Monday, March 18

The power and potential: a panel session discussing m-learning

There was a lot of buzz about mobile learning at this year's Mobile World Congress. More than at any previous event. Significants I was able to be at included:

1: GSMA Seminar on the future of mEducation:
A packed out event including sessions by Graham Brown-Martin (slides here); Our own Peggy Johnson, EVP at Qualcomm (slides here); George Held, VP at Etisalat (slides here) followed by a debate with Florence Gaudry-Perkins (Alcatel-Lucent), Vanessa Lucio (Telefonica Learning Services) and others

2: Launch of a report from the Broadband Commission on technology and education

3: Live panel discussion between Qualcomm, mEducation Alliance and Etisalat looking at the future of this (no longer emerging) idea of m-learning. Click below to see it:

(clicking will take you to their site:

Our conversation was streamed out, live, to all the huge screens around Barcelona, which was a bit surreal! The contributors are:
Kept in order by Mark Smith

I'm very pleased to see m-learning hitting the mainstream, despite the often muddled assumption that it is one single thing (rather than the diaspora of opportunities it really is!)

Monday, March 11

Mobile Economy 2013

I've just got my hands on the video used to open Mobile World Congress 2013

The first half is a full volume, fun romp through the massive growth of mobile over the past 20 years, and some predictions for the next 5. Well worth a watch. Some great stats in there for all watchers of mobile trends

The end bit focusses more on GSMA's role specifically, and what they do for operators. Which is maybe more niche.

Crank up the volume, turn off the lights, sit back and imagine yourself in a huge auditorium of high powered dudes in suits. You could almost be there, at MWC 2013 in person!

Monday, March 4

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2013 - free resources

The joy of momentum! UNESCO has come out firmly in favour of mobile learning, and published a series of very well researched guidelines on how to make use of it. See below to links to all the resources.


To quote them:

The Symposium allowed UNESCO to launch its most important mobile learning publication to date: The Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning. ... the Guidelines provide practical advice to policy makers seeking to transform increasingly ubiquitous and affordable mobile devices into tools for learning. Existing policies have very little to say when it comes to questions of whether and, more crucially, how to incorporate mobile technology into education. The flagship UNESCO publication … helps fill this void

It was a great honour to be one of the speakers at the symposium, a gathering together and sharing of experiences between many of the global leaders in mobile learning.

My session can be found here: 

I did a 3-way combined session with Lucy Haagen and Theo van Rensburg Lindzter, whose presentations are here:


For ALL the other presentations, and media from the event, see below:

So what did we think? Great opportunity to meet with fellow innovators from across the globe. The UNESCO guidelines are a valuable resource for all. But as champions for "out of school learning" we felt that there was a large, and gaping hole. What about "out of school / adult / working learners"? The focus was too much towards school age learners.

A lot of thought had gone into how to impact government policy, and improve access to IT in schools. But very little focus was put into those areas that fall outside the remit of school, yet are still very much within the remit of UNESCO. Encouraging new, and enlightened opportunities for adults, by increased access to learning and training at home, and at work. 

This was acknowledged in one of the closing sessions, when Fengchun Miao from UNESCO mentioned this omission. We look forward to supporting UNESCO in putting this right!

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