Tag Archives: mobile learning

EdTech Trends Myanmar

EdTech Trends: Myanmar

It is quite fascinating to follow Myanmar’s rise as a tech, edtech and thus startup destination in general these days given that the reign of the military junta only ended in 2011. As Myanmar is now slowly opening itself to new influences, the first telecommunications companies entered the country just about two and a half years ago.

Sure, all in all we should be careful in making assumptions too quickly as the country is still in the very early stages of its modern development. Nevertheless, there are a number of indicators that confirm how the country might leapfrog some of the stages developing countries usually go through when it comes to technology.

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Qualcomm

Qualcomm works on a Blueprint for Mobile Education to Offset Shrinking Smartphone Sales

Chipmaker Qualcomm announced the acquisition of mobile learning platform EmpoweredU for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2011, EmpoweredU pivoted and changed names several times before settling on its current model, a mobile centered learning platform based upon the Canvas LMS. The EmpoweredU team will be integrated in Qualcomm’s other mobile focused education initiatives.

The company also announced that it has invested in Wowo, a mobile edtech startup through its new $150 million strategic fund for China which focuses on Internet, e-commerce, semiconductor, education and health. Wowo is targeting the pre-school English market.

At first glance these announcements seem to be a bit out of focus. Why does a hardware company want to be in the edtech space?

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EdTech Startups Japan

EdTech Startups Japan Edition: Gengo, Eigooo and Mana.bo

In today’s EdTech Startups Japan Edition we take a look at three startups that are based in Japan, two of which founded by immigrant entrepreneurs from the US.

Translation platform Gengo surpassed 200 million translated words, Eigooo wants to teach English via text chat to shy students and Mana.bo wants to disrupt the $10 billion Japanese cram school industry.

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iSchool Project Bhutan

HEDLINE: iSchool Project launches in Bhutan in Partnership with Ericsson

Bhutan’s e-learning project iSchool, a cooperation of Swedish telecommunication solutions provider Ericsson, Bhutan Telecom, Bhutan’s Ministry of Education and the government of Bhutan, launched with six pilot schools bringing high quality education to some 250 students in remote areas.

Faculty from the so called master school will connect via video lesson to interact and collaborate directly with the students in the pilot schools. The ninth graders will be taught in a variety of science subjects, but also English, Mindfulness and Environmental Studies are on the lesson plan.

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Quipper

HEDLINE: Mobile Learning Platform Quipper raises £3.4 million Series A2

Abstract

Quipper, a London-based mobile e-learning and quizz platform raised a £3.4 million ($5.8 million USD) Series A2 led by Atomico with participation of Japanese education publisher Benesse and others.

Quipper previously raised a £400k Seed Round and a £2.3 million Series A1, bringing the total funding raised to around $10 million USD.

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busuu

busuu shows that Mobile Learners really exist

busuu

This week busuu made the news having achieved 20 million downloads. And while this surely is a nice number we all (should) know that vanity numbers alone don’t say anything about your business. Just ask Livemocha. Luckily busuu has more to offer than the glitzy baits that get you on TechCrunch.

If you look deeper into the press release you should notice something that is far more interesting.

The general shift to mobile learning is further demonstrated by the fact that busuu users now complete 33% more exercises via the app than online.

There has been written a lot about learning sprints and mobile learners but having hard data to prove that people are actually learning and completing tasks on their mobile devices is pretty fascinating.

If you take the time and look at people during their commute in public transport you will notice that over the years the number of people looking down on a smartphone of some sort has risen dramatically. It has become a somewhat personal zone of privacy in an increasingly noisy and hectic environment. And this is what makes it perfect for learning sprints.

You know exactly how much time you’ll have to spend and frankly, there is nothing much you could do otherwise. I mean talking to people? Come on. Hence people either check their email; social media or catch up with the latest news. And while some people add a round of Words with Friends (is this still a thing?) or any other popular mobile game, some actually use this time bubble to learn a language.

It really is a perfect learning environment. Nothing that may distract you and a fixed amount of time to complete a task. When you are doing the same thing at home in front of your computer, a lot can and will happen to interrupt the learning from spouses to children and pets. But don’t write off learning on a computer just yet.

I asked busuu’s co-founder and CEO Bernhard Niesner whether there was a difference in the time people spend learning on mobile devices compared to computers and he told me that the session time on a computer is twice as high than on mobile devices. On the other hand, busuu now has more users that learn with its mobile products.

Learners now can also further personalize their learning experience by setting their own goals. Niesner told me that for now most users choose the beginner levels which might indicate that people find language learning more entertaining when they are not drilled too hard.

This of course leads to the inevitable question of how serious most people are about learning a foreign language and what most learners feel is good enough, but I guess this has always been the case. For the vast majority language learning was a tedious task. Now startups like bussu, babbel.com, MindSnacks and others turned the basics into an enjoyable, game like experience.

More serious learners will always go deeper and probably prefer learning on a computer where it is easier to type, interact with more complex tasks or set up a video call with a language partner. Mobile learning is an essential part of the overall process, it can be an “entry drug” but for now it won’t replace the web based experience.