Saturday, February 14, 2009

MIT Introduces First Graduate Course on Mobile Phones for Social Activism

I just read an interesting post on MobileActive. It mentioned a new graduate course/seminar being offered at MIT. The graduate seminar (Call4Action) focuses on how mobile phones and other devices are being used around the world for activism. According to MobileActive, this is the first graduate course to be offered on the benefits of mobile phones for activist organizations. Below is part of the description of the seminar...

"Call for Action (CfA) is an intensive studio seminar on contemporary technologies and activism. How can mobile networked devices be used for social change, politics, and expression? Can Web2.0 techniques be applied to help to organize people, gather information, and enable collective action to stop global warming? organize labor? end a war?

Each week we will review existing tools for social change, cover techniques for mobile hacking, and piece together new experiments. International speakers ranging from Zimbabwean activists to telecommunication experts will discuss the problems with existing ICTs, and suggest parameters for new systems. We will explore protocols and packages like VOIP, SMS, and Asterisk to look at how they may be reused or reconfigured. And we will do a variety of hacking and technical exercises that can demystify the field and act as springboards for future work."

I am excited to see higher education recognizing the benefit of using cell phones in global communication and activism. I hope that courses like this start popping up all over different fields of higher education. Such as mobile medicine, mobile social work, mobile business, mobile research, mobile literacy, mobile history, mobile economics...etc.

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