Submissions/ and GSM-only mLearning via audio

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 3027
Title of the submission
New approaches to mLearning: and audio learning via GSM
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Christopher Pruijsen
E-mail address
Country of origin
Netherlands / UK
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.) / StartupBus Africa
Personal homepage or blog /
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

There are countless problems in education in sub-Saharan Africa.

On the learner side we often find that: - books are not accessible - writing materials are too expensive - there is no data access (or data is too expensive) - smartphone devices are too expensive - there is no light at home, due to cost - children have to work for parents when they get back from school - children don't understand the written English in the books due to illiteracy or language barriers, and parents are unable to help them for the same reasons.

And on the teacher side we often find that: - classes are overcrowded (frequently 40-70 pupils per teacher and up to 120:1). - this leads to teacher spending up to 20+ hours a week just on marking homework.

Now there are existing solutions on the market, that tackle one or more of these problems. However, there are issues with all of them.

Firstly, tablet based solutions can only be used at schools, not outside of schools for the reinforcement of learning, due to cost of the device. Secondly, internet based solutions depend on data access and device ownership. And thirdly, SMS based learning requires advanced literacy and is less engaging, and can therefore not as effectively be used at younger ages.

Now offers a solution that can reach a wider audience, as it surpasses all these barriers. Also, recognises that teachers are central in making the adoption of the technology a success. Therefore our technology is designed and built, with the help of Mozilla Africa's Dr. Michael Adeyeye, to save teachers considerable time every day. Furthermore, we have partnered with teacher unions and governments, to make adoption into national teaching curriculum more scalable and official.

This session will discuss the challenges in the market, the different e and mLearning solutions, and why audio learning is a viable way forward to reach the masses that are not yet connected to the internet on a daily and personal basis. It also goes into the importance of addressing the teachers when working on any educational technology, and advocates for a different startup mentality in some cases diverging from the over-used "lean startup" method.

  • Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:15, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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