Cell Phone University is a Distance Education program based on courses provided entirely online, and students around the world. The plan for Cell Phone University is to offer distance education only courses for high school and college kids.
Each course consists of 5 hours of video instruction, provided by myself, and using green screen technology to make the videos interesting. There are about 2,000 pages of readings. Homework consists of quizzes using Skyprep.com All quizzes are cumulative. The videos and instructor’s notes will be posted online, as well as Google translate versions of the instructor’s notes in 14 languages, so that ESL students can have some assistance. We use flipsnack.com
The premium edition includes frequent encouragement using personalized emails from the teacher, and access to a blog where the students can submit questions to the teacher. The final exam will be administered by uProctor.com At the student’s request, the instructor will post on a blog, PDF files of all the student’s work and grades. There will be a certificate of completion for all graduates.
My plan is to create three video courses. These courses will consist of “How to be an Intern or Volunteer.” The initial course will cover personal and writing skills, and the second course will teach office skills. The third video course is called, “The Conscientious Citizen.” It prepares any students for the sort of accidents, mishaps, emergencies, and problems that we all face in the world, and how best to avoid them. Topics include fire, electrical safety, safe bicycling, how to avoid financial frauds, water safety, and several other topics. It is a course I wish I had taken many years ago.
These three courses will be ready to go by about March 15.
My application to Edseeds is for the following expansion of my three courses. My project needs to expand to those who do not have Internet access but only a simple cell phone with SMS capability. This limitation is substantial in poor communities both here in the US and overseas. How will it work? The expense of downloading videos and class materials using SMS is very high, so each student will need to find an Internet source and make a one time download of the instructor’s manual and quiz questions, in both English and any other language as necessary.
The student will only have the instructor’s manual as a text. At the end of each chapter, there will be a cumulative quiz using multiple-choice questions. The student will complete the answers on a text message and send that to me. I will use FrontlneSMS, Excel, and Teacher’s Personal Markbook and text back the student’s progress.
This model will permit a student living in great poverty a simple path to education, costing less than two dollars a course, the expense of 10 text messages from Africa or India. It provides very inexpensive distance ed, and identifies students who are ambitious and diligent.