Today, a growing body of evidence suggests that ubiquitous mobile devices – especially mobile phones and, more recently, tablet computers – are being
used by learners and educators around the world to access information, streamline administration and facilitate learning in new and innovative ways.
Last week, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published a document “UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning“.
This set of guidelines seeks to help policy-makers better understand what mobile learning is and how its unique benefits can be leveraged to advance progress towards Education for All. Developed in consultation with experts in over twenty countries, the guidelines below have broad application and can accommodate a wide range of institutions, including K–12 schools, universities, community centres, and technical and vocational schools.
The policy guidelines include :
- Create or update policies related to mobile learning
- Train teachers to advance learning through mobile technologies
- Provide support and training to teachers through mobile technologies
- Create and optimize educational content for use on mobile devices
- Ensure gender equality for mobile students
- Expand and improve connectivity options while ensuring equity
- Develop strategies to provide equal access for all
- Promote the safe, responsible and healthy use of mobile technologies
- Use mobile technology to improve communication and education management
- Raise awareness of mobile learning through advocacy, leadership and dialogue
Most of the guidelines need policy decision makers take actions, but about “Create and optimize educational content for use on mobile devices”, it’s possible that some of us can help.
As it’s stated in the report :
Currently most educational content, including digital content, is not accessible from mobile devices, nor does it take full advantage of the unique multimedia, communication and sometimes location-aware capabilities of these devices. Also, even when content is available, it often lacks relevance to local student populations due to limited language options or a dearth of culturally-specific material. Additionally, a great deal of content fails to follow standards or incorporate features that improve accessibility for students with disabilities. By tailoring appropriate resources for use on mobile devices while ensuring their relevance and accessibility to diverse student populations, educators can vastly extend the reach of these resources, because far more learners and teachers own mobile devices than laptop or desktop computers.
And related policy recommendations include:
- Ensure that educational resources and content, including existing online repositories, are easily accessible from mobile devices.
- Support the open licensing of mobile content to facilitate its widest possible use and adaptation. This can be accomplished by supporting the use of open educational resources or OERs.
- Create incentives for developers to build content specifically for mobile devices. While it is possible to ‘migrate’ learning materials from computers and textbooks to mobile technology, designers need to ‘think mobile first’, making hard choices about how to streamline content for presentation and use on devices with small screens and limited input options.
- Encourage the development of platforms or software that allow classroom teachers (and others with firsthand knowledge of students) to create or tailor mobile content.
The importance of OER going mobile is no doubt. We would like to contribute to it as well. Check out our news : Mobile Learning Authoring.