Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Ericsson and Stanford University collaborate on Bridging Africa's Digital Divide

Ericsson is collaborating with Stanford University to explore the use of mobile technologies in distance e-learning applications in African countries. Ericsson will work with Stanford University's International Outreach Program, which offers students on different continents the opportunity to learn from researchers in environmental sciences from several countries and perspectives, as well as contribute to lively discourse and debate through Internet and mobile phone interaction.

As part of the program, Ericsson is providing smart phones fully equipped with video cameras, audio recorders, and Internet capability. Ericsson will also support the program by leveraging its relationships with mobile operators in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa to help Stanford and others implement an environmental e-learning program. This program involves faculty and students from the University of the Western Cape in South African, Mweka College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania and Makerere University in Uganda.

The international mobile learning project, called Dunia Moja or "one world," utilizes a GPRS or 3G mobile connection and an Internet-enabled mobile handset from Sony Ericsson to allow students and faculty in remote locations to submit and access video, audio and text-based course materials, participate in online discussion forums, post blogs, produce multimedia content and otherwise interact as they learn.