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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The impact of e-learning on women and children: Taking the Digital Mentoring Project to the next level

I have been developing the Digital Mentoring Project (DMP) in Haiti in a fairly casual, organic way. We have about 30 school leaders there now supplied with BlackBerry smartphones. Getting a "tool" in these principals' hands has been the first step, as well as giving them the opportunity to dialogue with each other and myself.

We now need to take the DMP to another level. There is a real need to move from a "professional network" to also providing on-line resources that the principals can access from their smartphones. These resources should include short videos (featuring Haitian principals), web-links, pdf documents, and interactive forums. To do this is going to require some significant financial support and I have begun this conversation with our development office at Laurier.

In conjunction with this, we need to add to the research which has been happening regarding the impact of digital technology on learning, particularly for those who have typically been marginalized. Here is an interesting article from the Gates Foundation which speaks to this issue (in health):

Mobile Phones for Women's Empowerment

I am not aware of anything like the DMP occurring in any developing world context so I think we're onto something very important. Now we have to figure out how to make this happen.

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