The February 2015 issue of the Gender & Mobile/Learning Newsletter is now available! You may access the newsletter on the web by clicking this link.

This had to be one of my favorite issues to put together since it provided me with a good excuse to chat to friend and colleague Dr. Mmaki Jantjies of South Africa. Mmaki is a legend in my book, having completed her PhD in three years flat while her husband was doing a PhD at the same time! If only I could be more like her in my own doctoral pursuits!

More related to this newsletter is that Mmaki’s work in mobile-assisted language learning is revolutionary: it allows users to switch between their mother tongue language and the language that is the medium of instruction for the STEM subject they are learning. Before her groundbreaking work, I had not heard of much activity in this area. What a truly meaningful and incredible contribution by a woman working in mobile. I am sure you will enjoy reading about the interview with Mmaki in the newsletter as much as I enjoyed conducting it!

kidogokidogoIt was also a great pleasure to read about kidogo kidogo, a social enterprise that is helping to broaden women’s access to mobile technology. This is achieved by designing fashionable phone cases which are sold, and the profits from these sales are then used to subsidize the cost of a phone purchase for women in Tanzania.

There are loads of people doing incredible work in gender and mobiles, and in our next issue I do hope we can feature men doing work with mobiles and perhaps women, too! If you have any ideas, please be in touch.

The October 2014 issue of the Gender & Mobile/Learning Newsletter is now available! You may access the newsletter on the web by clicking this link.

My co-editor Alex Tyers and I realized after its publication that this newsletter issue has a definite mobile health (mHealth) theme happening. Most of the stories feature mHealth interventions, including the launch of South Africa’s first national public mHealth service, called MomConnect.


MomConnect advertisement

My favorite spotlight article from the newsletter, however, is of course mobile learning-related. Lizzie’s Creations is a company developing educational apps for women and children in Africa, and its young female namesake has already created a partnership with MTN Nigeria to expand the reach of her work.

Why I like Lizzie’s product AfroTalez so much is because it teaches children African folktales in a bid to help preserve the rich history of the continent. afrotalezAlthough the oral tradition has been strong in Africa for millenia, digital preservation of the peoples and cultures there is one way to document, maintain, and share stories so that they’re not lost when migration happens or people lose the spirit of the griots before them. I hope we’ll see more apps like this soon.

Check out this newsletter issue and let me know your thoughts!