Girl Learners Using Mobile Phones in the Classroom for Mathematical Education
The UN defines South Africa as a middle-income country, yet there are concerns about quality of education, especially in poorer areas. This concern, linked with unemployment figures of between 27 and 40% (over 5 million people) makes quality access and engagement with education a priority so that women may benefit from full access to employment. The South African National Department of Education published the e-Education white paper in 2004, but the challenge remains in the implementation of these strategies. The main question revolves around the value of ICTs demonstrated through teacher and learner improvements.// Mobile phones as an ICT tool are becoming more frequent and pervasive. While there is gender parity in education in South Africa, this is skewed by subject matter, with the gender ratio of girls accessing mathematics and science at higher education levels becoming progressively lower than boys. This impacts on later employment positions, status and achievement. In addition, performance in mathematics and science at the secondary level are poor and has been prioritized by government. This situation is compounded by a lack of qualified mathematics and science teachers. // Twenty girl learners were selected to participate in this project: a partnership between Nokia Mobile and Mindset Learn. This pilot project has provided each girl with a Mobile phone with Mindset mathematics content loaded on. This content is freely accessible and is curriculum aligned. The project has analysed how the phones are used in relation to both content and technology in general and has measured the impact these phones have had on girl learners’ educational attainment, perceptions of technology and new learning that has taken place. Implications for mobile phones in the classroom are discussed. // Paper ID 83
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