Steve Vosloo

The education potential of mobile content

Again and again I’m struck by the massive uptake of mobile phones in the developing world. Exact figures are often hard to come by, but in South Africa it is estimated that 70% of the population has access to a mobile phone. Amongst the youth, that figure is easily 90%. The mobile phone is the…

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Notes from eLearning Africa 2008

Last week I attended the third annual eLearning Africa conference in Accra, Ghana. Approximately 1500 delegates from 83 countries, mostly in Africa, gathered to discuss, share and promote various approaches to information and communication technologies (ICT) in education (primary, secondary and tertiary). The conference included researcher and practitioner presentations as well as exhibitions of commercial…

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The Sharks Super 14 in review: Still nothing in the trophy case

So South Africa´s most valuable franchise has gone yet another year without anything to put into an already quite empty trophy case. So let’s have a review of the season shall we, and see what went wrong this time. At the beginning of the season, it was easy for Sharks fans to feel a bit…

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Grand Theft Morals, or ultimate role model? (part II)

In part one of this piece I listed some of the powerful teaching and learning traits embedded in good digital games. Now, what happens in the case of GTA IV where we have good learning, with bad content? I’m afraid there are more questions than answers right now as we try to better understand games–based…

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Grand Theft Morals, or ultimate role model? (part I)

I’m fascinated and challenged by Grand Theft Auto (GTA) IV, the new, extremely violent, extremely popular video game. I need to tell you why in two parts. The first part describes the exciting potential of digital games for learning, listing a number of effective teaching qualities embedded in good games. Part two considers these qualities…

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How to stem the Matthew Effect in education

There is unanimous agreement that South Africa’s education is in crisis. What we can’t agree on is how to fix it. It seems that everyone has their two cents’ worth of wisdom: “What we need is …”, “It’s time to …”, “The thing is …”, “You see, if only they had …” — we’ve become…

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YouTube’s OK for scholars, non-profits and the queen

What do Marilyn Manson, the Testical Festival and Queen Elizabeth have in common? They’re all on YouTube. No longer only the domain of the cute, the weird and the insanely boring (think family holiday videos), YouTube is becoming a platform for information dissemination and community engagement for more serious content. Scholars, international organisations and the…

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YouTube’s OK for scholars, non-profits and the queen

What do Marilyn Manson, the Testical Festival and Queen Elizabeth have in common? They’re all on YouTube. No longer only the domain of the cute, the weird and the insanely boring (think family holiday videos), YouTube is becoming a platform for information dissemination and community engagement for more serious content. Scholars, international organisations and the…

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Fan fiction: Improving youth literacy

For many fans of Harry Potter, the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, does not signify the end of the story. There are thousands of young people who write their own additions to, subplots within, and alternative endings or continuations to the world of sorcery and Hogwarts. At the time…

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Using MXit to learn

MXit, the very cheap, very popular mobile instant messaging (MIM) application (that is actually a lot more), is coming of age. To clear the way for the rest of the discussion, I am aware of the dangers and risks of MXit: addicts — teens and working people — who spend hours a day tap-tapping their…

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