Category Archives: Mobile Phones and Education

South Africa’s young voters are the real “game changers”

After reading a blog post entitled “Vote as if ALL our lives depended on it” I was inspired to share the following 3 basic steps to help political actors engage young voters in South Africa:

  1. Set up a Social Media Communication Team who knows their way around mobile platforms, instant messaging, texting, tweeting and posting…recruitment criteria must include evidence of being a good networker.
  2. Incentivise! More than 77% of young people aged 18 – 25 are “pay as you go” cell phone users. Spot prizes or even competitions offering airtime will attract and hold this age groups attention. E.g. “Invite ‘selfies’ which include a message about why you are voting in this year’s election”
  3. Finally, don’t neglect your existing database. Every one of your e-mail contacts has access to a mobile phone. Engage those who already support you to offer steps 1 and 2 above to their network of contacts.

Young people are not hard to reach, they’re a generation waiting to be found, but to engage them you may need to learn txtspk 😉


Can Mobile Phones support Education in South Africa?

Mobile phones and their impact on the economies and societies of developing countries has been popular discourse in recent times. The growth of access to mobile phones in Africa has been of particular interest to various actors. There are examples of how mobiles have been used to help market traders in Africa determine prices for their stock, of how health practitioners use them to find and advise patients and there are even examples of mobile phones used for the purposes of monitoring national elections. My research and area of interest is in how mobile phones can support education. I am new to blogging, so I hope to improve the quality of my online contributions over time. I humbly ask that the reader practice patience (and possibly tolerance). I do not intend to bog you down with blogs of statistics about mobile phones, though some may creep in. I do hope that these contributions will invite debate, comments and questions from all who are interested in the eradication of poverty and inequality through education. Below is a copy of  my first attempts to find out more about what teachers in South Africa think about mobile phones (or cell phones as they are called in SA) and their place in Education in South Africa.

*If you are a High School Teacher in South Africa please follow the link to the Survey Competition where you can let me know what your views are about mobile phones and their potential to benefit or stifle education in South Africa.