+ Research + Teacher Development + Distance Learning + Instructional Design
Making effective use of technology, the team of teachers used Webex, a web-based E-Learning platform to dialogue with Geoff Stead in Cambridge (UK).
"I liked the examples where learners were using mobile phones alongside of their other school work," said Naomi Tempies, Educator and Consultant from Ennerdale, South Africa. Geoff Stead explained that teachers who used a "blended learning" approach was likely to make a big impact when usging mobile phones in the class.
Teachers at these two schools are curently completing the first phase of their preparation for M-Learning projects in their respective schools.
See the short video summary of the summit by clicking here.
29 November 2008
M-Learning is taking its place in Education as more and more teachers are finding creative ways to address literacy problems in South African Schools by using mobile phones.
"One of the striking realities I saw after my arrival in South Africa some four months ago", said Regional English Language Officer from the US Embassy, Mr Eran Williams, "was that you see mobile phone users everywhere."
Mr Williams presented at the recent Reading Association of South Africa conference in Durban where he made a case for responding to the literacy needs by becoming aware of the usefulness of technology in the classroom.
Project Journey to Ramosadi started in the early hours of Saturday morning, 29th November, in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg in South Africa. Teachers from Spectrum Primary School, armed with mobile phones, embarked on a mission to visit their new alliance in education, Ramosadi Primary School, some 350km away near the Botswana border.
The workshop was part of the M- Learning coaching phase initiated by collaborators from Duke University in North Carolina, USA and Learning Academy Worldwide.
An instructional plan designed by Learning Academy Worldwide, aimed at engaging teachers in the use of mobile phones as a tool in project-based modules.
by Lucy Haagen (Duke University)
The theme is cultural diversity and until now, 6th graders have written earnest but boring reports on South Africa's multicultural population. This year, Thembisile asks her teacher for permission to use her cellphone in the project. Soon a routine assignment takes on new life as teams of young ethnographers armed with mobile phones take to the field.
Each team focuses on a particular ethnic or racial group using mobile phones to find (gps), photograph (camera), and interview (voice recorder) representatives of that group. Returning to the classroom, they write photo captions, interview summaries and their own conclusions. Digital files are bluetoothed to their teacher, who in turn uploads and sends the files to a multimedia specialist at Duke who can formats their content into a YouTube video, which is then downloaded to class sets of mobile phones at both Spectrum and Ramosadi and uploaded to a storytelling.org space, an international repository of cross-cultural student videos.
300 km to the northwest in Mafikeng, Ramosadi learners and parent volunteers are tending the school's garden, which provides healthy produce to supplement a meagre government lunch program - and provide a 2nd nutritious meal to students from the poorest families. Principal Sydney Teme has a larger vision - he sees the garden as a environmental literacy lab - and microenterprise - generating enough income to employ out-of-work parents. A post to the M-Ubuntu blog puts him in touch with a teacher in Finland who offers to train his teachers in MOOP, open-source mobile phone software for nature study in primary schools. He also hears from a teacher in Harlem, NYC, founder of the Edible Garden, and soon his learners and those in the Harlem school have become M-Pals text messaging each other ideas on gardening, cooking and food culture. He also hears from the coordinator of an NGO developing Trade-Net, a mobile-phone network connecting sellers and buyers of agricultural products who invites Ramosadi to join a pilot. A third post yields inquiries from the director of service learning project in North Carolina, seeking environmental projects for undergraduates interested in global civic engagement placements during the summer term (when S. Africa schools are still in session)
These scenarios illustrate the power of M-Ubuntu to catalyze co-learning through peer networking, problem-based pedagogy, and digital content creation and sharing.
© Learning Academy Worldwide