In this blog, I’ve often focused on the use of media players and cell phones to improve the teaching of teachers and to improve the learning of students. Admitting, my focus has always been on the use of these devices in a western, mainly North American school setting. However, the use of mobile devices to improve learning is beginning to spread to poor and remote areas of the world as well. The power of media players in to bringing information to poor and remote areas of the world is that little or no technological infrastructure needs to be in place and portable media players are relatively cheap. The One Media Player per Teacher (OMPT) project aims to provide teachers who teach the children of the world’s one billion poorest with media players containing information, PD, training materials and lessons in an attempt to lift poor countries out of poverty through high quality primary education.
As it states on the project’s website:
“The information age has not arrived on a global scale. The Internet revolution has yet to reach billions of the world’s poor. Most of these lack access to computers and live far away from the Internet. Many are illiterate and cannot understand even a simple Web page.
Yet, there is hope for the poor.
The information revolution can indeed reach the barely reachable. It can change their lives. For those trapped in poverty, the most valuable data on the Internet may not be Web pages, but rather sounds and images, because audio-visual files can educate even the illiterate.”
Using media players for learning is not a unique idea. After all, that is the central theme of this blog and those of many other educators. However, there is a certain sense of moral imperative in taking the portable media players, filling them with audio and video podcasts, training material and other learning resources and providing them to teachers in poor countries with the aim of improving teaching practices and bring some of the masses of information found on the WWW to the remotest areas of the world. To me, this once again demonstrates the power technology has to connect human beings and to improve the lives even of those who are physically removed from technological infrastructure and are too poor to purchase technology for themselves.
OMPT wesite: http://www.ompt.org
OMPT Blog: http://blog.ompt.org/