The rapid development of mobile phones as a new industry of modern technology has increasingly become a necessity to users. The phones provide users with the ability to communicate in various ways such as making calls, sending sms, receiving email as well as using being used as a camera, a video recorder, radio and mp3 player etc. As sensitive reflectors of information and fashion, mobile phone users have increased in mostUniversity campuses everywhere.
Due to this development, Makerere University with a student population of nearly 40,000 students intends to tap into this area by reaching out to as many students as possible. To this, online educational material and communication becomes very essential. In addition, the use of mobile technologies would ensure that this endeavor is successfully achieved by exploring ways of providing comprehensive and usable mobile services.
With funding from The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), the introduction of MobiClass will provide a means of ensuring that the lecturers are able to frequently interact with their students appropriately, timely and anywhere. The project will use the Moodle platform to develop a suitable software.Moodle provides application programming interface (API)'s to enable the interaction between external systems and applications with the internal system to enable it open up the core functionality of the system to the external applications.
Over the next 12 months, the Makerere team will undertake a survey on the type of mobile phones used by students and lecturers in the University. This information will enable them develop mobile application for Moodle across the major mobile platforms.
It will further undertake to study the feasibility of using this platform, the reception it is likely to get in using the platform, train both the technical and end users so that they are able to address issues which may arise in the course of its usage.