The Use of Mobile Technologies to Overcome Digital Inequities in Prison Education: a Pilot Project

Helen Farley, Angela Murphy
2012 International Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning  
Incarcerated students face a number of additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly characterised by online and flexible course offerings. In this paper, we report on a project that will attempt to address the digital challenges that hinder prisoner access to higher education and provide inclusive learning experiences for incarcerated students. The trial
more » ... ilises mobile yet secure digital technologies -namely Stand-Alone Moodle (SAM) and e-book readers -to improve access to resources. It is being trialled with a small sample of incarcerated students participating in the Studying to Succeed course within the Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). We discuss the current provision of higher education in prisons and the challenges resulting from increased reliance on mobile learning technologies in higher education generally. The potential of the trial project to address the digital divide experienced by incarcerated students as compared to the general student population will also be discussed. It is hoped that students will be participating in learning experiences more closely related to those experienced by students outside of the prison system and they will be acquiring e-literacy and e-research skills. In addition, USQ will be fulfilling its obligation in relation to equity of access; and will be addressing the Australian Government's agenda of increasing participation in higher education by socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
dblp:conf/mlearn/FarleyM12 fatcat:th2eltxunfa37l3ji3cyhlty7q