Another part of the package that makes mobile ministry an interesting topic is that of who is heard evangelizing what makes sense and what works well. In some respects, its easy to say that anyone who is doing anything with mobile can be an evangelist of its uses, but that’s not the case. The voices in leading mobile best come from those who are using it most directly (via Elezea).
…Now, a second question: when was the last time you heard that teachers in Africa are not trained properly, are demotivated and that the formal education systems in which they work are weak? My hunch is that you’ve heard much more about this than you’ve heard teachers praising mobile technology.
My concern is that some people use the problems with education systems to justify excluding teachers from the design and development of mobile learning interventions. Teachers’ voices are marginalised. And mobile operators association GSMA (to take just one example) characterises the teaching profession in a way that divorces it from progress and innovation.
The difficulties teachers face are used as a starting point for criticism, rather than as a motivation to address systemic issues…
That’s a hard win-lose. To see the prospects of mobile and then run to it feels like a success point, but then who is calling it a success? The person evangelizing it, or those putting it into practice?
How many of your mobile ministry efforts are founded in the context of the direct users? How many of those persons contribute directly to your project, and then to the local assimilation of mobile for that activity? Or, is this where your project hangs? Like we said in previous posts, do you understand the context of where you are asking for mobile to go?
Imagine the situation: you have been given a suite of mobile-friendly content by your organization. They expect you to learn the content, and then share it with others. You have an Android device, but not one with access to the Google Play Store. You get decent battery life, but not as good when you visit the church, bookstore, or the university. It’s not that you are at those places often, but when you get there and there’s not a workstation, you do use WiFi for a while. You are almost to the end of that content, and now need to start looking at how to share it. What are your options?
Would you use a flash drive connected to a wireless hotspot?
Would you install a mobile web server to your mobile device?
Would you install it to a memory card, then share it to others via Bluetooth?
Do you use a web service from which you and others connect to it via an application or API?
How would you use the analogy of a server and terminal to extend the reach of what you can do with ministry content? And once you have a point where you/content can be reached, what do you enable?
At Display Week in Vancouver. I wonder how things would differ if same attention was paid to interaction as presentation?
We’ve talked about various ways to share the Gospel via mobile devices, and highlighted some of the groups which are doing innovative things in this space. Here’s one example of this from the folks at Renew Outreach. Haven’t gotten a full play with it yet… that will happen soon. For now, just think about what it means to carry a hotspot and a number of connectors for various types of mobile devices, along with Bluetooth connectivity options. Pretty neat stuff.