Going Mobile: Using SNSs to Promote STEMI on the Backseat of a Taxi Across Africa
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This paper reports on the establishing of an educational service to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI). The service uses MXit, a cost effective social media based on a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to reach low income users primarily across Africa, though not necessarily restricted to this continent. Users are encouraged to submit STEMI-related questions to the care of MXit, a web or Facebook interface. The findings indicate a growing and diverse user group of 15 to 25 years old. The initial phases of the project showed South Africa as the highest user base. Analysis of the feedback from the users was used to refine the service through action research. Students asked a variety of questions which were assigned to 22 different categories of which Biology, Physics, Chemistry and general knowledge featured as the most frequent questions. Career Guidance and Health related categories were also prominent. Statistics indicate regular use of the service over a 24 h period, with prominent peaks before and after school, intimating that users were accessing the service from the back seat of a taxi on route to and from school.
KeywordsSocial network service (SNS) STEMI Mxit Developing country
This work is based on the research support in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expresses in this material are those of the authors and therefore the NRF does not accept any liability in regard thereto.
The Meraka Institute of the CSIR for continued interest.
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