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.
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 Africa
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.
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
“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 http://www.codecan.org/our-story-0
Eifl (2015). Knowledge Without Boundaries. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net
EIFL, (Feb. 11,2014). Connect Uganda: Why empowering public libraries with technology is so important (Video File). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5TIlW70Tmk
Flood, Alison (2013, April 13). The Guardian: Ebooks. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/23/mobile-reading-revolution-unesco-study-phones-africa-subcontinent
Image of 21st century classroom. Retrieved from http://ged578.pbworks.com/f/1429340093/21st%20cent%20class.jpg
Maendeleo Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.maendeleofoundation.org
UNESCO. (2015). What is UNESCO? Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/education/asp/pdf/wunesco.pdf .
West, Mark. (2014). Reading in the Mobile Era. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002274/227436e.pdf
WISE. (2015) Wise Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.wise-qatar.org
WISE Initiative (2013, Nov. 27). Uganda: Mobile Solar Computer Classroom (video file). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRG05TxLWxU