Pearson offers English Learning on Nokia Mobile Phones in China

Pearson is really on the go when it comes to new ways to deliver their material via the new distribution channels. They announced a partnership with Nokia to form a joint venture with Nokia’s mobile learning platform Mobiledu in China.

Mobiledu was launched in 2007 and offered already content of the BBC, the British Council, ETS and Wallstreet English which has been acquired by Pearson in April 2009.

According to the Pearson Press release Mobiledu (pronounced like Mobile Do) has over 20 million subscribers with about 1.5 million of them using it per month. If you compare this with the video below from the We Live Next event 2008 there has not been a tremendous growth in the usage as Andy mentions about 1 million users per month.

So how does this work?

Customers can access the content through an application preloaded on new Nokia handsets, or by visiting the service’s mobile website and most other WAP portals in China.

So every new model of Nokia mobile phones will be automatically an elearning device. That is quite amazing.

According to John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson’s International Education business this step was obvious as

“China is the world’s largest mobile phone market and the country with the largest number of people learning English. […]”

I think there is no doubt anymore that mobile learning will be one of the major educational trends of this decade. But have a look at the second video below. It’s also from December 2008 and it is quite interesting as it shows two other trends: informal learning and the tablet.

The mother explains her son the famous Olympic Stadion of Beijing while they take a walk down there and I think if they would have made this video in 2009 she would have used augmented reality. Then, in 2015 the grown up boy is carrying around a tablet device which keeps him connected all the time to the cloud. He is obviousely taking virtual classes on it, too.

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  • Tom Liam Lynch

    A school I work with in NYC just did a Mobile Learning Institute project. Their project can be seen here:

    And a quick video overview of the project can be seen here, under “Curating a Digital Exhibit”:

  • Peter

    I wouldn't get too excited about There's more than one bankrupt company in CN that bet on this back in 2008. The fact that Pearson joined the party 2-years after the platform flopped is more an indication of how long it takes the major publishing companies to wake up to new ideas.

    Without any hard evidence to go on other than a quick look around the average metro carriage, the iPhone is the mobile learning platform of choice at the moment in China (with HTC/Android clones coming on strong). Have any of the majors launched an iPhone app yet? I don't think so, but expect to hear an announcement sometime in 2012 😉

    Great blog BTW Kirsten – energetic and obviously well researched. Sorry to be so negative on my comment.

    • chinamike

      Peter, I for one don't find your comments negative. In fact, I agree with what you have to say.

    • KirstenWinkler

      I agree with Mike. You give valuable inside and I appreciate that. Hope to see you on the comments regularly from now on :)

  • 線上英文

    Thumbs up for this good info. I have stumbled it and will definitely tell the rest of my friends know. They without a doubt should consider it as interesting as myself.

  • Allisondunst

    Well I'm not that old, but my generation used phones for talking. These is amazing!