Irish m-learning projects shortlisted for EU funds

10 Jan 2006

Three Irish technology projects — spanning the world’s of mobile and e-learning — have been shortlisted for EU support and if successful they could receive funding to the order of €250k each.

Focusing on mobile learning the projects are seeking funding from Minerva, the EU’s open and distance-learning programme. According to the Higher Education Authority, the national agency for Minerva, there are some 1.6 billion mobile phones in use worldwide, of which 600 million are in Europe.

However, up until now education providers have not been to the fore in using the technology to deliver learning.

The first project from Dun Laoghaire-based LM Ericsson hopes to adapt suitable existing e-learning methods and materials to m-learning with a particular emphasis on applicability for disabled users. The proposal points out that: “Never in the history of the use of technology in education has there been a technology so widely available to citizens as mobile telephony.”

The second project, from the Cork Institute of Technology, will focus on game-based e-learning for numeric and basic mathematical skills. It seeks to build on the popularity of traditional video games for the creation of new tools that can be delivered via the web and mobile phone.

The final project is led by Multimedia Instructional Design in Waterford in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology. The proposal seeks to examine Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences in an e-learning environment. Gardner has identified eight intelligences — logical, linguistic, interpersonal, musical, visual, bodily and natural. But up to now this philosophy has been based on the traditional classroom.

The three projects have until March to submit full proposals.

By John Kennedy