LeighJaschke's blog

A New Generation of Mobile Developers: Mobile Camps in Africa

Posted by LeighJaschke on Sep 11, 2009

In a classroom in Thies in Senegal, two teachers master an educational game on their mobile phones. Ten minutes later, their pre-school group is using the game to recognize number and count to 10. Noumounthi, Tamsir, Khady Coly and Mamadou, computer science students at the University of Thies, designed and developed the game following a recent Mobile Camp in Senegal. The exitement in the classroom helps the team of students understand the power of their new skills in mobile application programming, and what it means to be a mobile entrepreneur in Africa.

Mobile camps may be building the next generation of mobile programmers by helping to develop a new field of study in African higher education. Recent camps have produced tools for social development and provided educators with new skills.

Ghana mHealth Ethnographic Study Shows Promise of Mobiles to Support Community Health

Posted by LeighJaschke on Sep 09, 2009

The recently released mHealth Ethnography Report is an important addition to the growing body of knowledge about the potential for community health initiatives supported by mobile technology. As we have noted before, much of the health care in rural communities is provided by community health workers, largely untrained paraprofessionals. 

The report hones in on the potential of SMS/text messages and voice services accessible via mobile to reinforce outreach services and support for these community health workers.  The authors assess the initial state of information, communication, and mobile phone use for maternal and newborn health in the health sector and the general population in the Dangme West District in the Greater Accra Region.

It indicates that mobile phones are already used by many healthcare workers and by the general population to seek health related information or coordinate related transportation in emergencies.

The study was conducted as a part of the Grameen Foundation initiative to determine how best to use mobile phones to increase the quantity and quality of antenatal and neonatal care in rural Ghana. The Mobile Technology for Community Health (MoTeCH) initiative is a collaboration of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Ghana Health Service, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


September Mobile Events - A Roundup

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 31, 2009

Here are some mobile events for the month of September that we thought are noteworthy and of interest to the MobileActive.org community. If you know of others, please mail us at  info at MobileActive dot org.

Wed Sep 2 – Fri Sep 4: M4Life, Barcelona

mDevelopment, one of the three events at the conference, explores the impact of mobile technologies on economic and social development.

Fri Sep 4: Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Bangalore

Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Camps are local events for people passionate about using mobile technology for social impact and to make the world a better place.

Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Camp in Bangalore includes:

Literacy and Community Empowerment with Mobiles: The Jokko Initiative

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 06, 2009

The number of women in Tostan villages that have abandoned the practice of female genital cutting is powerful testimony of the organization's impact. The tradition is centuries old. “Since 1997, 3,792 communities in Senegal, 364 in Guinea, and 23 in Burkina Faso, as well as villages from three other African countries, have joined other women [who have participated in Tostan's basic education program] in abandoning this harmful practice,” notes the Tostan website.

M-Learning "Go Mobile" Summits Peak Interest across Africa This Summer

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 13, 2009

A key gathering focused on m-learning in Africa took place in Lusaka, Zambia at the end of June. The 3-day leadership summit entitled "Go Mobile! Using Mobile Learning to Teach 21st Century Skills" is one of four events aimed at bringing together stakeholders in education to introduce the idea of m-learning and to demonstrate the possibilities of mobile phones in the classroom.