In the course of this research, I read some of the papers of Prof. John Traxler who at the time of this work is in the UNESCO Chair for Mobile Learning at the  University of Wolverhampton. Upon making contact with him, he was swift in referring me to the UNESCO Mobile Learning Workshop Report 2012 which was published just about 2 weeks after the start of my research. This document outlined the areas to be examined for the implementation of mobile learning. The methodology, however, was left to be explored on country by country basis.

My Work  has taken these into consideration and sought to investigate how the implementation could be done in Ghana vis-a-vis the challenges among which are device, technology and policy settings, to mention but a few. It has also looked at effective content development, assessment and evaluation methods, enrichment and remediation, and also architectures for implementing a collaborative content development to meet the needs of all categories of schools and students.

Critical among the study is how to develop content to meet the needs of individual pupils at the levels of their specific needs. This study and design considerations take into account the fact that some schools in Ghana operate what is called a year ahead methodology whereby the next year curriculum is taught in the current year in order to cover sufficiently the prescribed syllabus on schedule. Also taken into consideration is the fact that pupils/students first class schools cannot be said to receive the same level of teaching as in third class schools. As such methodology must be designed in mobile learning to let content appeal to all categories of schools, and be effective and usable given the limitations and challenges of small device environment.

According to the African Mobile Observatory report, 2011, by GSMA et al., (2011) the mobile industry in Africa is booming. With over 620 million mobile connections as of September 2011, Africa has overtaken Latin America to become the second largest mobile market in the world, after Asia. Fierce competition has driven down prices and increased penetration. The Mobile Industry in Africa contributes US$56 billion to the regional economy, equivalent to 3.5% of total GDP. There remains huge untapped potential - 36% of Africans, within the 25 largest African mobile markets still have no access to mobile services. The mobile industry in Africa is an enabler of economic development far beyond its immediate domain. Mobile operators have driven the emergence of a unique industry in innovative mobile services in Africa. Mobile Value-Added Services have been launched throughout the continent to enable and support agriculture, banking, education, healthcare and gender equality. African governments are slowly shifting to more transparent ICT regulation.

The benefits that mobile services have already brought to hundreds of millions of Africans can be extended to those who have yet to connect. By so doing, the African continent can continue to bring not only communication services, but also improved financial services, healthcare and education to its people and drive an increase in the economic wealth and development. (GSMA et al., 2011) According to a news publication by the Daily Graphic (Okine, 2011) the ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamdoun Toure, on his last visit to Ghana, told the Graphic Business after a tour of some of the telecom installations in the country that the opportunities for Ghana were enormous. Dr Toure said there was the need for a broadband policy that would allow the operators to move to the rural areas to enable them to also access that service. He said while looking forward to achieving the MDGs, the broadband connectivity to the rural areas could help accelerate development through what he described as the ‘e-components of ICT’; e-health, e-commerce, e-agriculture, e-education among others. The Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO) has also hammered home this point and suggested to the government to give incentives to the operators to extend their services to the rural communities. According to the sector Minister, broadband infrastructure will “improve and expand education, commerce, health, governance, environmental monitoring and agribusiness among others” (Okine, 2011). While all these advocacies are on going it is also important to begin looking at how Ghana should be prepared to maximize benefit from such an area as e-education through mobile learning, which this project is concerned with.

The mobile phones in the hands of our learners end up being used to play games and even gambling. Meanwhile, there is a ban of the use of mobile phones in schools where such vices even show their ugly heads. Why can’t parent be made to properly acquire mobile phones for their children as educational tools which they can thus officially monitor together with their teachers? Why can the mobile phone not be used to enrich knowledge and raise education level of teenagers and youth, thereby raising their self worth, and putting value on them? “Today’s workers are becoming more mobile and, at the same time, more collaborative” (CDW LLC, 2011). This implies that, the production of more educated people in a local setting does not in today’s terms mean fewer jobs available. “Companies have been utilizing e-mail, voicemail, IM, unified messaging, video and web conferencing, and presence to dramatically alter their communication processes. This allows for significant improvements in communicating with customers and how employees collaborate and work together throughout the organization” (CDW LLC, 2011). “The technology is now available to bring all of these services together within a unified communications (UC) framework, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively, moving away from legacy silo applications and toward next-generation, IP-based communications and messaging for data, voice, video, presence and text-based modalities” (CDW LLC, 2011). According to CDW LLC, (2011), a recent survey by research firm IDC showed the following results on CIOs of companies’ usage of collaboration in the US: • 33% are using it • 54% plan to use it in the future. “IDC estimates the worldwide market for unified communications and collaboration will reach more than $17 billion by the end of 2011”. (IDC, June 2010) Thus, job markets are taking different turns.

Mobile learning can be used to extend quality education from well endowed areas of Ghana to the deprived areas to produce quality educated hands who can exploit the collaborative job market to achieve national economic growth without causing either brain drain or saturation of local job market. “m-learning aims to improve levels of literacy, numeracy and participation in education amongst young adults across the EU. The objective is to give this target group an interest in life-long learning. m-learning makes use of young people's interest in their mobile phones and other handheld communications/entertainment devices to deliver exciting and unusual learning experiences and related messages” (MOBIlearn, 2006) .


It is argued that mobile phones are used to cheat in examination halls. If so then why is paper not banned from schools since they can also be used to cheat? (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011). According to The Innovative Educator BlogSpot (2011) the banning of cell phones should not prevent the promotion of the teaching of how technology tools can be used to enhance teaching and learning. This is because the classrooms of today do not match the world of today. What students encounter inside classroom walls is different from what is in the real world outside the classroom walls (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011).

The $15 being charged per week for students to collect their phones stored for them when they enter school walls (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011) will amount to a $60 per month. In Ghana today, this will buy about 15GB of internet data. The reader can imagine the number of learning environment SMS and internet browsing and downloads that could have been sent with this money. “If we don’t teach how banned and filtered technologies can be used then we are not empowering students to operate in safe, appropriate, and acceptable ways with or without technology whether inside or outside school walls (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011). According to Sprint (2009), Inkster Public Schools, a school district just outside of Detroit, is located in one of the highest-needs areas in Michigan. More than one in five students require special education and learning disabilities were not uncommon. The impact of poverty and learning disabilities on the school community and on life greatly shapes the educational experience for students and families. Data showed that students in the district were performing below state standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. Inkster sought to improve students’ test scores and increase their engagement in the classroom.

Although wireless phones had been barred from the classroom for years, viewed as a disruption to the learning environment, Inkster decided to explore the possibility of using wireless phones as a learning tool. Sprint introduced Inkster to GoKnow Learning, Inc., a University of Michigan spinoff that focuses on helping K-12 institutions adopt mobile learning. The result of a 2009 summer school session trial program with Sprint and GoKnow, using a variety of mobile technology programs on their phones was beyond the expectations of Inkster Public School District. Student attendance and engagement in the classroom also increased. “We realize that students are digital learners with a firm grasp of technology, so integrating tools that they use everyday has provided some wonderful benefits,” said Pete Lopez, the IT Director of Inkster Public Schools. (Sprint, 2009) The Innovative Educator Blogspot (2010) further indicates that in exposing teachers to ways to incorporate cells into the classroom, “we are providing that teacher and classroom with tremendous power and access and an ability to model for students how to use a cell phone as a learning tool (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011). Social networks can be transformed into online learning environment globally. For example the MXit social network is currently being used in South Africa by Growing All Through Education (GATE), to enhance education through QuixMax to offer maths and science education enhancement.


A study by (Desmond Keegan, 2006) has shown that “Japan, Taiwan and South Africa are world leaders in the field of mobile learning and that both Korea and China have great potential to also become major players. Considerable activity has also been documented in Australia, Canada, India and the United States of America. m-learning can be used as a form of performance support system for educational and training purposes (Desmond Keegan, 2006). Growing All Through Education (GATE), a company, focussed on providing Mobile Learning Solutions and relevant content to Africa and the Middle East. The focus is on making learning Simple, Fun and Relevant. All the video and cell-based material developed by the company is carefully adapted to be in line with the country specific Curriculum Statement, enabling learners and educators to use the material with confidence. The material is developed by qualified and experienced educators. (McDougall, 2011) Learning to the Max Foundation is a Non Profit Company with the focus on South African schools, providing additional value to the products provided by GATE.


Pupils and students are engaging themselves in having fun with mobile phones through download of games, music, and worse of all gambling. The extent to which this engagement is going can adversely affect their education. Learners, who are already in possession of cell phones, are far ahead in information and knowledge than most of us educators (The Innovative Educator Blogspot, 2011). We should find ways of utilizing these technological resources to enhance education.  


The energy and time spent by pupils and students on engaging themselves in mobile phone games can be harnessed through the introduction of some educational content, organized in such a manner as to engage their attention with fun, to enhance their education. There are learners in deprived areas who do not derive required benefits from the educators who are even assigned to them. These sterns from the fact that some educators in such deprived areas are apathetic to their deprived environment. Also, learners in deprived areas must be help by educators in endowed areas to enhance their education. Further, the educators in the rural areas are less technologically endowed and need to be technologically appraised.


Retrieved 12 10, 2011, from The Innovative Educator Blogspot: ( CDW LLC. (2011). Unified Messaging. By taking a unified, strategic approach to messaging, companies can improve business processes, reduce costs and bolster customer service. CDW LLC. Desmond Keegan, G. K. (2006). THE ROLE OF MOBILE LEARNING IN EUROPEAN EDUCATION. GSMA et al. (2011). African Mobile Observatory - Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Services. IDC. (June 2010). Maximizing Your Collaboration Investment By Choosing the Right Services Approach. McDougall, I. (2011). Who we are. Presentation Slides, Growing All Through Education (GATE). MOBIlearn. (2006). Related Projects. Retrieved 01 07, 2012, from MOBIlearn Web Site: Okine, C. B. (2011, 05 25). Broadband Penetration in Ghana. Retrieved 12 16, 2011, from Modern Ghana: Sprint. (2009). Mobile learning solution helps Inkster Public Schools turn wireless phones into valuable learning tool. Sprint and GoKnow deliver higher achievement scores for underprivileged school district.