Smartphones and Tablets for Digital Literacy and Sustainable Education

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There is a proverb that says:


Every morning in Africa, A gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must out run the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It does not matter whether you are a lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better start running. 



Looking at my three young children between age 3 and 8, I see that the first thing in their mind is to get their hands on the closest smartphone or tablet available and start playing a game, watching pictures and communicating. Today's technology is so accessible, the applications are so ergonomic to human interaction that even very young children can self learn very sophisticated steps and processes.


My oldest son plays chess with me, his friends and relatives on the iPad. 


His love for the application Angry Birds inspired me to this quote published on NewsWeek/Daily Beast last year:

“Let’s give the kids the Internet and let them choose what they want their future to be,” Rulli says. “I have three kids. I know ‘Angry Birds’ is a stronger weapon against the Taliban than anything else.”



The same applies for all ages. My mother was recently diagnosed with a mild version of Parkinson's disease and advised to use an iPad application called Lumosity to train the brain. That same application is also designed for college students in need of improving their brain performances. My father is also using it and finds it entertaining and challenging.



I just downloaded the PayWast News App to get direct news from Afghanistan where we built 10 Internet Media Classrooms, 2 Media Centers and sponsor two sport teams.



Looking at what we have and are doing with our 50,000 students in Afghanistan and other developing countries, I think it's time to say:


Every Morning in the World, a child wakes up.

She knows she must reach out for that Smartphone or Tablet to Learn and Communicate.



The very first step of digital literacy is to give access to self explanatory learning and communication tools starting from smartphones and tablets, just like the iPhone I hold in my hands every day. The concept of classroom goes beyond the walls of a school. It follows the dimensions of a WiFi or 3G covered area surrounding a building or an entire region.


Here is a story:


Once upon a time, a video was uploaded in New York by a filmmaker and educator. It was watched by 1,000 children in Herat, Western Afghanistan. They learned from the video, interacted with the filmmaker and educator, and started planning their own video and project.


The children grabbed their smartphones and tablets and left the classroom carrying on their connectivity, learning with development tools including the thousands of applications available online. The children used the smartphones and tablets to take pictures, write comments and blogs, and upload videos. They gave us their perspective and shared their potential.


The filmmaker, the educator and I all learned from the children and we understood what they like, need and how they can inspire us. There was no cost besides the cost of a smartphone and tablet. They created BuzzScore and advertising revenues, an everlasting worldwide content and shared opinions. They made a difference in their lives and ours. This happens everywhere there are smartphones and tablets.




Every Morning in the World, a child wakes up.

She knows she must reach out for that smartphone or tablet to Learn and Communicate.

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Francesco Rulli

About the author


Wikipedia Info Skin in the game @bitLanders Where social media meets the gaming Universe & positive self expression. Founding board member of @WomensAnnex Foundation supporting Women's Digital Literacy, Sustainability, and Community Building. Founder and President of MTI New York Board member @GMRF…

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