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Mobile Learning for Expanding Educational Opportunities Workshop
Investment in education and development of appropriate skills for the workforce are prerequisites for continuing economic growth, particularly in an era of rapid and revolutionary advances in information and communications technology (ICT). However, equity of access is a continuing problem in the education sector in the Asian and Pacific region. Even though universal primary education has nearly been achieved in many countries in the region, it still accounts for almost three fourths of the world’s illiterate population. The number of illiterates in the region is about 651 million. The regional adult literacy rate has risen to 73%, but female literacy rates overall are still only half the rate for males. Children of poor families are most likely to drop out before completing primary schooling.
Wireless local areas networks (LANs) and mobile learning (m-learning) are still in their infancy. The principal advantage of using a wireless device for e-learning is convenience and cost effectiveness. M-learning offers enterprises the ability to keep their employees engaged in ongoing learning activities that will enhance their productivity and effectiveness while they work. M-learning can deliver "just in time learning" to enable workers to solve immediate problems and remember the solutions. Because of its portability and low cost, this concept can also be applied to basic education in rural and remote areas. This will greatly expand the educational opportunities and contribute to reducing digital gap in developing countries. The workshop will review recent developments in m-learning and examine the feasibility of applying the concept in the education sector in general and basic education in particular.
The workshop will discuss the following topics:
Decision makers in government ministries of education, human resource development, labor, economy, or planning of the member and associate member countries of UNESCO and ADB. About 25 participants will attend this workshop from 22 countries. In addition, about 5 observers from civil society and international agencies are expected to attend the workshop.
English (No interpretation will be provided.)
Each participant is required to prepare a country report describing the needs of m-learning in their country and an action plan to implement m-learning programs to expand educational opportunities.
Cosponsors were ADB, Academic ADL Co-Lab, Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council, CPSC, Hewlett Packard, Heuristix Lab, IBM, Microsoft, PREL, Simputer Trust and UNESCO.Toshiba, and UNESCO.
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