An open source model for teaching environments incorporating wireless devices

Mutuku, James (2007)

Word processed copy.


Attempts have been made at bridging the digital divide in schools using desktop PC systems without much success. As a result many computer laboratories sit empty. There are many reasons for these failures. Often there are incompatibilities of software applications for the PC and its operating systems. In other cases non-existent infrastructure such as networking support for the operations. This paper describes a project aimed at achieving a more successful school educational environment by using students' mobile devices, desktop computer and open source applications. The project therefore, looks forward to a time when schools no longer have to purchase computers for their students but rather utilize mobile devices already owned by students. The paper presents results of an evaluation study on the interaction of students' moble devices with course material and teachers using open source applications in a teaching environment. The pilot project was undertaken by Schoolnet in Namibia. The result presented show that although there were constraints on such devices the educational benefits far outweight the physical limitations.