Sunday 18 September 2011

Geoff Stead on mobile tech #TEDxLondon

Ubuntu is apparently not just an open source operating system, but it is actually a South African word. More precisely, it is a way of thinking. It's philosophy can be summarised by the sentence

"I am me because of us"

We are who we are today and our education and growth happens not alone, but with all of us together.

Geoff stated the painful truth that "mobile technology has landed but it has struggled to make an impact in education". Meanwhile back in his home country of South Africa, many schools do not even have computer suites. Whilst still working at his innovative company Tribal , Geoff collaborated with a fellow South African and founded a company called M-Ubuntu. It's aim was to take technology to South Africa and use it as a lever and tool for change. Not only could these students now read e-books on their mobile devices, but they also developed an app to test their knowledge on Biology! It sounds utopian and a little unrealistic right, well the proof is in the pudding and the image below is one of hundreds posted on the M-Ubuntu website showing mobile devices being used to their potential in a classroom.

The question that begs to be answered is, if Geoff can make this happen in South Africa, what are we waiting for back in the UK? We need to take mobile technology seriously too and embrace it as a lever and tool for change!

Geoff's talk closed by summarising his principles for Education Revolution:

  1. Tech is a tool (Use it to create)
  2. Be agile (Things will go wrong, but we will keep improving and learn from our mistakes)
  3. Let the learners help you (They know what's best for them)

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