Mobile Technology for Inclusive Society

By: Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi   Nataliya Berbyuk Lindström  

Sweden is one of the top recipients of asylum applications per capita in Europe. Increasing cultural and linguistic diversity is a challenge in the society to achieve successful social and professional inclusion. Getting employment, education, housing and access to healthcare are essential means of integration, which can be facilitated by language and cultural knowledge as well as contacts with the members of host society (Ager & Strang, 2008). Mobile technologies enable authentic, interactive and social contexts for learning and can serve the purpose of a bridging tool to the host society. Newly arrived migrants in Sweden have and use smartphones. The aim of this study was to map available mobile technology and to explore how the existing apps meet the migrants’ learning and integration needs. A sample of apps was first selected based on evaluation of technological, pedagogical, linguistic and cultural criteria (the TPLC-model). Next, we conducted user tests over a three weeks period with 44 newly arrived Arabic-speaking migrants of selected apps of different functionalities and learning activities (language and vocabulary training, intercultural communication, social interaction, etc.). We used questionnaires for background, self-estimation of Swedish language, cultural and societal competences and perceptions of necessary information to become integrated. The results demonstrate that apart from translation and vocabulary apps, mobile apps are hardly used by the newly arrived migrants. One reason is lack of targeted language and cultural training that facilitates migrants’ immediate needs for employment, accommodation, contact with locals as well as cultural factors in relation to design.

Migrants, User Modelling, Mobile Technology, Cross-cultural Design, Sustainable Integration
Technologies in Knowledge Sharing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi

Associate Professor, Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Nataliya Berbyuk Lindström

Senior lecturer, Department of Applied Information Technology