Do-It-Yourself Learning in Kenya : Exploring mobile technologies for merging non-formal and informal learning

Sammanfattning: The educational landscape is changing and a variety of technologies and techniques are blurring the lines between traditional and non-traditional learning. This change is substantial in low-income countries: individuals in developing countries have a great desire to educate themselves and improve their quality of life. Kenyans are adequately literate and accustomed to mobile technology despite being a largely impoverished, poorly educated populace. Kenya represents an optimal setting in which to research the use and feasibility of modern mobile and educational technologies. The broad aim of this dissertation is to explore how mobile devices can catalyze and enhance both informal and non-formal learning. In particular, this dissertation explores how technologies and concepts such as mobile web apps, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and learning incentives via a smartphone specifically affect informal and non-formal learning in Kenya. The primary research question is how can learning efforts that utilize mobile learning, MOOCs, and learning incentives combine non-formal and informal learning to develop and contribute to a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to learning in Kenya? The primary method is action research. The first contribution of this dissertation is the finding that mobile web apps are currently better suited for data exchange than producing new content. The second contribution is the finding that a smartphone can enhance informal learning in a developing country with little or no scaffolding. The third contribution is the finding that non-formal learning efforts as a MOOC are shown to be a viable means of delivering non-formal learning in a developing country via a smartphone. The fourth contribution is the finding that the use of incentives such as digital badges provide a means by which to validate non-formal learning and contribute to a DIY attitude towards learning creation, where individuals can freely complement or replace a traditional curriculum.