Ubiquitous learning: mobile devices and digital content

The impact on educational policies: examples from Latin America

How might the use of mobile devices and digital content contribute to the formulation of educational policies oriented towards inclusion, equity, and quality for all? This was the main question addressed by a Webinar organized by the IIEP Buenos Aires Office in collaboration with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO Argentina) from 14 to 16 March 2012. 

Twenty-six specialists and scholars from Latin and North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe expressed their views and engaged in dialogue with the 7,000 participants representing some 25 countries around the world.* Discussed were various trends and initiatives that take advantage of the growing dissemination of the so-called ubiquitous technologies (netbooks, tablets, smart-phones, etc.) to enable learning across space and time, such as “Seeds of Empowerment” from Stanford University, “Bridge IT” from Pearson and Nokia (implemented in the Philippines, Chile, and Colombia), and a new literacy programme for youths and adults using mobile phones to be launched in Colombia in 2012. The Webinar thus offered a context of diverse and multidisciplinary perspectives on the incorporation of ICT in the educational systems.

Rethinking the traditional educational models

To foster participation and collaborative thinking, participants of the webinar were asked to focus on specific topics, such as strategies for mobile use in education, regulations and prohibitions of the use of mobile devices, experiences using mobile devices for management and institutional communications, and digital contents.

The discussions revealed that a number of challenges remain for policy-makers, including the need to:

  • rethink the pedagogical model, the concepts of knowledge and learning today;
  • redefine the notion of good schools, integrating ubiquitous technologies;
  • analyse in depth the risks and opportunities of policies that incorporate ubiquitous technologies in schools;
  • think ahead to feasible strategies for the effective incorporation of ubiquitous technologies in schools.

This webinar was also an opportunity to strengthen the creation of a network among the main actors involved in education and technology policies in Latin America.

*Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Portugal, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.

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(In Spanish)