Showing posts with label mobile internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mobile internet. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Course-prep: A blended learning platform

JHS1 Students of Glory Kindercare Complex exploring the platform
Last Monday, I was privileged to introduce a blended learning platform -- Course-prep -- to first year students of the Glory Kindercare Learning Complex JHS, in Sunyani.

"Blended learning is the integration of online technology/learning, with the traditional face-to-face class activities, in a planned, pedagogical, valuable manner". - Online Learning Consortium

Features of Course-prep
Randomised Questions and Answers: Questions and answers (MCQs) are randomly displayed to prevent cheating during in-class quizzes.
Multimedia Course Material Supplement: Supplementary course materials such as videos, audios and other e-learning files can be uploaded to augment face-to-face teaching.
Students' Performance Statistics: Review of quiz results by individual students, showing them how they compare to the overall average. 
Available Online, and on-premise: Course-prep can be deployed online for assignments, or deployed locally on a school's LAN for in-class assignments. 

If you'd like to try the free version of Course-prep, kindly submit your request here.
You can also contact via e-mail for inquiry and support.

Screenshot of a Revision quiz question

A student reviews his performance after a practice quiz

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chale, where (did) my credit go?

Mobile Data under Phone's Settings


Mobile internet bundles have contributed to the low patronage of Internet Cafes in Ghana. The other 'culprit' in this regard are the modems from the telecommunication networks.
Inasmuch as these mobile bundle services have increased the convenience of users, a number of grievances still abound.
A trivial one has to be with 'stolen' credit when users buy credit vouchers and find out they can't bundle data because 'they don't have enough credit units'.

Really?

Take my friend Kofi, who bought a GHS20 worth of  Vodafone airtime the other day. He loads it onto his phone, and enters the short code to begin the bundle process. All goes accordingly until the final step, where he chooses the bundle that he wants (1.6GB), and is told he has insufficient credit.
Surprised, he checks his balance and realises it's GHS1.99456! He starts cussing.
Chale, where my credit go?

I'm sure we've experienced this before. I know I have.

I approach Kofi and ask him if his mobile data is on. With confusion drawn on his face, I take his phone from him and show him the mobile data in his phone's settings page. In other phones, this is simply known as Background data.

His mobile data was on, so I had to explain to him how leaving the data on before recharging airtime isn't a good idea. You see, once your mobile data is on, it allows apps on your mobile phone to access the Internet in the background. This uses your airtime.

Kofi was grateful for this hack that I showed him.




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mobile, Trust and Privacy

Photo Credit: McKinsey Global Institute

The proliferation of mobile phones in Africa is pretty overwhelming. Almost (used advisedly) everyone owns one. Ghana has a 100% mobile penetration; 53/100 people have Internet-capable phones[1]. This has made it a tool for development in terms of commerce, governance, learning.
A nagging challenge however, has to do with the security of mobile phones, and the protection of the data, and privacy of users of mobile technologies/telephony. This has made telcos, and companies that use mobile technologies to deliver services, to be on their toes, as they ensure the protection of their users’ privacy and data.
Countries are also looking at data protection vis-a-vis national security, especially after the Snowden revelations. They therefore have data protection laws that govern how the protection and use of their citizens’ data by telcos, and companies are done. Ghana has a Data Protection Act that is 2 years old. However, I do not think ALL African countries have the same laws. This can be difficult if an organisation is operating in different countries. A question therefore is how feasible it is for countries to come out with consistent laws to safeguard the privacy of users’ data[2].
Also, though measures are being put in place by service providers and organisation with regard to privacy and data protection, the Terms and Conditions are really long and confusing to the end user. There’s therefore the need for such organisations to make these terms understandable, and concise. Further education has to be given to customers to really understand how important it is to protect their privacy, and not just depend on telcos and companies to do it for them.
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has taken off in Africa with the speed of light. It is a phenomenon that has really improved businesses across the continent; connecting urban areas to the country sides. A couple of security questions come to mind:

  • How secured are mobile communication channels?
  • What are some limitations of mobile phones that make them susceptible to infiltrations?

References:

[1] Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa. Full Report from McKinsey Global Institute Analysis. Accessed 21st September, 2014.
[2] Transcript: IGF2014 Session on Mobile, Trust and Privacy

NOTE: The above post is a copy of my mid-course assignment for the Internet Governance class I am currently taking.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Technical glitch, or ...?

When my best friend, Afrakoma, actually bundled my first-ever mobile internet bundle on the Vodafone Ghana service, I was glad. Being a netizen, it was cost-effective for me. It still is (even though I understand Glo offers better value for money, in that regard).

If you use the Vodafone Ghana mobile internet service, you agree that the service isn't always perfect. There've been times when I've tried for over a week to bundle on the service, without success. Connectivity has also been unreliable at most times.

My latest difficulty with the service was a couple of days ago when I couldn't bundle even though I had the required credit.I wanted to bundle 750MB worth of data, which costs GHS15. I therefore called the help center, and was given a number of reasons and methods to use to subscribe:

  • I was asked to cancel my old subscription, which I had already done.
  • I was told to restart my phone, because my account (with Vodafone Ghana) was to be restarted too.
  • I was told to use *125*5# instead of the usual #700#, for subscription.

All that didn't work as I kept on getting the same response. So I decided to add some extra credit, and was finally subscribed to the data bundle I had requested! So, what was the problem?

Here is a Slideshare of some screenshots of the experience.