mConnect Mobile Learning Platform by Wipro and McGraw-Hill

The McGraw-Hill Companies and Wipro will work together to develop “mConnect“, an open-standard mobile learning platform designed to bridge the skills gap in emerging markets.

Initial pilots in India will focus on test preparation for entrance into universities that will best prepare the students for the workplace and English-language training. The program wll be extended later to other countries in Asia and in Africa.

mConnect will offer low-income, rural or otherwise underserved students and workers personalized, adaptive education and assessment programs that can provide direct feedback in multiple modalities through cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices.

mConnect will provide students the opportunities to hear conversations, review new vocabulary delivered via SMS and get personalized instruction that customizes the pace and presentation of material to match their learning needs.

India provides an important development ground for mConnect. The country is home to a growing, young workforce hungry for access to high-quality education to improve their career prospects.

According to mobileyouth.org, by 2012, one in five of all mobile phones in use worldwide will be owned by a young person in India. Currently, one hundred million mobile phones are owned by youth in rural areas who use them an average of 5.5 hours per day. Even within the population of Indian students with access to university education, according to a recent World Economic Forum report on the global talent crisis, only 25 percent of those graduates are considered employable by multinational companies today.

According to research reports, currently there are 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. In the developing world, mobile cellular penetration rates to reach 68% at the end of 2010—mainly driven by the Asia and Pacific region. By 2013, the number of smartphones worldwide will surpass PCs, 1.82 billion to 1.78 billion. There are 833 million cell phone subscribers in China. In India, there are 706 million cell phone subscribers, equivalent to about 60% of the population.

Specifically, mobile learning offers the ability to: [advt]

  • Bring learning directly to the student, thereby bridging the geographic distances between students and their schools
  • Allow learners to study anywhere and at anytime, improving their ability to balance work and study
  • Personalize and customize instruction by providing a means for teachers to provide relevant, individualized feedback to every student according to his ability to receive it both personally and technically
  • Encourage feedback and early intervention by teachers
  • Centralize curricula and ensure that content is continually updated
  • Create a more engaging, interactive experience, which has been shown to foster better learning outcomes

The mobile learning platform will free educational institutions from the constraints of geography, space and even time, and will deliver affordable, quality education to large numbers of aspiring students anytime, anywhere.

Most cell phones in emerging markets today, including India, are SMS-based, 2G phones. In the near future, analysts foresee an era when inexpensive mobile devices and phones will offer web-browsing capabilities. These devices will usher in a new era of mobile education applications, and mConnect will be well-positioned to help students acquire the sought-after skills required by employers. [source]

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