Mobile learning in resource-constrained environments. A case study of medical education.
05 - Forschungs- oder Arbeitsbericht
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Background: The achievement of the millennium development goals may be facilitated by the use of information and communication technology in medical and health education. Aims: This study intended to explore the use and impact of educational technology in medical education in resource-constrained environments. Methods: A multiple case study was conducted in two Nepalese teaching hospitals. The data were analysed using activity theory as an analytical basis. Results: There was little evidence for formal e-learning, but the findings indicate that students and residents adopted mobile technologies, such as mobile phones and small laptops, as cultural tools for surprisingly rich "informal" learning in a very short time. These tools allowed learners to enhance (a) situated learning, by immediately connecting virtual information sources to their situated experiences; (b) cross-contextual learning by documenting situated experiences in the form of images and videos and re-using the material for later reflection and discussion; and (c) engagement with educational content in social network communities. Conclusion: By placing the students and residents at the centre of the new learning activities, this development has begun to affect the overall educational system. Leveraging these tools is closely linked to the development of broad media literacy, including awareness of ethical and privacy issues.