formal education

MobileLed - Mobile-Led and Leading Via Mobile

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 28, 2009
MobileLed - Mobile-Led and Leading Via Mobile data sheet 1515 Views
Ford, Merry; Botha, Adele
Publication Date: 
May 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Historically Africa and it's people have faced many practical problems in their race towards digital inclusion and economic progress, such as a severe lack of infrastructure and resources. However, the advent of the cell phone, is set to become a catalyst for narrowing the digital divide in South Africa and the rest of Africa. In the absence of desktop computers and ubiquitous internet access, the cell phone has the potential to provide an alternative access and participation mechanism for those who have previously been “digitally excluded”. Given their massive adoption and widespread use, as well as the recent technological advances in their computational power, cell phones are ideal substitutes for the personal computer throughout the continent. In 2006 a research collaboration, termed “MobiLED”, was initiated between the Meraka Institute (African Advanced Institute for Information and Communication Technology of the CSIR) and the Helsinki University of Art and Design (Finland). The aim was to develop, expand and integrate cell phone tools, technologies and services into formal and informal learning environments in order to prepare learners for full participation in the knowledge society, towards the acquisition of 21st century skills. Over the past three years it has become evident that many of the initiative's innovations have a wider application than originally envisaged. This paper will discuss the results of the education-related MobiLED pilots and expands on the possibilities of using these as a basis for creating a “MobiLED Toolset” for other sectors.