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Mobile Learning in Emergency Situations: Four Design Cases from Latin America.

Daniela Castellanos-Reyes, Enilda Romero-Hall, Lucas Vasconcelos & Belen Garcia.

Open Book: Global Perspective on Educational Innovations for Emergency Solutions


This practitioner-focused chapter addresses mobile learning in the Latin American context during the COVID-19 emergency. To guarantee continuity of education during the COVID-19 pandemic, instructors adopted remote education. Even though much of the remote education relied heavily on computers, millions of learners in Latin America do not have a household computer. Nonetheless, mobile connectivity is very high in Latin America, and therefore, mobile learning has greatly supported institutions during remote education. Mobile learning significantly supports learning at a distance in countries that face infrastructure challenges. Even more in the Latin American context, where mobile devices may be low-cost alternatives to computers. We present four design cases about mobile learning for continuity of education during emergencies. Each design case addresses a different country, audience, and content. The design cases focus on generic technology applications regularly used by practitioners and students. The four design cases are: 1) foreign language learning and social studies to 1st – 4th graders using online blogs in Brazil; 2) teaching STEM to 8th– 12th graders through social media (i.e., YouTube/WhatsApp) in Panama; 3) education to 6th – 12th graders through social media (i.e., YouTube/WhatsApp/Facebook) in Mexico, and 4) humanities higher education using instant messaging and cloud-based platforms (i.e., WhatsApp, Google Drive platform) in Colombia. Recommendations for practitioners and policymakers are provided.

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