The blogs below detail 2 research projects I worked on in July 2011 in Namibia.
Project 1: Adopting mLearning applications in education: The experience of Namibian Students and Teachers (with funding support from the Africana Research Centre and the Comparative International Education program).
The first project, POPYA (Popya means “speak” in Oshiwambo) is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which can be used to deliver affordable anytime/anywhere lessons to users especially those in communities that do not have access to many other computing technologies. The content that is being used for this test is from the grade 10-science curriculum.
This tool was developed with Brian J. Seely (PhD students in the Instructional Systems program) in Dr. Simon Hooper’s design studio class and is based on the Mobile English Language Learning System (MELLS) idea by Dr. Hillary Wilder from William Paterson University in New Jersey.
Project 2: Exploring student’s experience with the iPod (with technology support from the Penn State Education Technology Services)
I took along a few iPod touches on my research trip. The goal was to put the devices in the hands of students who have little access to western technologies and give them a chance to interact with it and see what type of discussion it generates.