McGraw-Hill and IT Services major Wipro have announced plans to develop and pilot in India, an open standard mobile learning platform called mConnect. Initial pilots will apparently focus on the low hanging fruit in India:
– Test Preparation for entrance exams: each year, millions of Indians apply for entrance exams to attend university year: this has led to a mushrooming of coaching classes specifically focused on entrance exam admissions, and even a town like Kota with several specializing in IIT entrance exam coaching. McGraw-Hill and Wipro claim mConnect will offer personalized, adaptive education and assessment programs that can provide direct feedback through cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices.
– English-language training: with knowledge of English an essential skill for upward social mobility of the masses in the country, other companies have also tried to address the opportunity provided by providing English learning lessons in India. McGraw-Hill and Wipro claim mConnect will offer students the opportunity 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.
Note that EnableM also offers Learn English, distributed through mobile operators as well as Nokia Ovi Life Tools. A similar service, English Seekho is also being provided by IL&FS. In Bangladesh, BBC also provides lessons in English through BBC Janala.
Post the pilot, Wipro and McGraw-Hill and Wipro then intend to extend the program in Asia and Africa.