This paper is part of the UNESCO Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning. The Series seeks to better understand how mobile technologies can be used to improve educational access, equity and quality around the world. It comprises fourteen individual papers that will be published throughout 2012.
This report identifies three different types of mobile learning developments in Africa and the Middle East (AME). First, the region is host to a number of project-based interventions, many of which are small-scale, exploratory pilot projects. Second, recent social movements in AME have been enabled by the extensive use of mobile phones and social media. Third, consumers have appropriated mobile phones for a variety of individual, personalized uses. Each of these strands have aspects of ‘learning’ embedded within them, either as an explicit objective or as an unintended consequence. Project-based interventions focus on the role of mobile phones in supporting the delivery of services in a variety of sectors and fields, including education, health, agriculture, food security, disaster management and active citizenship. Together these developments are reflective of the nascent emergence of mobility as a cornerstone of society in the twenty-first century.