One interesting example of use of mobiles in education can be seen in Bangladesh, where the BBC World Service Trust and BBC Learning English are implementing the Janala project, an initiative that is providing English language lessons to citizens via their mobile phones as part of the wider English in Action program in Bangladesh, funded by the UK's Department for International Development (UKaid).
Using mobile phones, BBC Janala offers audio English lessons and quizzes to callers – and in a short amount of time has seen rapid pickup across the country. There are over 50 million mobile phone users in Bangladesh today – and the number is growing. By dialling “3000” any of these users can access hundreds of English language audio lessons and quizzes. Content is updated weekly and caters to all levels of experience with ‘Essential English’ for beginners, ‘Pronunciation’ for intermediaries and ‘Vocabulary in the News’ for those more advanced.
To date over two million audio lessons have been accessed (listened to), 177,000 short audio have been taken and stories and feedback recorded. In addition, over 100,000 audio lessons have been downloaded from BBC Janala mobile internet site. At the end of December 2009 – a month after launching – over 750,000 calls had been made to the mobile phone service.
To make the lessons affordable, BBC Janala has teamed up with all six of Bangladesh’s mobile operators who have agreed to cut the cost of calls to the service by up to 75%. Each lesson lasts three minutes and costs less than the price of a cup of tea from a Dhaka tea stall (or 3 pence).
(Sources: World Service Trust, EduTech )