Mobile learning: new kid on the block?

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Welcome to 2004 (and no, there is no typo here!)– after a year of planning and conceptualization Nokia, Globe Telecom, the Department of Education, Pearson Foundation and Ayala Foundation started to implement the Text2Teach program in the Philippines. Mobile devices and the Nokia Education Delivery solution were harnessed to allow for downloading quality educational materials on math, science, English and values education in the most remote parts of the country. Technology combined with lesson plans that follow the primary education curriculum of the Department of Education made it possible for teachers to access effective visual aids and create an interactive student focused learning environment in the classroom.

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Fast forward to 2014, 959 public elementary schools in the Philippines use Text2Teach; over 300 000 students and almost 4000 teachers have benefitted from it. And the community is growing all the time. The students who have experienced have performed better in the National Achievement Tests and absenteeism has been reduced. Gains have been found to be bigger in the disadvantaged schools, thus the program has effectively bridged the social gap.

Since 2004 Text2Teach has been implemented in 11 countries. And many other mobile education and learning solutions have been created, introduced and used since the day we started (check out good regional and global summaries by UNESCO). Today the “traditional 1:1” (mobile:teacher) co-exists with personalized learning that is adaptive to the learners’ needs, gamification and collaborative learning. Mobile learning is and will be much more than just content delivered to a handheld device with 24/7 access.

Imagine students excited about learning difficult topics through interactive games, mobile solutions with the ability to analyze in detail the challenges each student faces, expanding learning beyond school buildings and hours and using technology seamlessly in the classroom – and then just do it. There is nothing that would prevent that to be reality even today. I might be a new kid on this (blog) block, but you cannot say the same for mobile learning. I’m happy to have the chance to join this network and tell about our experiences in mobile learning!

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