The recently hosted UNESCO Mobile Learning Week (MLW) 2013 set out to answer three vital questions: how can mobile technologies support literacy development for both children and adults? How can they support teachers and their professional development, to ensure quality education is delivered to all students? And how can mobile technologies contribute to gender equality and extend opportunities to women and girls? A series of webinars ran alongside the main conference in Paris in February to shed light on global developments in the field of mobile learning and provide some potential answers to these pressing questions. The eLearning Africa news service logged on to find out more.
The momentum behind mobile learning is increasing year on year. In his closing remarks to MLW 2013, UNESCO’s Chief of Section for Sector Policy, Advice and ICT Francesc Pedró announced that the event had played host to three times as many participants, hailing from five times as many countries, as 2012’s event. However, Pedro was careful not to overplay this progress, suggesting that currently we are only just “scratching the surface of mobile learning”: the potential for mobile technologies to help millions of people access quality education, he said, “still needs to be realised”.
Offering some ideas on how this potential might be successfully harnessed, Niall Winters shared his team’s new report called The Future of Mobile Learning: Implications for policy makers and planners. (PDF, 44 pages)...
Diane Boulay leads the UNESCO project ‘Developing Literacy through Mobile Phones – Empowering Women and Girls’, (The Mobile Phone Literacy project was launched on 26 May 2011 on the occasion of the visit to UNESCO of Ms. Hillary Clinton)...Women and girls constitute the majority of the 793 million illiterates in the world.
(February 6, 2013, Visual Networking Index (VNI) Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017)