mLearning Solutions for International Development: Rethinking what's possible

Workshop, 15. Oct. 2012, 9:00 -18:00

Organisers

Tom Power, Dr. Robina Shaheen, Claire Hedges, Dr. Christopher Walsh, Clare Woodward

The Open University (UK)

English in Action (Bangladesh)

Aims

  • Explore the contribution of mLearning within international development
  • Present examples of mlearning and demonstrate their potential for transforming the delivery of education and training for International Development
  • Consider the challenges of achieving scale and impact through mLearning in less economically developed countries, and ways forward

Workshop synopsis

This workshop will explore mLearning's contribution to International Development, where education is considered a long-standing and significant indicator of, and contributor to, economic success. Never before has mLearning been more relevant to the field of International Development. The use of low-cost mobile phones offers unprecedented opportunities for many sectors, including education. 
Much of the rhetoric around mLearning suggests that mLearning projects should:
  1. be ideally positioned for working at large-scale (thousands to millions of users)
  2. demonstrate cost-effective and appropriate technology for less economically development countries (LEDCs)
  3. have high impact on social and economic practices.
Yet whilst there are many mLearning initiatives around the world, their impacts are often not documented in the research literature. This critical workshop is timely because it will demonstrate examples of mLearning and the signifigant potential they hold to transform the delivery of education and training for International Development, whilst also presenting opportunity to consider the challenges of achieving scale and impact through mLearning in LEDCs, and potential ways forward. 
The workshop will provide a unique platform for exchanging experiences, challenges and issues; showcasing the technologies through demonstrations; and disseminating best practices amongst those working within the field of mLearning in International Development.

Program

 

Morning: The workshop will open with introductions from the workshop chair, organisers and panel, followed by a brief keynote to set the workshop context. The the floor will then be opened for ‘question- time', which will involve the workshop participants asking the panelists questions. After morning break there will be a first set of presentations on the theme of achieving scale and impact.

Afternoon: After lunch there will be a breif recap of the morning and introduction to the afternoon, followed by two streams of presentations on the themes of i) working at scale and ii) cost-effectiveness and appropriate technologies. Afternoon break will be followed by afinal presentation. The workshop will end with a plenary session.

Panel

Panellists include representatives from The Open University (UK), English in Action (Bangladesh), BBC Media Action (Bangladesh), The British Council, RTI International and Athabasca University (Canada). Download further information here.

Presentations

  • ‘Accessible and affordable education with mobile technology and open education resources', Dr Mohamed Ally, Athabasca University.
  • ‘British Council's mobile learning projects in terms of international development', Neil Ballantyne & Alex Tyers, The British Council.
  • ‘BBC Janala mobile service: A response to context and user experience', Tanya Cotter & Tanim Ashaf, BBC Media Action.
  • ‘Usability and sustainability in using audiovisual contents for ELT: Bangladesh perspective EIA', Leelen Mahbub, English in Action.
  • ‘Mobiles for teaching (and learning): Supporting teachers with content and methods for reading instruction', Sarah Pouezevara & Carmen Strigel, RTI International.
  • ‘School based teacher professional development in Bangladesh', Tom Power, Claire Hedges and Dr Robina Shaheen,The Open University & English in Action.
  • ‘Content development for multiple platforms: A sustainable and scalable approach', Simminder Thukral & Mahboob Mahmood, Knowledge Platform.
  • ‘mLearning for International Development:  Rethinking what's possible and worrying about what's likely', Professor John M. Traxler, University of Wolverhampton.
  • ‘"You talkin' to me?" Personalizing large scale teacher professional development through the use of video on mobile phones", Clare Woodward, Mike Solly, Mohammed Arifuzzaman, The Open University & English in Action.
  • ‘Using mobile phones for health and legal rights education with communities disproportionally at risk of HIV in Thailand', Christopher Walsh, Nada Chaiyajit, Bruce Lasky, Wendy Morrish, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BASEA CLE).

Download abstract fo the presentations here.

Outputs

All papers will be made available as conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in an edited book and/or a Special Issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Digital Culture & Education entitled, ‘mLearning solutions for international development: Rethinking what's possible'.

Workshop poster

Download the poster here.

Detailed Programme

09:00

Participant arrival (refreshments in café)

09:30

Introductions: Chair, workshop organisers, panel

09:40

Keynote - setting the scene

09:50

‘Question time' discussion

10:50

Morning break (refreshments in café)

11:10

Presentation group 1: mLearning & international development: Achieving scale & impact

·   Dr Robina Shaheen,Tom Power & Claire Hedges ‘School based teacher professional development in Bangladesh'

·   Alex Tyers & Neil Ballantyne

‘British Council's mobile learning projects in terms of international development'

· Dr Christopher Walsh, Nada Chaiyajit, Bruce Lasky & Wendy Morrish

‘Using mobile phones for health and legal rights education with communities disproportionally at risk of HIV in Thailand'

12:40

Presentation Group 1  summary

12:50

Lunch

14:00

Review of morning/Intro to afternoon

14:10

Presentation group 2: Working at scale

· Sarah Pouezevara & Carmen Strigel

‘Mobiles for teaching (and learning): Supporting teachers with content and methods for reading instruction'.

·  Tanya Cotter & Tanim Ashraf

‘BBC Janala mobile service: A response to context and user experience'

·  Clare Woodward, Mike Solly & Mohammed Arifuzzaman

‘"You talkin' to me?" Personalizing large scale teacher professional development through the use of video
on mobile phones'

Presentation group 3: Cost-effectiveness & appropriate technologies

· Simminder Thukral & Mahboob Mahmood

‘Content development for multiple platforms: A sustainable and scalable approach

· Dr Mohamed Ally

‘Accessible and affordable education with mobile technology and open education resources'

·   Leelen Mahbub

‘Usability and sustainability in using audiovisual contents for ELT: Bangladesh perspective'

15.40

Presentation Group 2  summary

Presentation Group 3  summary

15:50

Afternoon break (refreshments in café)

16:10

Professor John M. Traxler

‘mLearning for International Development: Rethinking what's possible and worrying about what's likely'

16:40

Summary - final discussion & questions

17:10

Review of workshop & farewell

17:20

Close

 

 

Further information

 

Download an English in Action Project summary here
 
Download English in Action research breifs here:
 

Location at
Engaging Learning Environment,
Minerva Square
(Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, K2 floor, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, 00014 University of Helsinki).

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/CMses