What does this set up in terms of ‘have’ and ‘have-not’?
On one hand, North America is a continent full of people who ‘have’ too much. Far too much. Shouldn’t we pay more for things? We have SO MUCH!
The problem, I think, is that our over-abundance over-shadows that there are millions of people in North America just scraping by; marginalized groups we tend to overlook.
What can we learn from Zoraini Wati Abas and Open University Malaysia?
Canadian Universities would be under huge scrutiny if they ever paid for the text plans for students to allow for SMS communication.
But what about those marginalized groups? Northern communities, new immigrants, Aboriginal groups, homeless, the working poor are all groups who slip through the cracks. Some of them live in third world conditions but they have to live with first world expenses.
There is such a diversity of need within the student population. How do we implement something that is fair and balanced?
Student loans are helpful but after the six-month grace period interest starts accruing. My Ontario Student Loan paid for my tuition, textbooks, rent, and day care. I’m still paying it off and at this rate it will take about 15 more years (at least). I am loathe to calculate the total cost of my education. What if I had to use my student loan to pay for exorbitant cell phone rates too? Because my class required it?
As Ontario aims to reach a 70% post-secondary attainment rate, we need to be looking at these non-traditional learners and ask ourselves where they are in terms of mobile learning.
Do they have cell phones? Are they old cell phones like my ancient mocked phone? How would they feel in a class where everyone else had a smart phone? Would they be at a clear disadvantage? Can they afford to send texts, surf the web, interact with their phones as we would hope?
In what circumstances are education providers expecting these learners to choose between groceries and a mobile device?
I wish I had more answers but I guess change comes from asking questions. And I have a lot of those.