Boston, MA (USA), October 2009 - A technology triumvirate consisting of ABJAD, a Jordan-based mobile-information publisher; AD-CONNECT, a Nigerian high-tech consultancy; and OutStart Inc., maker of Hot Lava Mobile software, will launch a pilot project to turn the mobile devices carried by 150,000 Ghanaian and Nigerian students into a platform for publishing, delivering, and tracking multimedia learning content.
"Nigeria has a population of approximately 149 million people, nearly a third of whom own mobile devices", said Adiel Ntuk, CEO of AD-CONNECT. "A mobile solution like Hot Lava Mobile will help us overco"e the lack of high-tech infrastructure on the ground in both Ghana and Nigeria. Mobile technology lets us reach a larger number of students than we could via PCs, and it makes feedback happen in a very short period of time. It also increases the frequency with which instructors and students interact with one another."
According to Mr. Ntuk, African educators will use Hot Lava Mobile to build content, including lesson plans and surveys. It is virtually impossible to tell what mobile device someone will use to access content, so the Hot Lava Mobile software gives instructors a way to create and broadcast content across all major brands of mobile devices, over 500 varieties.
Instructors will then be able to assign content as they like. One group of students might receive a certain type of lesson or survey; another would get a different set. Once content is assigned, instructors can send it to any mobile device, while tracking usage. In turn, students will be able to use their devices to read, interact, and answer instructors- questions. AD-CONNECT will host the content on Hot Lava Mobile servers.
The pilot project is not only about disseminating information to a large number of students; it's also designed to help instructors produce usage reports that note how long each mobile device user spends with learning content and how well they comprehend the instruction.
According to ABJAD's Managing Director Ammar Shami, three things have made the pilot an ideal opportunity for Ghana and Nigeria. "First, in Ghana and Nigeria, there's the availability of an excellent mobile network beyond 3G services, which means the bandwidth for data is larger than that provided by the Internet in these countries. There's also an extremely high penetration and growth rate for mobile devices in Nigeria and, conversely, a low penetration rate for the Internet", said Shami.
"Second, Ghana and Nigeria foster open market policies in telecom, which create good competition and affordable prices for mobile services.
And third, Hot Lava Mobile makes delivering and tracking learning content extremely affordable."