Global Mobile Learning Conference

  These learners interacted with a professor from Michigan University, arranged a joint-class with a principal from a Cape Town school, listened to a presentation by a UK-based Mobile Learning organization, told of their experiences with Mobile Learning while educators and learners from Beijing in China, Mafikeng in South Africa and Washington DC listened in - all accomplished from within the walls of their school, Spectrum Primary School.

  "It was such a thrill to see how these learners are using these technologies to learn," beamed Spectrum Primary School principal, Sam Nenngwekhulu, after the conference. He had praise for the progress of the project at the school and saw the conference as a milestone. The M-Ubuntu project recently featured on the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight pages.

  The 2-day conference, was attended by teachers, parents, principals, literacy consultants, University professors and Mobile Learning experts, all connected using web-based video and audio platforms.

  Presented by Geoff Stead from the UK-based, Tribal and Dr Jeff Kupperman from the US-based DiGameworks, the conference showcased Mobile Learning projects at Ramosadi Primary School, Spectrum Primary School and De Rust Futura Academy.


Geoff Stead from TRIBAL provided an overview of the evolution of Mobile Learning and showed how the multi-functions of a mobile phone provide a useful tool for project-based learning.

Dr Jeff Kupperman from Michigan University explained how successfully learners responded to their initiative to help them create their own games for learning using mobile phones as a tool to gather video, audio and text data.


 South African Primary Schools win prestigious prize in the Digital Media Learning Competition in the USA

Chicago, Ill, USA Friday, 17 April 2009The sun came out and shone brightly on Chicago, Ill as the two principals from Spectrum Primary and Ramosadi Primary in South Africa stepped off the plane to receive their prize for their innovative idea to improve functional literacy in their respective schools.Read the full story here. Also see video of interview with Learning Academy Worldwide director, Theo van Rensburg Lindzter.

Sam Nenngwekhulu, far left and Sydney Teme are congratulated by Dr Cathy Davidson in Chicago, US for their innovative proposal to improve functional literacy in their schools.


Teachers from South African primary schools shine during M-Learning Summit in the US

 March, 2009, Bethesda, MD, USA

 Teachers from Ramosadi Primary School and Spectrum Primary School connected with Geoff Stead, Technical Director for Tribal during their recent visit in the US.

Making effective use of technology, the team of teachers used Webex, a web-based E-Learning platform to dialogue with Geoff Stead in Cambridge (UK).

"I liked the examples where learners were using mobile phones alongside of their other school work," said Naomi Tempies, Educator and Consultant from Ennerdale, South Africa. Geoff Stead explained that teachers who used a "blended learning" approach was likely to make a big impact when using mobile phones in the class.

Teachers at these two schools are curently completing the first phase of their preparation for M-Learning projects in their respective schools.

See the short video summary of the summit by clicking here.

Teachers revel in Mobile Learning Workshop

November, 2008, Mafeking, South Africa

Project Journey to Ramosadi started in the early hours of Saturday morning, 29th November, in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg in South Africa. Teachers from Spectrum Primary School, armed with mobile phones, embarked on a mission to visit their new alliance in education, Ramosadi Primary School, some 350km away near the Botswana border.

Unnerved by the possibilties of the unknown yet curious about its promise, these teachers, together with their principals ventured where few educators dare to walk - testing the waves of mobile learning.

It was like being in a class only this time the teachers were the learners and as their coach guided them through the lesson plan for the day some of them must have wondered whether it was a good idea to sign up for the task.

At the end of the day, however, there were no signs of regret as teachers, like young pioneers who have just blazed a trail through unchartered wild African territory, worked through their assignments with vigour and determination. They cooperated with each other, helping, correcting, re-taking video clips and pictures, looking out for material to capture, thinking deeply about how to construct the poems and navigating their untrained yet willing fingers over the tiny keypads, enquiring from each other and testing if that Bluetooth-thing will work.

And that all of these were pedagogically fostered by the use of a mobile phone could not have been imagined at the beginning of the day. The teachers were convinced that they could give it a try with their young primary school learners and the two schools they represent agreed to start a program in the middle of 2009 to pilot an initiative using mobile phones.

They also determined to use the material they gathered on their to Journey to Ramosadi to compile their own product by end of March 2009. They plan to attend the M-Learning conference in Washington DC scheduled for March 2009 to collaborate with experts from Duke University and other stakeholders.

South African Primary Schools enter Technology Competition with a progressive Mobile Learning idea

October, 2008, Ennerdale, South Africa

Ramosadi Primary School and Spectrum Primary School are joint entrants in the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

These two primary schools, one to the south and the other to the west of Johannesburg, South Africa have, with the support of Lucy Haagen from Duke University and the Swedish-based learning organization, Learning Academy Worlwide, constructed an ingenious proposal to use Mobile phones as a pedagogical tool in their schools.

In their application the schools painted scenarios to illustrate the power of M-Ubuntu to catalyze co-learning through peer networking, problem-based pedagogy, and digital content creation and sharing, all achieved using the mobile phone as a tool.

The results of the competition will be announced in April 2009 and both schools, tirelessly and tenaciously doing their work in two poor communities against sometimes brutal odds, will certainly deserve a needed affirmation of the foresight and creativity they demonstrate.