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Helen Crompton Invited to Join International Team of Mobile Experts for UN Project

Old Dominion's Helen Crompton has been selected to join a team of nine mobile experts from around the world who are being brought together to work on an important project for the United Nations.

They were chosen for their expertise in one or more of the following areas related to mobile devices: mobile communications, skills development, education, international development and policymaking. Crompton, an assistant professor of instructional technology in the Darden College of Education's Department of Teaching and Learning, was invited to join the team for her expertise in mobile learning.

The experts are from New Zealand, Spain, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The team will work on a project for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the information and communication technologies group for the U.N. agency based in Geneva, resulting in an important publication to be launched in 2014.

ITU's goal is to contribute something unique, stimulating and innovative to the global activity and understanding in mobile learning, and the group is proposing a publication that complements existing outputs and focuses specifically on informal, lifelong and community learning and on skills development in the context of the economic, social and cultural impact of widespread mobile penetration, usage and familiarity.

The publication will be for policymakers, foundations, agencies, ministries, activists, social entrepreneurs and the wider global public, highlighting the potential and the opportunities represented by mobile technologies for them and their work.

Crompton will work with the eight other team members on the publication and write one chapter, titled "The Global Mobile Story So Far."

The chapter will define and classify more than 12 years of activity, recent and existing examples, lessons and ideas; cover what the existing literature and agencies say (specifically USAID, WISE, UNESCO, GSMA, ITU, CTO, WEF, WB); and identify gaps, failures and fallacies, Crompton said.

Specifically, the chapter will provide the overall mobile learning context, reviewing the achievements of the mobile learning community over the last 12 years in using mobile technologies to take learning to individuals and communities who, for reasons of geography, finance, culture, disability or infrastructure, were unable to access conventional educational opportunities.

Furthermore, Crompton's chapter will explain how specific affordances of mobile technologies - for example, location awareness, video capture and portability - have enriched and enhanced conventional educational experiences.

Charlene Fleener, chair of ODU's Department of Teaching and Learning, called the announcement of the project "outstanding news" and "an honor and opportunity to make a remarkable contribution to the field of mobile communication and education."

Jane Bray, dean of the Darden College of Education, echoed that sentiment, adding: "Faculty, staff and students in the Darden College of Education are so very excited about this international opportunity for Dr. Crompton. Her expertise in mobile learning has such breadth and depth. Knowing that individuals at the United Nations recognize her expertise brings her significant distinction and also brings great pride for the ODU community."

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