Mobile Learning for Development: Participatory Design of an Open Mobile Knowledge Exchange Network for the Detection, Identification and Monitoring of Infectious Disease
Supervisor: Dr Niall Winters (IoE)
Co-Supervisor Mr Nick Short (RVC)
Mobile phones increasingly play a key role in learning. Their potential is perhaps greatest in Africa, where the mobile phone rather than the desktop computer is the dominant technology. The field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development seeks to leverage this growth, focusing on user-generated content and open educational resources (OERs).
However, while studies have investigated how motivated experts in the 'developed world' use mobile phones for learning, determining how to support African mobile learners in their own socio-cultural contexts is a significant challenge that remains under-researched.
The project will co-design and co-develop a sustainable open knowledge exchange network (OpenKXnet) with veterinarians in East Africa. Using mobile phones, vets will create, discuss and share information about infectious disease detection, identification and management (DIM) practices.
A major part of the project is to iteratively design OpenKXnet to support knowledge construction through collaboration, supporting vets in developing their own OERs based on analysis of data collected on DIM. Evaluation will focus on how OpenKXnet is appropriated by vets and on determining the factors for sustainable implementation.
Applications are invited for a Bloomsbury Colleges funded PhD Studentship to be jointly supervised between the Institute of Education (IoE) and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). This interdisciplinary project will provide the successful applicant with experience in development education, technology enhanced learning, participatory design and disease detection, identification and management techniques.
1. Barker, I., Brownlie, J., Peckham, C., Picket, J., Stewart, W., Waage, J., Wilson, P., and Woolhouse, M. (2006) Foresight Infectious Diseases: preparing for the future - A Vision of Future Dectection, Identification and Monitoring Systems, Office of Science and Innovation, London.
2. Heeks, R. (2008) ICT4D 2.0: the next phase of applying ICT for international development, IEEE Computer, 41 (6), 26-33
3. Luckin, R. (2010) Learning, Context and the Role of Technology, London: Routledge
Slater D., and Tacchi, J.(2004) ICT Innovations for Poverty Reduction. UNESCO: New Delhi
Futher details about the project may be obtained from
Further information about PhDs at the Institute of Education is available from:
How to Apply
Applications should be made using the online UK Postgraduate Applications System (UKPASS)
You will need to register with with UKPASS to use this online application system. It is free of charge to register and apply.
Please indicate in your application the reference number of the studentship for which you wish to be considered:: BCPhD: Winters
Additional Application Requirements
In addition to the standard application form we require:
1. A short statement of no more than 500 words on:
why you are interested in this project
your current knowledge of the areas it covers and/or the way in which you will bring yourself up to speed in the subject matter.
2. A copy of a piece of your own written work. This might be something you have written as coursework, or a publication (either for a peer reviewed journal or something more journalistic such as a student newspaper).
Closing date for applications: 1st March 2010