Technology development is happening everywhere!

I can remember a time at our high school when cell phones were taken away when students were on them during class. Our staff would have long discussion on how we should discipline students for being on their cell phone. Now, we supply Wi-Fi so that students can be on their devices anytime at school. I feel our school has turned a negative outlook on mobile devices to a positive direction of the 21st century classroom that would empower technology. Image of a 21st Century classroom using technology, we are so fortunate in Canada to have mobile devices at our fingertips.

21st cent class

After exploring and researching this week topic I came to realize that there are numerous organizations helping develop libraries, classrooms, literacy and technology using mobile devices in developing nations. I tried to narrow down a few!

EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) has a vision for all people in the world to have the knowledge they need to achieve their full potential. Even though EIFL is engaged in many developing countries, I have always had a soft spot for Africa so I examined what EIFL is doing there. EIFL has been working in Uganda with a goal to create a number of open access sources and innovative project that help libraries meet the information needs of the community. This YouTube video has EIFL connecting a farming community in Uganda through integrading computers in the library. EIFL trains the librarians to give critical information and ICT points for people in the community. You can see the librarians helping students and the local community with farming and beekeeping. You could follow EIFL on twitter @EIFLnet or #eifl to see more what is happening!

That EIFL YouYube video led me to the WISE initiative: World Innovation Summit for Education: building the future of education. I thought it was AMAZING…2 teachers, 15 laptops, 3 solar panels and a four-wheel drive that moves throughout Uganda to bring free computer training to students at the library all over the country. It is an innovative way to break down barriers to ICT in rural school communities.

7 years ago very few people in Uganda had Internet, through the Mobile Solar Computer Classroom many rural areas are now able to connect to the world. Exploring more about solar computer classrooms absorbed me in the Maendeleo Foundation  which supports the solar project with its goal to empower all libraries in Africa with computers and mobile devices. It is nurturing progress in East AfricafunSun

through technology, training and job creation…and the power of the sun!!

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system is working on a “mobile revolution” bringing e-books to developing countries.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 4.42.01 PM

Flood states in the report: “Reasons given by respondents for reading on mobiles were convenience, affordability and lack of access to books. In Zimbabwe, for example, Unesco said the cost of reading a book on a mobile was between 5 and 6 cents, while a paperback bestseller would cost around $12 (£7); in Nigeria, a mobile book would cost around 1 or 2 cents, based on a mobile broadband rate of $13 per 500 MB of data, while a child’s book would cost between $1 and $5”. Using e-books or mobile devices would create new literacy opportunities and definitely give access to the Internet and information databases. This is where TL in Canada that have accessible website could share their information globally. I hope that the days of packing up old and ragged books that our libraries no longer want and sending them off to developing countries are over. We need to make sure that we are sending over the right material and supporting new literacy opportunities. UNESCO thought on digital books and mobile reading

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.40.45 PM

“Fortunately, the internet is helping to level the playing field. It has accelerated the spread of information and, in many instances, democratized access to it. Digital networks, computer processors and liquid crystal display (LCD) screens remove production constraints that have kept reading material prohibitively expensive for centuries. Increasingly, paper and ink are being replaced by bits and bytes, and physical distribution channels are being streamlined by cables that can carry electronic information to the farthest corners of the planet almost instantaneously” (Mark, pg. 15). Developing countries are getting connected and the spread of information is expanding.

CODE was mentioned by Aaron during our Google Hangout so I thought I would look at the impressive website. CODE is “Rewriting the Story for Global Literacy” and it is Canada’s leading international development agency. Lots of great information on the website but I was unable to access the YouTube unless I subscribed.


Code: Rewriting the story for global literacy. Retrieved from

Eifl (2015). Knowledge Without Boundaries. Retrieved from

EIFL, (Feb. 11,2014). Connect Uganda: Why empowering public libraries with technology is so important (Video File). Retrieved from

Flood, Alison (2013, April 13). The Guardian: Ebooks. Retrieved from

Image of 21st century classroom. Retrieved from

Maendeleo Foundation. Retrieved from

UNESCO. (2015). What is UNESCO? Retrieved from .

West, Mark. (2014). Reading in the Mobile Era. Retrieved from

WISE. (2015) Wise Initiative. Retrieved from

WISE Initiative (2013, Nov. 27). Uganda: Mobile Solar Computer Classroom (video file). Retrieved from


6 thoughts on “Technology development is happening everywhere!

  1. Well done post! You’ve explored some very interesting inititatives and projects to support developing world libraries as well as contextualized your learning within the exisiting practices and resources available here in Canada. A good post that discusses some of the ethical issues around donations and old materials, as well as how efficient and affordable technology can be when compared to the costs of paper and old forms of distribution. Overall a good post with good embedding, linking and tagging.


  2. I think you have touched on a number of positive learning opportunities for students using their devices. I will be interested to see this cultural change in education in the next decade. Cell phones are never going away, so we have to embrace them for the opportunities they can create, rather than dwell on the negative aspects of phones in the classroom. This is not going to be an easy task for all of us, though!


  3. Exploring organizations such as EIFL is exciting as it does level the playing field with a seemingly simple change. I never imagined how transformative the internet could be for farmers in Africa but it makes complete sense. I am excited to see how access in Africa will improve the quality of life for many there.


  4. Even more organizations to explore! It’s interesting that many of us have all chosen different programs to highlight in our posts. I did mention CODE in my post and I love that they are based in Canada. They also link with writers and authors in the region so that the materials for the students are culturally relevant. We should not be sending our old books anymore. One of my kids said to me, “Why would we send another country outdated information? That’s make no sense and who wants our garbage?” I totally agree.

    It’s so great to hear that your school is embracing cell phone use by the students. There are still some high schools where they are banned. Kind of sad. If we want kids to use them properly then we need to teach them. I believe, the sooner the better.


  5. Great post, Kerrie! I hadn’t heard of EIFL and was interested in reading about how they’re providing Internet access and training to communities in Uganda. I agree with you that the time has come to rethink how we provide reading material to developing nations. Rather than sending damaged books containing out-of-date content, we must provide the tools and resources that will bring these communities up to speed with the kind of content and technological innovations that will greatly enhance their potential for educational and career opportunities. I really like the infographic that you included at the top of your post – an excellent visual that outlines the components of the 21st-century classroom.


  6. Andrea

    Thank you for sharing Kerrie!

    I am now following EIFL and CODE which were organizations that were previously unknown to me. It is so inspiring what educators and supporters are doing all around the world to improve literacy on a global scale. Another organization which I have supported in the past through literacy initiatives at my school is Room to Read. I am always excited when students can see the value of education through the eyes of other students whose lives are in many ways, so different from theirs. Here is the link to Room to Read if it interests you:



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