Every day students use electronic devices like mobile phones. In Germany, 90 percent of the students at the age between 12 and 19 years, own a mobile phone. This rate is lower in countries like Namibia. Not many people know about the problems which are connected with the production of these equipments – as for example the environmental and social impact of the mining industry or the poor working conditions in the Chinese mobile phone industry.
The issue of mobile phones is easy to apply for the demonstration of global connections, as the mobile phone is a global product throughout its life cycle. Additionally, it is used worldwide in different ways. Last but not least, students consider their mobile phone as an important part of their life; they are very fond of their phones. Discussions about mobile phones are interesting for them and at the same time, they learn to understand the global context of its production and use.
Without giving the students a feeling of guilt when using a phone, this material raises awareness about the problems involved. It provides ideas how to discuss the attitudes and behaviour of various stakeholders of the mining and mobile phone industry as consumers, politicians, producers, and activists.