mobile technology

Using mLearning and MOOCs to Understand Chaos, Emergence, and Complexity in Education

Posted by ccarlon on Dec 08, 2011
Using mLearning and MOOCs to Understand Chaos, Emergence, and Complexity in Education data sheet 603 Views
deWaard, Abajian, Gallagher, Hogue, Keskin, Koutropoulos, and Rodriguez
Publication Date: 
Nov 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

In this paper, we look at how the massive open online course (MOOC) format developed by connectivist researchers and enthusiasts can help analyze the complexity, emergence, and chaos at work in the field of education today. We do this through the prism of a MobiMOOC, a six-week course focusing on mLearning that ran from April to May 2011. MobiMOOC embraced the core MOOC components of self-organization, connectedness, openness, complexity, and the resulting chaos, and, as such, serves as an interesting paradigm for new educational orders that are currently emerging in the field. We discuss the nature of participation in MobiMOOC, the use of mobile technology and social media, and how these factors contributed to a chaotic learning environment with emerging phenomena. These emerging phenomena resulted in a transformative educational paradigm.


The Effectiveness of M-Health Technologies for Improving Health and Health Services: A Systematic Review Protocol

Posted by VivianOnano on Sep 30, 2011
The Effectiveness of M-Health Technologies for Improving Health and Health Services: A Systematic Review Protocol data sheet 1620 Views
Free,Caroline; Gemma Phillips; Lambert Felix; Leandro Galli; Vikram Patel; Philip Edwards.
Publication Date: 
Oct 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The application of mobile computing and communication technology is rapidly expanding in the fields of health care and public health. This systematic review will summarise the evidence for the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions for improving health and health service outcomes (M-Health) around the world.


To be included in the review interventions must aim to improve or promote health or health service use and quality, employing any mobile computing and communication technology. This includes:

(1) interventions designed to improve diagnosis, investigation, treatment, monitoring and management of disease;

(2) interventions to deliver treatment or disease management programmes to patients, health promotion interventions, andinterventions designed to improve treatment compliance; and

(3) interventions to improve health care processes e.g. appointment attendance, result notification, vaccination reminders.


A comprehensive, electronic search strategy will be used to identify controlled studies, published since 1990, and indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Global Health, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, or the UK NHSHealth Technology Assessment database. The search strategy will include terms (and synonyms) for the following mobile electronic devices (MEDs) and a range of compatible media: mobile phone; personal digital assistant (PDA); handheld computer (e.g. tablet PC); PDA phone (e.g. BlackBerry, Palm Pilot); Smartphone; enterprise digital assistant; portable media player (i.e. MP3 or MP4 player); handheld video game console. No terms for health or health service outcomes will be included, to ensure that all applications of mobile technology in public health and healthservices are identified.


Bibliographies of primary studies and review articles meeting the inclusion criteria will besearched manually to identify further eligible studies. Data on objective and self-reported outcomes and study quality will be independently extracted by two review authors. Where there are sufficient numbers of similar interventions, we will calculate and report pooled risk ratios or standardised mean differences using meta-analysis.


This systematic review will provide recommendations on the use of mobile computing and communication technology in health care and public health and will guide future work on intervention development and primary research in this field.

Lessons from m-Health Projects: The Tech is the Easy Part

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Mar 08, 2011

Adherence reminders, patient data transmission via community health workers, HIV/AIDs info services – mobile phones can be used in a variety of health settings. As mobiles have become cheaper and more easily available around the world, mobile health projects have followed, taking advantage of the devices’ data storage capabilities, information transferring potential, and social networking features.

MobileActive has covered the m-health area extensively as NGOs, aid organizations, and governments continue to launch new projects incorporating ICTs into their work. Organizations like the Praekelt Foundation, which runs multiple mobile health projects, Pesinet, a micro-insurance and community health worker data collection tool, Dimagi, which developed CommCare (a project that helps community health workers promote healthy behaviors in patients), and MoTeCH, a Grameen Foundation project that uses mobiles to send medical advice to pregnant women and young parents along with creating a data managing resource for community health workers, are exploring the potential that mobile technology offers for delivering health care.

Looking at some of these organizations’ experiences, we put together a list of key lessons organizations are learning as they develop m-health projects:

Urban Speaker: Mobile Technology Meets Public Art

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 12, 2010

In New York City's East Village neighborhood last Friday, anyone with a mobile phone could have their words heard across Tompkins Square Park. An art exhibit called "Urban Speaker" allowed participants to call a mobile phone hooked up to an amplifier and loudspeaker, and the resulting messages were immediately broadcast. 

Designed by artist Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena, Urban Speaker is a mix of technology and performance art – participants could either call the number printed on a sign, or use a QR code to get more information about the project. Anyone could call the number and had 60 seconds to speak into a voicemail service, and then the message was sent out over the loudspeaker. Watch Gomez de Llarena explain the project below:

Urban Speaker: Mobile Technology Meets Public Art data sheet 3788 Views
Countries: United States

Mobile Instant Messaging: “Help at the Fingertips of Addicts”

Posted by marlonparker on Jul 10, 2010
Mobile Instant Messaging: “Help at the Fingertips of Addicts” data sheet 2021 Views
Wesley Nitsckie, Marlon Parker
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Date: 
Sep 2009
Publication Type: 
Journal article

An increase in gang and drug activity in South Africa has been causing tension within communities and has a negative effect on society. Treatment and counselling facilities are finding it difficult to cope with the influx of substance abuse cases. Traditional face-to-face counselling and telephone help-lines have come under pressure with this increased demand. This presented an opportunity to use mobile and web technologies to provide advice and support to people impacted by substance abuse problems.

This study indicates how a substance abuse counselling service called Drug Advice Support (DAS) uses technologies such as Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) and social networks to benefit and empower these communities in tension (CiT). The service makes it easy for persons with a mobile device with internet connectivity to access the service.

This paper takes an evolutionary journey through the design and development of the DAS system. It studies how the system evolved as an environment in which DAS was operating and co-developed with citizens in the Athlone Living Lab (ALL). The DAS system started with one advisor advising a few people, to multiple advisors advising as much as 471 conversations during a two hour period. It also shows how the implementation of such a system could be used to aid communities facing other social issues in South Africa and other parts of the world.

Crowdsourcing Critical Success Factor Model

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 09, 2010
Crowdsourcing Critical Success Factor Model data sheet 3102 Views
Ankit Sharma
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Crowdsourcing, simply referring to the act of outsourcing a task to the crowd, is one of the most important trends revolutionizing the internet and the mobile market at present. This paper is an attempt to understand the dynamic and innovative discipline of crowdsourcing by developing a critical success factor model for it. The critical success factor model is based on the case study analysis of the mobile phone based crowdsourcing initiatives in Africa and the available literature on outsourcing, crowdsourcing and technology adoption. The model is used to analyze and hint at some of the critical attributes of a successful crowdsourcing initiative focused on socio-economic development of societies. The broader aim of the paper is to provide academicians, social entrepreneurs, policy makers and other practitioners with a set of recommended actions and an overview of the important considerations to be kept in mind while implementing a crowdsourcing initiative.

Kenya Connected: Mobile Technology is Linking Journalists to Local Sources

Posted by camillakarlsen on Jun 28, 2010
Kenya Connected: Mobile Technology is Linking Journalists to Local Sources data sheet 2409 Views
Camilla Karlsen
Publication Date: 
Jun 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This study explores how news journalists' working conditions are changing in an African developing country due to the growth in information communication technologies (ICTs). The special focus is set on news journalists' use of mobile technology because the rate of mobile penetration in to Africa is so significant these years that the region is actually driving the mobile market’s growth worldwide with a teledensity of over 50%. Although mobile technology has been in the Africa continent for almost two decades it is only within the last two to five years that people have made regular use of these technologies due to recent improvements in accessibility and cost-efficiency.

Interviews with several Kenyan news journalists and other media actors conducted in January and February 2010 were used as the prime empirical data in the study. Thus, to the extent that mobile technology has an effect on the journalistic working process, the following problem statement and research questions served as a guide for this study and were answered in the analysis that drew upon the theoretical framework of journalistic working processes, gatekeeping theory, disruptive technologies, and ICT for development (ICT4D):

•    PS: How do Kenyan news journalists use mobile phones in their work?
•    RQ1: In which ways does mobile technology affect the journalistic working process?
•    RQ2: How does mobile technology affect public interaction with the news media?

The findings suggest that Kenyan news journalists use mobile technology in several ways in their work: they set up interview appointments by calling their sources; they conduct telephone interviews; they record interviews using the mobile phone’s microphone which is particularly useful in conflict-sensitive reporting; they send Internet links to their sources whom can read the online news from their mobile phone’s browser. The consequences of journalists’ use of mobile phones are, for instance, that in the past two to five years mobile technology has linked journalists with sources from Kenya's remote areas and enabled the news media to publish reliable stories which would have been difficult to verify a few years ago. Also, the Kenyan public has gained easy access to the news media, for example by participating in radio call-in shows and the information they provide is sometimes researched by journalists and turned into news stories. The traditional gatekeeper role of the press has changed to fact controller, and it is likely that the public's knowledge contribution can help to promote democracy in the country.

Betavine Social Exchange Needs Your Help!

Posted by SteveWolak on Nov 15, 2009

Would you give 15 minutes of your time for a really good cause (and a chance to win a prize)?

Vodafone has recently launched a new version of Betavine, the open mobile application community. This new version encompasses a pilot project called "Social Exchange", which aims to foster the creation of mobile solutions for problems in the developing world.

The project’s aim is to create a website that brings developers, NGOs and community organisations together in order to develop mobile solutions to some of the difficulties faced by people in the developing world. Your input will help Vodafone to make this worthwhile project into a real success.

By participating in a quick and easy online process, you'll also have the chance to enter a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher or one of two £25 ones. If you are willing to help, please go to the following webpage, which will explain everything you need to know:

Betavine Social Exchange Needs Your Help! data sheet 4203 Views
Global Regions:
Countries: South Africa

Mobile Phones in Human Rights: Reflections from Open Mobile Camp

Posted by admin on Nov 09, 2009

Mobile phones in human rights monitoring is still relatively rare and there are few examples where mobile shave been used successfully in this field. In this video from the recent Open Mobile Camp in New York, three experts are discussing their projects and thinking on the use of mobiles in human rights work.  Nathan Freitas discusses security issues in regard to using mobiles in this field and his project Guardian, Enrique Piraces from Human Rights Watch describes his thinking in regard to the use of mobiles in human rights work, and Emily Jacobi features Handheld Human Rights and the mobile tools that are part of the project.

Mobiles Hidden in Monks' Robes, Part III: Cracks in the Walls

Posted by admin on Nov 06, 2009

This article was written by Emily Jacobi from Digital Democracy. We are publishing her extensive report on Burmese dissidents' use of technology in three parts.  Part I with an overview of mobiles in Burma is here and part II that describes cross-border dissident communications here. All names of individuals have been changed to protect their identity.

Cracks in the Fortress' Wall

It was May 2008 in Thailand,  and Win Tun was anxiously watching his phone. Early May marks the beginning of rainy season, and reports were coming in of a major cyclone hitting Rangoon. A couple of days after the initial landfall on May 2, residual rains had made it to Thailand, and it was clear that Cyclone Nargis - “butterfly” - had destroyed major swaths of land in the Irawaddy delta. Up to 140,000 were missing or dead. Win Tun was worried about his family in Rangoon.

A former political prisoner, he spent 5 years in the infamous Insein prison for democratic activities in university in the ‘90s. When we met in early 2008, he had a sad air to him. Twenty years have passed since since the uprising of ’88, in which he was too young to participate. The exhaustion of fighting for something that seemed so far out of reach was wearing on him. Worse yet, he missed his family but couldn’t return home without bringing undue attention to them or risking another prison sentence.

After Nargis he was lucky. It took three days for him to get through to his family on their mobiles, and he learned they were okay – just upset, like most Burmese, at the government’s negligence of the victims. In the wake of Nargis, international aid groups waited in Thailand and offshore as the government refused to grant entrance to most.

The first few days after the Cyclone, bewildered Burmese in Rangoon stumbled out of their houses to survey the damage. In the streets, monks helped residents clear felled trees and downed power lines. But there were much bigger problems in the delta. Entire villages had been destroyed, and farmland had turned into swamps, contaminated by drowned bodies.

Mobiles Hidden in Monks' Robes

Posted by admin on Nov 04, 2009

This article was written by Emily Jacobi from Digital Democracy. We are publishing her extensive report on Burmese dissidents' use of technology in three parts. Names of individuals in this account have been changed to protect their identity. 

Burma – a modern anomaly

In September 2007, Buddhist clergy in the Southeast Asian nation of Burma (also known as Myanmar) led hundreds of thousands of citizens in peaceful protest against the ruling military regime. Armed with camera phones and limited internet access, they coordinated the largest protests the country had seen in 19 years, and broadcast the story to the outside world. These tools proved so threatening that the Burmese government responded by shutting off all Internet and mobile phone communications for five days. Why is this significant?

Globally, mobile phone penetration has reached an estimated 4.6 billion subscribers by the end of 2009, more than half the world’s population. Yet in Burma, mobile phone usage remains the exception rather than the rule. Government-imposed barriers and prohibitive prices have kept mobile penetration to approximately 1% of the population, a rate comparable to Internet access in the country.

Burma’s technological isolation accompanies the country’s greater political isolation. Ruled by a military dictatorship since 1962, the nation has become increasingly estranged from the global community. Even the name, changed from Burma to Myanmar by the military government in 1989, is disputed around the world as well as among Burmese political groups. Economic sanctions have been leveled against the country by the US and EU for its human rights abuses, and The Economist ranked Burma163 out of 167 countries in its 2008 Democracy Index.

Burma’s ruling military junta does maintain business deals with neighboring countries including China and Thailand, but the nation lags far behind its neighbors economically and technologically.  While there were only 610,000 mobile users in the country at the end of 2008 (1% of the population), India and China were expected to account for a quarter of global mobile penetration – approximately 1 billion subscriptions - by the beginning of the year, according to the ITU. In neighboring Thailand, meanwhile, approximately 92% of the population is covered by mobile telephony.

Compared to its neighbors, Burma’s mobile access seems woefully behind. Despite this, mobiles have played a critical role in crisis moments, such as the monk-led protests in 2007 and in coordinating recovery from the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008.  Additionally, mobile availability in neighboring countries has been effectively harnessed by Burmese groups operating in the bordering countries, where an estimated 3.5 million Burmese have been displaced.