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Operators a sound BETT for Mobile Learning

Education tradeshow highlights Mobile Learning opportunity for operators


LONDONThe BETT Show 2015.  The exhibitions at the annual British Education Training and Technology Tradeshow are an indicator of the products we can expect to see in schools, colleges and universities in the coming year. This year the focus was on tablets, smart television, smart device storage and more advanced software for both teachers and students.

There was also a glimpse of state of the art M2M devices and services. One of the most innovative, was Lightspeed System’s Mobile Manager, a mobile device manager that enhances Mobile Learning for schools and teachers in a variety of ways.

Mobile Manager allows for the remote configuration of devices, real time reporting and a central management system that makes it easier to implement local authority education policies across a wide range of subjects and classes. Features such as these will allow teachers a greater opportunity to cater each student’s needs and improve their learning.

Although the introduction of tablets and other hardware has altered learning, it is connected devices, services and the use of data, which will fundamentally transform it. Moreover, as the introduction of new hardware in schools becomes more prevalent, so too does the need for more effective administration of such technology.

There are clear market opportunities within the mobile learning space for mobile network operators to provide connectivity for M2M and IoT focused solutions. According to recent research by analyst house, Machina Research, the number of connected PCs, tablets and smartphones will increase from 8.5 billion in 2015, to 10.67 billion in 2020. Operators already have considerable experience in deploying M2M solutions for Mobile learning, and have done so across a wide range of markets across the globe.

Operators can add value to the learning process by enabling families to ensure that their child can learn remotely when they are away from school premises. Smart connectivity provides a number of efficiencies to device and content management, helping school leaders and teachers to spend more time on what they do best: educate learners

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Demand for e-Learning continues to grow

E-Learning revenue in Germany increased by 13% to €582m in 2013, according to Bitkom, the German information and telecommunications association. Bitkom cited these findings from a recent national study by MBB Institute which also revealed that the e-Learning sector now employs 8,850 people, up from 700 in 2012—concomitant with a dip in the German economy, this growth is all the more remarkable.

These findings supplement a similar Bitkom survey last year, which stated that two-thirds of German IT companies were now using e-Learning, and most of those that did not, intended to in future. Moreover, half of Germans, from 14-44 years of age, used e-Learning, and a third of these people had installed educational apps on their mobile device. Compared with conventional methods, e-Learning’s market strength lie in its versatility, accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

Bitkom’s position paper ‘From e-Learning to Learning Solutions’, claimed just this. Targeted marketing is easier because mobile apps, educational games, interactive e-books and video content can be adapted to any target group. Additionally, the learning curve and complexity of material can be easily adjusted to match each student’s progress and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) resulted in quicker, more extensive networking.

Germany’s rapid growth of e-Learning revenue has outstripped the average growth of Western European countries by 7.2%, according to projections in Docebo’s Market Trends & Forecast 2014-2016 report. Docebo, the Cloud Learning Management System (LMS), expects the Western European e-Learning market to grow by 5.8% each year from 2014-2016. Yet e-learning is also making significant inroads into developing markets; over the same period, the growth of e-Learning revenue is projected to be 15.2% in Africa and 17.3% in Asia.

Earlier this month, Worldreader, the non-profit digital book organisation, announced that this year alone, people across Asia and Africa had spent over 1,028,109 hours reading on the Worldreader Mobile app. Worldreader claimed that the use of mobile in learning helped people access a greater variation of material—including important health information on HIV and Ebola—especially in regions with a paucity of paper books.

In November, the GSMA announced a partnership it had developed between the Philippines Department of Education, Smart and Globe, to build mobile solutions that extend to school youths. To view the full report, click here.

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