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Could the mobile phone replace the blackboard?

01 July 2009

Kelly Ng

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The mobile phone could replace the blackboard in classrooms across Asia Pacific before long, a report on digital trends in the region has predicted.

Could the mobile phone replace the blackboard?
Image credits: FutureGov / Mobile phones in the classroom

In the Philippines, which sends more text messages than any country, the mobile phone and SMS are being used as the primary means for interactive learning. SMS is also being used to inform students of schedule changes, deadlines, examination regulations, grades, new courses and library resources.

In Indonesia and Mongolia the focus of e-learning innovation is also the mobile phone. Student groups and organisations use the mobile phone to publicise social activities, job fairs and book discounts as well as for voting in student elections.

University administrators are using mobile phones to coordinate the admissions process to conduct marketing campaigns and announce grants, surveys, policies and emergency information like bad weather and suspension of classes, the report – called Digital Review of Asia Pacific – has found.

However, the report found that while most students in South Asia use computers, very few have internet access. India, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand were found to be needing an internet-based ‘distance-education boost’.

E-learning is seen to work in Cambodia, but lack of institutional support, and a negative perception of distance education, is affecting the field.

The open university of Indonesia (Universitas Terbuka) has 1000 courses, 31 study programmes and four faculties. But limited web access hits students. Slow net speed is an issue too.

In most of the 13 Asia-Pacific countries studied, browser loading times were up to four times slower than acceptable.

Source : FutureGov

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