This is the mxit learning project that you might have heard about (if you know about mxit/live in South Africa). It’s a fantastic idea and, from what I know about it, has been very successful both in South Africa and Kenya.
It’s also very much in line with CDI’s work here in Latin America - using technology to promote education. Given the work I’m involved in, looking at possible expansion for CDI globally, this is certainly a project to look at working with.
Some more about it from the website:
“In the pilot phase of the project a mobile novel (m-novel) was written and published in September 2009 on a mobisite and on MXit. The story, called Kontax, was published in English and in isiXhosa. Readers were invited to interact with it as it unfolded – teens could discuss the unfolding plot, vote in polls, leave comments, and finally submit a written piece as part of a competition for story sequel ideas. In this way the project aimed to contribute to the understanding of youth mobile literacies.”
…Read more here.
Brilliant: using mobile phones to teach reading in South Africa, where there’s a 100% penetration rate for the devices.
For those who might be questioning whether texting is the best way to teach reading — OMG — it’s much more than that! This story from The World details how it works:
The project is called m4Lit, or mobile phones for literacy. It’s a database of short stories that students can download to their phones. They can leave comments, answer questions, and in some cases, write their own alternate endings. Vosloo says their first story, called Kontax, has been especially popular among teenagers around the country.
Steve Vosloo, who created the program, says there were “60,000 full reads of the whole story from start to finish, 30,000 comments, 10,000 competition entries.”