EdTechx(11.133x)Learning just about anything, even with a low-tech phone.

This is week one activity break which is required to ask someone  the following question

How has technology helped you to learn a concept or topic (does not have to be from formal schooling)?

I asked a woman in her mid-thirties through WhatsApp messaging and here goes our conversation:

I had to breakdown the question and re-frame in my own words so I can get as much information as I can from the woman.

My questioning goes as follow:

What have you learned recently?

How and where did you learn it?

What informed your learning process and what medium do you use?

The answer she gave shows that she did not understand my questions so I re-framed my questions as follows:

Have you learned something useful recently?

Did you learn a subject or a skill?

Where did you learn it from ? (Facebook, youtube, twitter or WhatsApp)

Why did you think the medium is useful for what you are learning?

She responded that she has been learning from Facebook:

1. How to lose weight drinking lemon, cucumber and honey.

2. How to keep money from her husband.

3. How to self-check for Cancer and food that can prevent and cure cancer. She followed that up with a photo image showing the different kind of fruits that can change life.

Then I asked why she thinks Facebook is useful to learn what she is learning and if she would be able to learn them without Facebook.

She responded that she can access the same information from twitter and she can use her laptop and Ipad too.

I asked what technology she is using to access Facebook, she said “Nokia XL” Smartphone.

Then I asked how essential is her Nokia phone for accessing learning on Facebook online?

She responded that it is very essential with money. Which in other words means without money to buy data connection credit for her phone she will be unable to access the learning from Facebook online.

That sums up my conversation with the woman. Though she did not answer every single question but her response shows that she has been learning a lot from Facebook using her Smartphone for access. She is very much aware of other alternative source of the information, mentioning twitter. Despite this, she has chosen Facebook as her preferred source. This shows that Facebook is not just a social media tool for connecting with friends but a learning tool and a goto source of information, easily accessible with just about any type of phone no matter how low-tech.

Her preferred use of mobile phone to access information for learning on Facebook also shows that learning does not have to keep you tied up to a place or keep you stationary, you can be on the move while learning and also have access to as little or as many information as you may need. When she said she was learning about Cancer and food that can prevent or cure it, she followed up with a photo image of such fruits. The image provided a lot of information in a snapshot, which shows that you can learn a lot from bite-size information and the medium she is using is ideal for this. No matter how small the mobile screen is, you can still get the information in bite-size. Besides, bit-size information is ideal way of learning for busy people on the move and those that can not digest too much information at a go, in other words Mobile-Learning.

The fact that she is learning how to hide money from her husband shows that you can learn just about anything with mobile phone connection to Facebook or others. Of course, her husband may not like this and so the size of the Smartphone makes it easy to slide it under the pillow, desk or in a pocket or purse when footsteps are coming or just slide it off the screen if someone is peeking a look. These technologies of course help a lot, at the same that can be hindrance in many ways.

Lastly for financially constrained people, lack of data connection means lack of access to information and source of learning like facebook as she indicated. The technology is out there and the source of information and learning is abound but with no access, no learning if such technology is the only means of accessing information for learning, thankfully that is not the case presently. Even so, there is a divide, people with access have more sources of information to learn from.