In February 2012, I will be traveling to Tanzania to conduct research on the use of mobile devices in creating interactive learning environments.

Here’s a map of Tanzania — we actually are going to be in the south, in a small town called Newala, outside of Mtwara, the coastal city.

Our study will investigate the effects of the SMILE program on learning in under-resourced communities. Specifically, our research questions are:

  • Does inquiry-based mobile learning increase students’ creativity and critical thinking?
  • How effective is mobile inquiry-based learning at increasing student learning in an extremely underserved area in the developing world? Is it effective at increasing student achievement and if so, in what ways?
  • Does it change student-teacher interactions in schools? Does it change student and teacher perceptions of learning and teaching?

To carry out this project, we will conduct a mixed-methods study of the SMILE project over four sessions with two classrooms in Tanzanian middle schools over a span of 2 weeks. Our design includes both a pre-post test of content knowledge, classroom observations, interviews and surveys with students.

Please see the slide show from our symposium below.