Around the world, billions of people live in remote or under-resourced communities without access to adequate education, healthcare or even up-to-date news – let alone banking or financial services. At Microsoft Mobile, we believe that affordable mobile technology has the potential to transform the delivery of these services, improve their quality and make them available to many more people. And that can promote social and economic change on a huge scale.
With over a billion people using our mobile phones, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to make a real difference in their lives. A key pillar of our strategy is to bring access to the internet and information to a billion people who currently don’t have it. By extending the power of mobile technology, we’re helping to address global sustainability challenges like education, health, livelihoods, and accessibility. This includes new opportunities for a vast number of people to create and use locally relevant apps and content.
Education for everyone
We believe at Microsoft Mobile that everyone should have the right to learn and to develop themselves. Yet millions of people around the world are excluded from learning opportunities for a variety of reasons – from their geographical location to their gender or their financial circumstances. We believe mobile technology has the power to change this situation.
A global challenge
It is estimated that around the world, more than 750 million adults are still illiterate. Clearly, action needs to be taken to address this critical issue, and mobile products and applications can play a key role.
How we can help
The beauty of mobile technology is that it frees knowledge, information and education from the constraints of classrooms, libraries, and expensive urban areas. What’s more, it adds new dimensions to learning, making it a more engaging, interactive experience.
By developing mobile educational products such as Nokia Education Delivery, Nokia Mobile Mathematics and Nokia Flashcards, we are enabling millions of people to access a world that was previously closed to them.
Our education approach is aligned to UNESCO’s Education for All goals, and we aim to use our products, services and technology to support those objectives.
Nokia Education Delivery
Nokia Education Delivery uses mobile technology to deliver quality education materials to remote, hard-to-reach areas. Using a mobile phone, teachers and trainers can access and download videos and other educational resources from a constantly updated catalogue. Already operating in hundreds of schools and having reached millions of students in the Philippines, Tanzania, Chile and Colombia, Nokia Education Delivery has been shown to improve study results and increase retention among students, especially girls.
Nokia Mobile Mathematics
In 2008, a pilot scheme for mobile mathematics was lauched by Nokia in South Africa. Using a popular social networking channel to get kids interested, the service delivers interactive study packages to students' mobile phones.
Today, the service content includes theory, exercises, tutoring, peer-to-peer support, as well as competitions, tests and self-assessment. The scheme has led to highly motivated grade 10 pupils chatting with friends and doing maths on their mobiles, even out of school – in the evenings, weekends and holidays – testing themselves to continually improve their scores and competing with their friends.
To date, 50,000 students, 700 teachers and 200 schools in South Africa have benefited from the service. What’s more, on average the final grade 10 math marks of students using Nokia Mobile Mathematics were 7% better than their peers who didn't use the service.
Read more about Nokia Mobile Mathematics here and watch below what South African pupils and teachers think of the service.
Improving livelihoods through mobility
The proliferation of the internet and information and communication technologies (ICT) has brought tremendous benefits to huge numbers of people. Yet those who are unable to access these technologies, for financial or geographical reasons, are at risk of being left behind.
Only by bridging this digital divide can we prevent people in remote or poor areas being marginalised, rather than empowered, by technology. And affordable mobile products and services offer the solution, helping us bring new business and employment opportunities to people all over the world.
Health and wellbeing
Information and communication play a major role in improving health, safety and wellbeing – all critical components of a sustainable world. By enabling effective knowledge sharing and remote access to real-time information, mobile technology can have a positive impact in a range of areas – from pregnancy and maternal health to childcare and disease prevention.
Nokia Data Gathering
On a wider scale, mobile applications such as Nokia Data Gathering can help organisations effectively collect field data such as information on disease outbreaks.
The Amazonas State Health Department in Brazil was the first to use the solution as part of its fight against dengue fever in the city of Manaus in Northern Brazil. It has since been used by over 150 organisations globally in fields such as birth registration, agricultural production monitoring, water surveys and more.
An open source software, Nokia Data Gathering is available to everybody free of charge. It can be used to create tailored questionnaires and distribute them to multiple mobile phones using a normal mobile network. Field personnel surveying local conditions can quickly complete the questionnaires and immediately transmit their findings to a central database. The system also allows organisations to geo-tag data with GPS location information to build a more detailed picture of very local conditions.
Download Data Gathering and make it work for you