This week the Development Gateway published my article called Great Gateways as a highlight of its Open Educational Resources homepage. The Development Gateway’s goal is Putting the Internet to Work for Developing Countries. My article describes some of the excellent open content for learning available online as free, superior quality virtual gateways to knowledge.
The picture of kids using desktop computers above this post was selected to be placed above my article on the Development Gateway page. It illustrates the use by students in developing countries of the Internet to access knowledge. The situation captured in the illustration is typical of the way those kids who do have Internet access in educational settings typically work online.
The illustration suggests two facts of life for student online study. First, the kids have to go to places where non-mobile desktop computers are located. Second, they routinely have to share those computers with other students. The fact is that students across the world share too little time using the Internet to be able to acquire much knowledge. In the less developed countries, they crowd around too few computers or have none. In contrast to the desktop machines, young people everywhere are acquiring their own mobile phones.
THE MOBILIST CHALLENGE. To the right of the illustration above that I copied from the Development Gateway I have added an obvious solution to the frustrations kids experience in trying to study online by sharing desktop computers. The kids have their own powerful computers in their pockets. Our challenge is to see to it that those mobile computers become gateways to the learning for the young generations across the planet.
Meeting this challenge is a matter of keeping the mobiles open for learning content, devising delivery formats and, I think, working toward a one Web future for open educational resources in which the mobile as well as the desktop computer is an unimpeded gateway for learners.
The MOBILIST CHALLENGE theme will be a major one from now on at GoldenSwamp.com. Our mobile sector has a chance to dramatically diminish ignorance by making mobile phones gateways to learning.
Let’s do it!