John Traxler is an expert in mobile technologies such as mobile
phones, Bluetooth, media players and GPS and their use in
education. He will serve a two-month spell as a visiting scientist
at the invitation of the South African government at their Meraka
Institute in Pretoria.
The Institute is the government agency responsible for
developing e-learning technologies that specifically address South
They use ‘Open Source’ technologies, which is software developed
by the community and freely available to the community, to preserve
African cultures and languages, for example by putting games and
dictionaries online. They are also developing various technologies
for out-of-school children and schools in deprived deeply rural
areas, such as secure networked open access computers and audio
Wikipedia activated by SMS.
John, who is a Reader in Mobile Technology for e-Learning and
Director of the University’s Learning Lab, said: “My role is to
build capacity that will enable Meraka to gather better evidence
from field trials and improve their advice to government.
“Various South African organisations have invited me to give
talks and seminars during my visit including the highly prestigious
University of Cape Town, and I expect to be collaborating with
colleagues from Microsoft Research.”
The two-month appointment began this week.