OLTD 502 – Final Assignment – Geoff Stead and M-Ubuntu

Today I looked around at the work that Geoff Stead is doing at Tribal labs in developing and distributing mobile apps and smartphones to test in classrooms.  I first came across Geoff through a MOOC that he had set up dealing with m-learning, and the challenge of bridging the gap between theory and practice.  Geoff gave a TED talk in London last year on his experiences with mlearning. Smartphones, he says, are kind of like a digital Swiss army knife – they provide us with a range of tools to record and represent our learning.  As we use these digital Swiss army knives more and more we will move to a place in our teaching where our lessons are no longer confined to the four walls of the classroom.  He talks about the idea of “Ubuntu”, a word of South African origin, which roughly translates to “I am me because of us”.  We need to keeps this in mind when we develop and test out these new tools, as the collaborations with our peers and students will yield much richer results.  Currently, Tribal Labs are taking refurbished smartphones and using them in schools in South Africa.  Students are using them to develop their own apps to study for tests, and represent their learning in unique ways.  They deem these projects m-Ubuntu, and their website can be found here.  Here is Geoff’s TED talk:

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