Image that reads Center for Educational Technologies. This image links to the Center for Educational Technologies home page.

Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

Telephone Skills May Translate to Computer Learning

Mon Oct 15 2007

Research claiming that a simple fixed line telephone can help low literacy populations learn how to use computers is the subject of a paper coauthored by a Center for Educational Technologies® researcher.

"Mobile Telephony Infrastructure and Devices: Affordable Access and Informal Computer Learning for Low Literacy Groups" was presented at the 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy sponsored by the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference Sept. 28-30 at George Mason University in Arlington, VA.

Andrea Kavanaugh of Virginia Tech is lead author of the paper, which is coauthored by Center for Educational Technologies senior researcher Debbie Denise Reese and Manuel Pérez-Quiñones of Virginia Tech.

The authors claim that theories of metaphors and mental models as well as the role of social networks in the diffusion of innovation, suggest that people with low computer literacy could use their experience with fixed line telephones to learn how to use a mobile phone, and that by the same scaffolding process, they can use their skills and knowledge gained from using mobile phones to learn how to use other computing devices and systems, such as desktop computers.