Girl-Powered Mobile Learning Innovation: The Barriers, the Potential

A number of stakeholders are working to create mobile-based opportunities that will help achieve gender parity in access to education in the developing world. Yet, numerous barriers exist to girls’ ability to leverage mobile phones for education: Culture, low technical literacy, and cost to access are a few of the challenges that young women face in countries that have a dearth of educational resources and textbooks.

In sharing findings from research conducted in a girls’ secondary school in one of the poorest areas of Nairobi, Kenya in summer 2012, this presentation will highlight how the potential of girl-powered mobile learning innovation merits further work to remove gendered barriers to mobile education participation. The audience will also be invited to contribute their ideas for how young women can be empowered to harness the power of mobile for educational purposes.

Online resources:

Ronda Zelezny-Green

Ronda Zelezny-Green is an educator, researcher and learner who has taught on four continents. She is a PhD student in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) at Royal Holloway, University of London, the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D. Ronda is an expert in gender, learning and mobiles, and advocates participatory and sustainable approaches to the use of mobiles for educational purposes.

She has completed an MA in Applied Linguistics at UMass-Boston, as well as an MSc in Practising Sustainable Development with ICT4D specialism at Royal Holloway. She has specialized in the use of technology for education and development, aiming to support the needs of women and girls in different sub-Saharan African contexts. In addition to conducting field-based research in Kenya, she has designed and manages a digital pen pal program with schools in the Kisii region of the country.

Ronda has published and presented on topics related to mobiles for development (M4D), and has two forthcoming book chapters on mobile digital storytelling in the ESL classroom and mobile-based indigenous knowledge exchange. Previous M4D reports authored by Ms Zelezny-Green have received recognition from Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, and infoDev. At present she works on the GSMA mEducation team.

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