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Created on February 07 , 2015 @ 06:02 AM GMT

How mobile learning technology can empower young women

This session, "She now has a digital presence and voice", seeks to unpack what we really mean by empowerment in the mobile learning context. We will explore the diverse manifestations of empowerment for women and girls through mobile. Natalie Musomba and Sarah Lamont will be joined online by UK and Kazakhstan educators and students, sharing their thoughts and experiences of empowerment. Please add your perspectives and questions below, live.

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    • Mark: Hello and welcome to our session on the empowerment of women and girls through mobile learning technologies. This is an interactive online session that you can join right now. If you have a mobile device with access to the Internet, you now have a digital presence and voice in this session, so please go to the link below and add your perspectives and questions as we present. You will find the link on small cards placed around the room. We also posted this forum link on Twitter a moment ago with the #mlw2015 tag. Our discussion can continue well beyond this session. 

      Go to: yhk.li/kmkm1

    • Youth and Women&'s Empowerment
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      Click on this image and add your thoughts on these questions.

      Youth and Women&'s Empowerment

    • My name is Mark Lamont. I am from Sydney Australia and lead an organisation called World Mosaic which is involved in many projects and initiatives throughout the world, all of them in the area of education and technology. I am pleased to introduce our co-presenters today. Please welcome Natalie Musomba, a teenage student from Kenya who is now studying at Sciences Po here in Paris. Also, please welcome Sarah Lamont, my daughter, a high school student from Sydney Australia. This session has at least two dimension or key questions:

    • 1. What are the different manifestations of empowerment for women and girls through mobile learning? Natalie, Sarah and online contributors from abroad will share diverse examples, and we hope you will too by clicking this text and adding them.

    • 2. Is mobile technology advancing informal learning faster than formal learning? Why and what are the implications? Panelists in yesterday's Plenary Session spoke of the disruptive learning component of mobile and the need for mobile to drive more empowering pedagogies from the margins to the mainstream. We will take that idea further today.

    • Natalie: I am going to start with my most recent experience. Many of you have heard of the application LinkedIn and I'm positive many of you have already created your own professional platform here. Being in university makes the reality of my forthcoming career-life tangible; with this in mind I created my own profile on LinkedIn a few weeks ago and I was amazed at how quickly I was making various connections, not only with professionals back in Kenya but around the world in just one week. I felt like I was on my way to achieve my transition from student to future career woman.

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      Empowerment through networking. How can schools introduce students to an empowering social network?

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    • Sarah: Last year in April when I was 16 I had the opportunity to travel to Kolkata India and experience first-hand a culture almost entirely different to my own. I was able to document and share my experiences on the simple and easily accessible social media platform of Facebook. Taking numerous photos and eager to share the events of each day from my mobile, it was empowering to be met with equally eager friends and family back home.

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      Empowerment from sharing life-changing experiences. What could structured informal learning look like with mobile?

    • Sarah: It is significant to me that I was given the opportunity to express and educate those in Australia on issues of social justice that I hold deep within my heart. Particularly empowering for me was meeting girls who were victims of trafficking and sexual abuse, many the same age as me. These girls’ circumstances and stories were untold. It was painful to witness the vast contrast in situation to my own and I felt as though I was able to empower them by giving them a voice by sharing with people at home.

    • Natalie: M-pesa and M-shwari are thriving examples of mobile money platforms that are provided by the largest mobile network in Kenya: Safaricom. This is an easy and accessible way to receive and send money; for example my mother can transfer money to my Mastercard account in the comfort of her home. She only needs her mobile phone. This technology has been taken further and has now given women the ability to venture into various self-made enterprises nationwide. This service is applicable to all types of mobiles from analogue phones to smartphones giving all equal opportunity to utilize this service to their advantage. Thanks to mobile technology they have gained independence, a livelihood and most importantly, pride in being a woman of the 21st Century.

    • M-Pesa-mobile-banking.jpg
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      Empowerment through greater financial freedom. Do other mobile financial learning platforms exist?

      M-Pesa-mobile-banking.jpg

    • Sarah: Another dimension to empowerment is in the way young women can support one another as learners using mobile devices. My Society and Culture class, who are all girls, use an online forum in Yahki to generate and critique each other's research project ideas. Here you can see all our research topics. (pause) We were able to assist one another in developing our research topics and questions using mobile and other devices at school and at home. Here you can see Crystal's research topic on women's access to the music industry. (pause) Members of our class have assisted her with ideas and other forms of support. We no longer have to work in isolation.

    • Yahki

      Yahki :: My stories on Yahki

      yahki.com
    • NatalieE-health is a new development in mobile technology that shows much promise for educating women. Now women can become aware but also 'keep tabs' on all health-related news, especially those who are not able to get access/are not near a medical center. For example, cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer among women in Kenya, after breast-cancer. Unfortunately, it is also the leading cause of deaths in the female demographic. This is mainly because of its late detection. E-health could give women the ability to be more vigilant of their health and one of its many positive consequences would be early treatment and medical advice. We can see that mobiles hold the power to ensure and possibly raise awareness on the importance of women's health and well-being. You can join the Twitter conversation below on E-health issues right now:

    • one2one @ONE2ONEYH

      Cervical cancer is the 2ND most frequent cancer among women in Kenya & the leading cause of cancer deaths in women #ReproductiveCancers

    • Women in Kazakhstan speak about 'M-empowerment' (Please click here to provide feedback to the presenters from Kazakhstan)

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    • Sarah: It's very common in Australian schools that the use of mobile phone technologies is restricted. It is challenging that such a useful and commonly found tool, especially in Sydney, is still expelled from the classroom. The issue is that the learning of my peers is hindered when access to a mobile device is removed. We need to be abe to look things up on the go.

    • Turn Off Cell Phones In School Zone Sign - No Cell Phone Sign, SKU: K-
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      What message are we sending learners? What are examples of best practice in allowing mobile access at school?

      Turn Off Cell Phones In School Zone Sign - No Cell Phone Sign, SKU: K-

    • In 2015, teachers need not hand over all the infomation to students. I feel that, if harnessed properly by teachers, mobile technology can be used as a significant means to make learning interesting and encourage learning outside of the classroom, and encourage different ways of learning inside the classroom.

    • A message for #MLW2015 from Sally Griffin, a UK Educator

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    • NatalieWhile doing my International Baccalaureate Diploma, the use of Internet was vital. I was living in an area that had not yet acquired access to 3G Internet. Internet access in the area was not good. As a teenager, I was able to get around this issue by gathering information for self-study, reading, e-learning etc., possible through a tablet and mobile phone I had at home. They proved to be favorable tools that helped me attain information while outside school. Furthermore, my situation at the time prompted me to choose the topic of technology for my Extended Essay which was a self-coordinated project (like that similar to Sarah's PIP) in completion of my diploma which I found to be a very insightful and interesting study on technology and Web filtering.

    • Mark: Thank you Natalie, Sarah and our online contributors for sharing your experiences of empowerment through mobile. It is useful to apply the different experiences of empowerment we have heard about today to the following quadrant model:

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      Does mLearning come easier in informal learning settings? Why? How can that be turned into a positive?

      eLearning 2.0: Informal Learning, Communities, Bottom-up vs. Top-

    • From what we heard today, it could be argued that mobile technology is more quickly and commonly applied to unexpected and informal learning situations than formal and intentional ones. This is both an issue and an opportunity:

      • To institutionalised education, mobile can be seen as a 'disruption' and involves a potential power shift. Played right, that can provide a leapfrog opportunity for the South who need not copy schooling models of the North.
      • Mobile drives the need more a contemporary pedagogy - where women and girls have an online presence and a voice. We are in an adjustment phase that provides an opportunity to move some of the curriculum forward.
      • Safety and cost concerns are raised as formal mLearning barriers, but we note these are not generally raised as barriers to informal mLearning.

      Of course, the more value that society places on informal learning, the more valued mobile technology will be. We have seen in this session that mobile enables informal learning to set the pace for the formal education sector - actually, mobile will blur the traditional informal/formal boundaries as it moves from the margins in more parts of the world. Thank you for participating in this session. We are happy to take your questions - and we can see what people have been saying online.

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