Mobiles phones increasing (non-digital) literacy in poor countries

An interesting article in the Independent recently reported on a Unesco report that found the availability of cheap mobile phones has supported an increase in literacy where physical books can be difficult and expensive to source.

The Independent article offers a digest:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/unesco-mobile-phones-are-causing-a-reading-revolution-in-poor-countries-9289137.html

The full Unesco Report can be found here:

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002274/227436e.pdf

However, note the health warning that the report was supported with funding from Nokia who have a large market share on basic feature phones in the region surveyed!

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JISC South East Technology Showcase – Solent Finalists for Reading List System

Write-up by Margaret Feetham (Deputy Librarian)

A number of staff from the Library and Learning Technologies teams attended the South East Technology Showcase event near Guildford on Wednesday 2 April 2014 where the Reading List Project was shortlisted as a finalist.  Each of the 15 finalists were asked to give a 10 minutes presentation and the other teams had five minutes to give a score out of 10 for impact of the project on  learning and teaching and another score out of 10 for impact on the organisation.  All scores were totalled up at the end to give  a winner and a runner up. The presentation team of Hannah, Roger, Julie and Lauren were drawn second to last so had a long wait while colleagues from Eastleigh College talking about using ipads within a lathe workshop environment drew the short straw and opened first.  

Projects varied from using ipads to film swimmers underwater so that you could give immediate feedback about swimming style to encouraging florists to use social media to market their services following a decline of the florist shop on the high street (and we all received a purple lily) or allowing zoo staff to continue with work place learning in the penguin enclosure.  Other systems included information management systems that allowed staff to record assistive learning requirements or a whole student management system which provided everything from absence reporting to student progression and was core to the running of Barton Peveril college,  And University of Creative Art’s subject support templates were not unlike our subject guides  

Despite an excellent presentation from our team which received some complimentary tweets and posts, reproduced below, the  runners up were a team from  Reading College consisting of students who described how they used google + features such as communities and hangout  to collaborate on their learning .  As the students said, this gave them access to impartial advice which they didn’t get  from their friends (because mean friends don’t last !) and it used the technologies they wanted to use.  The winner was Swim UK for their use of ipads to film swimming underwater which allowed the swimmer and coach to receive/give immediate feedback about swimming style allowing the student to improve more quickly. It was claimed that it took up to three  months of the speed of learning up to certification level.

I think the two winners were selected for the ease of use of their systems, without a need for huge training or outlay and also very immediately put the learner at the centre of the process.  But all the contestants  were winners in that all the finalists were able to demonstrate that they had brought great benefit to their learners and organisation – I can think of several things that it would be great  for us to do here!

Adam Blackwood ‏@adamrsc  18h
#RSCSE @solentofficial Showing how OnLIne Reading lists can be used anywhere by students. .. http://ow.ly/i/56AAi  🙂

Nikki Gilbey ‏@gillersn  17h
@adamrsc @solentofficial I think it could be a winner….. #RSCSE

Nikki Gilbey ‏@gillersn  17h
“@clare146clare: As always great work taking place at Southampton Solent #rscse” they are a bit good aren’t they?!

Fareham Byte ‏@Farehambyte  18h
@solentofficial librarians use door signs to remind academics that they need reading lists. Brilliant idea #rscse
Adam Blackwood ‏@adamrsc  18h

RT @ArtieVN: #RSCSE @solentofficial @SolentRoger team M now presenting pic.twitter.com/L004pt0H3X

JISC RSC South East ‏@Jisc_RSC_SE  18h
@solentofficial presenting at #RSCSE SETS Awards. – Reading List system to get academics to become more engaged with the library.

Our presentation: https://twitter.com/ArtieVN/status/451351620434268161/photo/1