Hot Lava Software is teaming with the Kauffman Foundation to deliver mobile learning content to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This teaming effort is based on the premises that students can learn more effectively when they relate STEM to real-world occurrences and that their STEM achievement levels can improve by applying mobile learning to the solution of authentic problems. One of the goals of the project includes developing context-based instructional materials delivered via mobile devices that demonstrate the convergence of real-world events with STEM concepts. Such access and exposure can facilitate the educational equilibrium needed to participate in our global society.
A recent interview with Merillea J. Mayo, Ph.D., the Director of Future Learning Initiatives for the Kauffman Foundation, and Bob Sanregret, CEO and Heather A. Katz, Ph.D., Instructional Technologist both from Hot Lava Software, Inc., revealed exciting news in what is being coined as the Global Telephony Competition!
So just what are the details of this exciting Global Telephony Competition…who are the end users and how will they access, learn from, and use the STEM content?
“There are 2 to 3 billion cell phones in use around the globe. Cell phones are 40% more prevalent than televisions, twice as common as computers. Cell phones could represent a breakthrough opportunity to deliver education on a massive global scale, particularly to teens, populations of third world countries and underrepresented groups in the U.S.,” said Dr. Mayo. “These demographics all use cell phones as their primary technology device. The Global Telephony Competition you’re referring to is a large scale proof of concept. Through it, Hot Lava Software will help us answer the question: if you could build it (cell-phone-based education), would anyone use it? How many would use it? Thousands? Millions? Billions?”
“The end users will access the STEM content via the Hot Lava Mobile Delivery Tracking System (MDTS) using a mobile device. Since there are over 3 billion mobile phones in use around the world the number of possible users that can access these mobile STEM modules is astounding! Leo Png, our partner in Singapore, put the first round of STEM content together using LMA and the MDTS, designing the content so that it would work on multiple devices. The MDTS senses the type of mobile device attempting to access the module and configures the screen and content to cater to that device. The MDTS and LMA were designed from day 1 to cater to the masses of users who have normal mobile phones but also allow more advanced designers to add multimedia and other advanced content elements into their LMA modules,” said Mr. Sanregret. “The challenge for the STEM project was to use least common denominator content like images, animation and text to allow for the greatest possible reach while maintaining the best instructional design to facilitate effective learning while keeping the users cognitively engaged. Dr. Katz is one of the world’s leaders in mobile content instructional design. Her contributions to this project have ensured that the content is learning effective, engaging and usable from multiple devices.”
“First, we started with a pilot consisting of 4 STEM modules — The Science of Cycling, The Science of Table Tennis, Baseball: The Science of Swing, and Baseball Aerodynamics. Each module was created in collaboration with STEM university professors and myself. The Professors ensured the integrity of the science and math content and I ensured that the content was infused with effective learning strategies and research-based instructional design,” said Dr. Katz. “The modules will assist users in understanding the science and math behind various Olympic sports. Hence, the users can access this information while attending Olympic competitions, watching them on TV or when simply discussing the Olympic Games with friends. There are also engaging quizzes that allow the user to check their understanding of the STEM content. The goal is to associate STEM content with everyday activities such as sports.”
How will accessing STEM content via mobile devices benefit the public as well as our global society?
“For this competition, and indeed, much of our work, we focus on science, technology, engineering and math education because proficiency in these subjects is so critical to one’s ability to thrive in the global economy. Personal wealth, as well as the wealth of nations, will depend on our ability to apply these fields to the betterment of mankind.” expressed Dr. Mayo.
What type of results do both the Kauffman Foundation and Hot Lava expect from this Global Telephony Competition?
“We hope at least one person dials in. In all seriousness, every big effort like this starts very small. I’m always amazed at how different a project looks by the time it’s done, compared to where we started.” said Dr. Mayo. “By the end of this competition, we hope to be able to report that we were able to produce the single biggest educational event on the planet; and, that the participants enjoyed learning what we delivered. Those two outcomes will be enough to inspire others, and transform cell phone-based education from a novelty into a reality.”
“A repeatable, replicable and recurring process for life change is the result we feel is most critical. My Uncle Jack once told me “an idea is worth ten cents but implementation of a good idea is worth ten million dollars.” Through the vision, passion and dedication of Dr. Mayo we — Hot Lava Software and the Kauffman Foundation — are creating a process to bring education to the people, to all people.” Adds Mr. Sanregret. “There are over 3 billion mobile phones in the world, some in the hands of people who will never use a PC. Success for me is designing, creating, testing and implementing a process that will bring education to them as well as the rest of the world.”
Hot Lava has created a URL that the public can use to access these exciting STEM modules via their mobile devices. You can access this by going to: hdwap.com/sport7. Follow the directions on the login page and then jump right in to the modules.
Bob Sanregret, CEO, Hot Lava Software
P: +1 (703) 754-1218
Merillea J. Mayo, Ph.D., Director, Future of Learning Initiatives for the Kauffman Foundation
P: +1 (816) 932-1015