I was quite excited about the breakout sessions, particuarly the session as the title suggests, about reaching underserved communities. I was excited about the international aspect, but also the values that come with working with underserved communities.
As I joined the session, M-Ubuntu were discussing their efforts in working with mobile phones in education or m-education. The project sounds fascinating to me and I look forward to discussing it more indepth with then over the next few hours.As the press release says: M-Ubuntu (I am because we are in Zulu), a project that uses inexpensive mobile phone technologies to connect teachers in South Africa to each other and to teachers in the United States.
The concept of blended learning was discussed. Check out the video below to see an example of how it is being utilized in South Africa.
Other projects included in the session are Global Challenge, Mobile Voices, and Tecno.Tzotzil,
a project that leverages low-cost laptops to help indigenous children
in Chiapas, Mexico learn by producing and sharing their own media
Mobile Voices is an interesting project that utilizes the video cameras
on mobile phones to help members of the Latino community in Los Angeles
tell their stories about their lives. One of the goals of the project
is to help some of the places that are outside of the city, places that
get less focus and attention. Critical learning theories are an
important aspect of this project and one of their ideas is to work with
Each project sounds fascinating and I hope to describe them all more as the time goes on.
The issue of challenges came up. Holly Willis said that Mobile Voices
is facing issues of power and privilege, how people participate - users
of mobile voices, encouraging participation, and sustainability beyond
the grant period. One issue that came up was the recognition and
lending legitamcy of certain educations. Specifically having a degree
in New Media, having a special minor (informal vs. formal education)
formal education that offers a specific degree in a subject, rather
than a general honors certificate.
Check out all the winners here. (opens as PDF)