Friday, 22 October 2010

#mLearn2010 Sustainable, scalable and affordable mobile learning service for formal education in South Africa / Finland by Riitta Vanska

Riitta Vanska is a blond woman wearing white clothes and glasses, she is part of the responsible corporate world who looks for sustainable projects (nice).

concrete examples, scalable solutions that can give evidence of good educational results from Mobile learning, so governments will understand the importance of putting money into mobile education.

October 2008 the project started. South Africa felt the time was right, so Nokia was asked to give prove of concept of how mobiles can be harnessed for formal education.

Basic frame from the start
  • approaching and engaging children with their own tools
  • learning is part of children's life
  • learner is in focus
  • positive competition
  • for formal and for informal learning
  • combining learning and social networking
  • for learners and for teachers
  • free service for learners
  • scalable
  • affordable
  • replicable
  • sustainable
  • co-operation with global and local experts
So they wanted to create solutions that fit children's life and their way of learning and to connect their learning to their own social network. And it needed to be free, so children could access it sustainable.
We wanted to make sure that once the researchers would leave, the project would stay alive. This was not completely reached, but they hope this project will eventually become completely sustainable.

Concept design principles
active learning environment (not only content push/pull)

Two phases, scaling up from 300 (first year) to 2000 (second year).

19 million children are using MXIT - they are always on it. This made it possible to go where the learner goes, Nokia digitalized much of the content to be put on Moodle. The content was scaffolded with reflective narration towards the math solution, with clever hints (not bluntly given) really empowering the learner in mathematics.

The project is called MoMath.

Results: MoMaths is used most of the time during vacations, early morning and late evening, and weekends. They can practice as much as they like, 9700 additional exercises for grade 10 mathematics, and these exercises are randomized.

Teachers knows the status of their learners understanding at every stage of the year, they can help adjust students if necessary and when needed. The telecom operators zero-rated some IP-addresses for this project, this was exceptional, and it would be nice if operators would zero-rate the IP-addresses for education.
Inside classrooms a mobile kit was given to the students, because many of them share phones.
It is easier to develop flashy, hype smartphones applications, then all covering viral educational mobile projects. This project is also an open source application.
An important success factor was the local experts that were used as local consultants.
To make this sustainable for all partners, a business validation plan needs to be build for all stakeholders.

Key findings and outcome
  • overwhelming response from learners, teachers and schools
  • 54% chose targeted learners ere active users
  • 82% was using the service outside school environment
  • 66% of teachers used the service, 23% frequently
  • learners whose teachers did not use it frequently, still used service independently
  • of 513 study sample, we saw a 14% increase in competency
  • because of this outcome, there is goodwill and opportunity for the future.
The project had three locations (under-which a really rural school in Western Cape, which actually gave the best results).

similar project started in Finland (inge you should ask for chicago blok in antwerp?)
Exploring possibilities to build learner and teacher global communities across countries