Mobiles for Education Alliance

This looks good and I am looking forward to hearing more... an initiative that aims to

  • Bring together institutions and organizations for support of mobile technologies in education;
  • Spread awareness of the available, accessible and affordable mobile technology tools;
  • Spur the innovation, affordability, and accessibility of mobile tech for improved learning; and
  • Explore opportunities to jointly fund specific activities of shared interests.

The initiative will:
  • Conduct International Workshops, Conferences and Symposia
  • Convene Research Roundtable Discussions which highlight cutting-edge research
  • Conduct Monthly Seminar Series with focus on specific topics and/or projects which show promise in improving learning outcomes with mobile technologies.
  • Support the formation of Working Groups focused on beneficiary groups, geographic areas or educational themes

The Essence of Connected Learning on Vimeo

...Connected learning is when you’re pursuing knowledge and expertise around something you care deeply about, and you’re supported by friends and institutions who share and recognize this common passion or purpose...

The Essence of Connected Learning on Vimeo

But just have a look at their great infographic - http://connectedlearning.tv/what-is-connected-learning

If you are interested then they are running events with talks by experts in the area such as this one coming up!



World Bank focus on Mobile learning

Although there have been a lot of interesting developments in mobile learning and on-line learning recently, my interests have been in doing other research over the last 6 months. However, I recently noticed that the World Bank has created a new Infographic titled maximising mobile 2012 which is accompanied by a recent report on the potential for mobile learning (released in July). There is also a quick update on the situation of mobile access here.

Other news the World Bank Ed Tech blog has also issued a list of top 10 trends in technology use in developing countries. I'd be really interested to see if quite different trends might also appear if less 'formal' avenues were used to find information...

On the Education Technology Debate blog the debate about distance teacher education has been very active and worth checking out. I am really hoping to start reading some more critical literature in this area too in the future.

Closer to where I have been working on research myself in Indonesia the World Bank has also released a brief suggesting that internet connectivity is within reach of 95% of schools and can play an important role in reforms in education to improve governance and quality. Particularly it states that:

"investing in ICT in Indonesian education can help to address challenges of high inequality, low school capacity, lack of capacity of educators, lack of access to curriculum materials and learning resources, as well as low levels of reporting of even basic school management and financial information, ultimately preparing the ground for e-administration are already hooked up."

As much as I hope for these great potential benefits, I think it is important to not overlook the fact that these are key features of the deeply embedded inequality in many educational systems and that these features tend to reproduce themselves almost recursively in efforts to increase the capacity of poorer schools and the poverty of learning resources available to them. Just connecting everyone to the grid isn't going to remove the roots of these problems, but there is probably a lot of scope for innovative solutions to common problems.

For some really in depth information about the ICT policies and issues in this region (and in Indonesia specifically) the excellent ICT country information pages at UNESCO are a great starting point.