are either achievable?

3 Our Presentation The environment DEEP in South Africa PDAs Working with schools micro teacher training SEMA in Kenya Mobile phones Working through government macro teacher training Discussion

4 Physical Infrastructure 1 Sparsity, vast distances and low densities of population Schools in sub-standard buildings or none at all, –especially rural schools, Poor roads, transport systems and postal services Poor landline phone networks, –unreliable and often unprofitable Poor mains electricity, unreliable and concentrated in towns and cities Little or no Internet bandwidth outside major cities –Often just internet cafes or hotel business centres in cities Very few modern PCs or peripherals in the public sectors –And little user expertise especially in smaller towns and rural areas.

5 Physical Infrastructure 2 Lively and energetic mobile phone networks –Carrying GSM increasingly GPRS The potential for solar power or local generation A regulatory and licensing system in a state of flux High levels of mobile phone ownership, acceptance and usage.

6 Education and Teacher Training Free Primary Education / Education for All –large class size problems attracting and retaining pupils –un-trained or under-trained teaching force with only a limited repertoire of pedagogies –over-centralisation within schools and across the schools sector –shortage of materials for teachers and pupils.

7 Digital Education Enhancement Project Jenny Leach Research Centre for International Research and Development in Teacher Education across Cultures and Societies (RITES) The Open University, UK

8 Study 1 (Funder DFID & Hewlett Packard) 48 teachers in 24 primary schools (12 in Egypt and 12 in Eastern Cape) Participating teachers carried out and evaluated a sequence of curriculum focused, school based professional development activities using a range of resources and new technologies, including lap tops. Use of the HP Jornada 565 Pocket PC in this study was viewed primarily as a source of personal support for project participants.

9 Study 2 (Funder: 28 teachers in 14 rural schools in the Eastern Cape Professional development activities devised specifically for handhelds, orientated towards the Eastern Cape context. E-books developed with the local culture, literature and environment in mind. Each teacher had an iPAQ (including Pocket Excel, Pocket Word, Pocket MSN, i Task, Outlook, Microsoft Reader, Calculate, Games, iPAQ image zone) and professional resources including (science & literacy activities etc e-books)

10 Context and teacher prior experience: Egypt (Study 1) Urban Cairo serving the most disadvantaged communities; Majority of teachers years of age; 50% are female 22 had some experience of ICT prior to the project, but only 3 had used them a lot and only half had used them in their teaching; None had used a handheld computer.

11 Context and prior experience Eastern Cape (Study 1 & 2) Remote and disadvantaged schools; 60% with no electricity; 50% no telephone connectivity; 2/3rds of teachers aged 40-49, over half female; Majority had never used a computer; of the 10 who had, only 5 had used them occasionally in relation to teaching; None had used a handheld computer.

12 The Cairo Experience Handheld seen as useful; 19 used it once a week or more, 3 daily; Majority thought it helped their understanding of the language and concepts of ICT; 9 thought it was of more or equal value to other computers they had used; Home use was the most common although some also used the device with pupils in the classroom.

13 Limitations - Cairo Arabic is teachers home language; Lack of support for Arabic a disincentive for use in writing practices; All teachers mentioned the language issue constrained their use of the device; Functions used most frequently those least language dependent e.g. calculator, games, camera

14 The Eastern Cape Experience Handheld highly popular; Most used it once a week or more, several on daily basis; Majority used device both at home and in the classroom; Several used the device whilst travelling; Majority report it helped their understanding of the language and concepts of ICT; Many thought it was of more or equal value to other computers they had used: I can do anything I may do with other computers

15 Eastern Cape experience Using the hand held gives me information. It is very helpful for preparing lessons at home, because it is easier than writing by hand. I use it for getting and making resources when I get to school – I have used it in recording project information, making notes, recording students language practice..I take pictures and get resources for my lessons.. I use the calculator a lot. It is very educational to my learners… The Jornada is my companion.

16 Limitations - Eastern Cape Data loss due to loss of battery power frequent; Many teachers had to walk considerable distances or work out a system for regular charging at home; Sudden, total loss of precious data devastating for teachers and students.

17 Common misconceptions State of the art computers inappropriate tools for teachers in poor environments; Devices will be stolen or lost; Handhelds will be too complex for teachers to use, especially novice users; Small PC do not lend themselves to classroom use, especially when there are very few devices and many students.

18 DEEPs 4D Technologies Developmental; Democratic; Deep Learning; Dignity



21 Network coverage –Towns –Highways –Coast Pay-As-You-Go almost universal Teachers seem to be early adopters –Digital Links ICT Scoping Study <- population network ->

22 Network coverage –70% of the countrys population in 30% of the countrys area –includes all towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, major roads, borders, coasts and NGO centres. –at a local level coverage still be incomplete and unreliable –pushing into rural areas –per-second tariff appeals to poor –Safaricom GPRS now on both networks and moving to pre-paid

23 Mains electricity –A limiting factor on network expansion Internet connectivity –Practically non-existent Some internet cafés in biggest towns, not in schools or ministries

24 National Organisation INSET zQASO DEO HT KRT gKRT MoEST ID code

25 SMS texting is an appropriate technology for two issues in-service teacher training –& schools census returns

26 Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) Current data collection –Courier, phone, post: slow, error-prone, costly Current data analysis –Non-existent Proposed: annual, termly, monthly


28 The Challenges Universal Primary Education –Massive increase in enrolment implementation of the FPE programme in 2003 resulted in an upsurge of enrolment in public primary schools by over 1 million pupils from 5.84 million to 6.94 million –Educational IS Infant feeding Girl-child marriage Falsified returns Rescue girls –Teacher Training Retention Girl-child marriage Corruption Over-centralised school management Over-crowding »the theme: leading from the middle

29 School Empowerment Programme Appropriate technologies –A/V, print ………..and SMS GPRS, smartphones, SD cards Capacity building –With MoEST Partners –BBC, CEL ….and UoW –Supporting GoK MoEST with DfID Imfundo –Alwan, KIE etc (local producers, developers) Targets –200,000 in-service primary teachers (HTs & KRTs)

30 The SEP Component Study guide –Week-by-week support Content: –hints, tips, outlines, lists, summaries, revision Reminders: –assessment, contact, broadcast, discussion, video, meeting Discussion: –feedback, seminar, query Pastoral: –Support, encouragement Urgent: –cancellation, change Formats include:

31 Peer groups {clubs} Message Database Collabora tion Rules Calendar of SEP events HT Support Group Meeting ; INSET Reviews Cluster Groups QASO –TACs / TAC-HTs EMIS Admin & Reporting SMS Syntax EMIS Database SEP admin & reporting SEP Monitorin g EMIS admin page SEP admin page SEPmonitoring HT KRT 1KRT 2KRT n TAC HT 1HT 2HT n QASO TAC 1TAC 2TAC n DQAS O QASO 1 QASO 2 QASO n SMS, WAP, GPRS WWW {HTTP Access} Ta c HTTC QA SO MoE IT teamSEP admin (sema !) SEP managers TAC KRT 1KRT 2KRT n H HT H The System

32 SEMA registration register # # krt# beatrice maeba#34# f REGISTER # # GKRT # EMILY OMWAKA # 42 # F

33 SEMA activation ACTIVATE #153

34 SEMA convene convene# #HT# #26:05:06 09:00#ENKASITI#ATHLETICS MEETING prison

35 SEMA messages Send#51502#zQASO#Swara na Ndovu haziambatani. Utachonga viasi Send#51502#zqaso#the alleged case is under the police- Ronga and cid hqts. However, records in sch do not show existance of the name. Send#51502#zqaso#the sema system has poor filtering capacity. it works on gigo principle. We started late but we r on coarse. Joj Send#51502#zQASO#wangoru, im still in Rongai. Lets catchup as i land back. Thanks. Joj

36 EMIS FT20 MT30 1B23 1G34 2B12 2G45 3G51 4B15 4G76 5B23 5G100 6B77 6G9 7B42 7G91 8B99 8G11 1S99 Emis 187ft 2MT 8 1b 2 4 1g9 2b 23 2g22 3b3 3 3g 18 b4 45 4g 26 5b 48 4g 34 5b 45 5g 25 6b 49 6g 33 7b28 7g 22 8b 14 8g 8 Emis FT19 MT 4 1B41 1G30 2B48 2G38 3B55 3G71 4B61 4G59 5B61 5G58 6B52 6G60 7B42 7G48 8B42 8G3 EMIS FT13 MT2 1B35 1G36 2B19 2G30 3B31 3G40 4B30 4G48 5B48 5G48 6B37 6G53 7B42 7G44 8B25 8G37 emis ft26 mt7 1b74 1g72 2b97 2g91 3b130 3g124 4b150 4g157 5b128 5g140 6b107 6g130 7b116 7g98 8b78 8g125 EMIS data

37 Concerns Innovation vs Sustainability –Can we have both? Digital Divides: –Other dimensions »What about remote rural areas, women teachers? –Exemplars or equity? Development –Must we re-enact Developed Countries evolution of e-learning or mobile learning?

38 Traxler, J., & Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2005). Mobile Learning in Developing Countries (G. Chin, Ed.). Vancouver, BC: Commonwealth of Learning. Kukulska-Hulme, A. & Traxler, J. (2005) Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, London, Routledge

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