Mobile learning

Mobile phones are gaining its popularity all over the world.  According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), mobile cellular has been the most rapidly adopted technology in history, with the 4.6 billion subscriptions globally by the end of 2009(1).  Similarly, the overall smartphone market is growing faster than ever.  A total of 1.19 billion mobile phones were sold globally in 2008, of which 13% or 155 million were smartphones.  IDC predicts that 20% of the 1.4 billion phones, or 280 million, sold will be smartphones in 2013(2).

Therefore there is a tremendous potential for the smartphones and the two products which are gaining market share rapidly are Blackberry produced by Research in Motion (RIM) and iPhone produced by Apple Computer.  Why not United Nations use these platforms to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

The UNITAR’s e-Governance Programme is exploring linkages between mobile technologies and development. The ultimate goal is to contribute in achieving the MDGs by offering number of innovative smartphone applications to users that can have a positive impact in developing countries. The UN is still to fully harness such potential and to build ambitious public-private partnerships to deliver learning contents via smart phones in support of the overall development agenda.

[1]ITU “The world in 2009: ICT Facts and Figures”

[2]FORTUNE magazine August 31, 2009