scope

Mobile phones, especially those with internet access, have become essential tools in the hands of migrants to address the needs they face in different phases of the migration process. They are used to stay in touch with the countries of origin and with family and friends elsewhere in the world. But they are also used in destination countries as tools for work, socialization and leisure, to search for information on life in the new environment etc..

The conference’s first speakers Meghan Benton, Dana Diminescu and Maria Garrido offer different views of this new phenomenon, based on their recent investigations and initiatives undertaken in Europe and North America. To stimulate the sharing of experiences and ideas among participants, the following presentations illustrate new services which exploit digital opportunities to facilitate immigrants’ life in different domains (Migreat) and specifically for language learning (UU.got.it). Other speakers will present: EU CHEST project that has been funding digital-based social innovation projects, in particular, GreenApes, a citizens and volunteers engagement platform; BlueAssist, that helps people who have communication problems with a low-tech, clever and effective solution; and Mifinder, a platform to connect people with similar interests and needs.

In the second session, the partners of the FP7 EU project MASELTOV [1] will report about the technical results achieved and the reaction of users in the field trials. MASELTOV explored the potential of using smartphones to assist newly arrived immigrants in Europe -moving around, learning the language, connecting with potential sources of support etc.- and developed and tested an integrated application (the MASELTOV App – MApp) which provides a rich set of functionality.

The closing session will offer participants an opportunity to see how the MApp functions and share views and discuss about future promising lines of research and action to take advantage of mobile devices to facilitate immigrants’ integration.

[1] MASELTOV is a collaborative project co-funded under the 7th Framework Programme’s ICT 2011-7 call. The project’s website is at http://www.maseltov.eu/

Acknowledgments: The conference management has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 288587 MASELTOV, The Open University, United Kingdom, and Joanneum Research, Austria.

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