The first mLearning class is complete, and it was a success!
33 students registered for the Institute of Christian Leadership class, and 32 of them completed the class on their mobile phones. All 32 returned to Nairobi for the final exam with a class average of A- on the same exam that the ‘reference’ group of in-class students took. We are excited and amazed.
Pastor Robert, from Rongai, returned with two of his lay church leaders and told us about the changes he experienced in his own life and the changes he observed in his two lay leaders. I smiled when he referred to the class material as ‘this gadget.’ Clearly it made a difference in his life.
Our friends, Michael and Rebecca, took us along to visit two of their recently formed farming co-ops as part of their community development work in rural Kenya. This was a fascinating adventure and gave us a view of the world we had never seen before. Yesterday we walked around Nairobi with my friends, Paul and Peter, and today we walked in Kibera for a while and had another amazing day.
Some things in Kenya form an interesting contrast compared to life in America.
Audrey and I took a walk through the Kibera slum, today, with our friend, David. In order to dress as close to normal African garb as possible Audrey wore a skirt, and I wore my nicest pair of dress shoes. I almost never wear them back home, but they just looked normal here. With them I walked on the dirt roads in Kibera where the pot holes were filled with garbage and there is no sewage system. Same with Audrey. She never wears skirts in Orlando, but it was the most normal thing she could wear here. In order to look normal in one of the poorest parts of Kenya I had to wear my nicest pair of shoes and Audrey had to wear one of the nicest outfits she has ever worn in years.
My phone provided another irony. In this same slum is the highest concentration of mobile phone users in Kenya, as I understand it, and it seemed there were more ‘M-PESA’ shops than anywhere else in the city. M-PESA is the cell phone money transfer system that most Kenyans use to send money between people and between small businesses. The M-PESA shops are where you make cash deposits and withdrawals from your account, like a bank. For 2011 they estimate that 15% of the Kenyan GDP will flow through M-PESA.
If you have an iPhone or an Android phone with a barcode scanning application that reads QR codes (like Google Goggles) you can point your phone at this one, and it should take you back to our site. I’m playing around with this to see if it would be a good thing to put on a business card. So far I’m thinking not; a little too geeky for now.