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                                 In this issue:

How fashion and mobile go together in Tanzania
Interview with mobile learning expert Mmaki Jantjies

 
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Gender and Mobiles Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 1
Note from the editors

We are thrilled to be taking part in UNESCO's 4th Annual Mobile Learning Week (MLW) in Paris! This year's theme is one we love: gender and mobile learning. We are being (re)introduced to a number of incredible projects that seek to help make education accessible and empowering for girls and women worldwide. Stay tuned for our next issue, where we will share our highlights from MLW. Be sure to tweet this issue using the hashtag #MLW2015

Kidogo Kidogo: Fashionably making a difference

In Tanzania, less than 40% of women own a mobile phone. This is mostly due to the high cost of a mobile handset ($15 or more), which can be difficult to save for when three-quarters of the country are living on under $2 a day. Women cite the many reasons they would love a phone, from the functional – having an alarm clock, flashlight, radio, calculator, and mobile money account, to the emotional – being able to hear the voices of loved ones far away.

kidogo kidogo, a U.S. based social enterprise, is helping to overcome this financial barrier to handset ownership by subsidizing the cost of handsets for bottom of the pyramid women in Tanzania through the sale of fashionable iPhone 4/4S, 5/5S, 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 phone cases designed by a Tanzania based artist, Sarah Markes. Learn more here.

This is a guest post written by Kristen Waeber of kidogo kidogo
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Woman in Mobile: Dr Mmaki Jantjies shares her experiences in mobile learning

In this issue, we are delighted to spotlight a friend and respected academic colleague, Dr Mmaki Jantjies. Mmaki is a University of Warwick graduate who developed innovative software as part of her doctoral studies to help make mobile-based multilingual maths instruction possible. She is now the Information Systems Department Head at North-West University in South Africa. In this interview, she shares insights into her work in mobile learning, as well as career advice for other women who may be considering a career in mobile. She's a Woman in Mobile we admire!

G&M Newsletter: What led you to study computer science?

Mmaki: I studied it in high school as a subject. I was interested in it because there were a lot of opportunities in this area.

G&M Newsletter: Can you tell us a bit about your PhD research?

Mmaki: I was looking at a framework that could be used by other computer scientists to develop software for use in educational environments. Many computer scientists tend not to know how to do this. I wanted to explore how we could improve education through the use of mobile devices in multilingual contexts in STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Read the full interview here.

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New online course: Gender, Technology and Social Change 

TechChange are running a 4-week course on gender, ICT and international development issues from 3-28 August 2015. Delivered online, the course aims to offer practical and theoretical explorations of how challenges of access and disparity can be addressed for females and males, as well as looking at gender-centred design of technology.

Find out more.
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The link between UN Women
and mobile learning

The field of gender and mobile learning has an ally in UN Women Executive Director Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. For the past few months, Phumzile has spoken at Davos on the transformative potential of (mobile) technology and launched the HeforShe platform for men to join in solidarity to champion gender equality.

In an interview with Alec Hogg, Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "I did a PhD on mobile technology. [...] That’s where my eyes were opened.  By the time I went to work at UN Women, I was very clear that technology was going to be part of parcel of what I’m going to use to reach out to both men and women in the world – for them to be part of trying to solve the problems."

Read the full interview here.
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Gates 2015: educational technology will revolutionize learning for girls 

In Bill and Melinda Gates’ 2015 Annual letter, they outlined their predictions for 2030 and what the future holds. Over the next 15 years, they believe education and technology has huge potential to change the lives of women and girls. They argue that online education can help to close the gender literacy gap, and will open up new opportunities for girls with the means and motivation to take advantage of it.

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Tech for women's empowerment?

In this recent blog post, newsletter co-editor Ronda Zelezny-Green muses on the relationship between tech and gender empowerment, and how that means going beyond tech that merely makes life easier for women. 

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Top tips for gender & mobile learning design

Writing for the GSMA, newsletter co-editor Alex Tyers shares insights for improving the development of mobile services that target women and girls. User testing figures centrally in her advice, as does localization.
 
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Are online classrooms made for the poor?

Michael Trucano of the World Bank is one of many featured voices in this article guest edited by Bill Gates on the peril and the potential of online education, particularly in developing countries. Girls and women as online learners is also discussed.

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The next issue of the Gender & Mobiles Newsletter is scheduled to be published in April 2015. We welcome your contributions!
The concept for the Gender & Mobiles newsletter was created by Ronda Zelezny-Green. This issue was sourced and compiled by Ronda Zelezny-Green and Alexandra Tyers.

Please bring any errors or omissions to the attention of the editors. Revisions will be addressed in the subsequent issue.

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