A global arc of mobile learning lessons from the Wireless Reach Initiative

Ms Angela Baker | Presentation (PDF)

Qualcomm and Wireless Reach



Global interest has skyrocketed in how to leverage mobile devices and connectivity to support enhanced learning. Often, though, tablets and smartphones are seen only as low-cost fixed devices for use in classrooms rather than taking full advantage of mobility to enable life-long, life-wide and life-deep learning opportunities. Through Qualcomm Wireless Reach (WR), schools and communities in locations as disparate as rural North Carolina and urban Singapore have served as learning laboratories for mobile devices. With this sponsorship and guidance, technologists, educators, parents and policy-makers around the world are exploring the advantages of smartphones and tablets for transforming teaching and enhancing 24/7 access. 

For the past seven years, WR has invested in over 35 mobile education projects. Leveraging a diversified portfolio, WR has addressed four key issues that we identified as barriers to mobile learning: infrastructure capacity, the need for teacher professional development, security and privacy concerns, and the availability of appropriate content for mobile learning. 

The WR projects have produced research-based lessons learned about how to ensure a successful mobile learning project from the initial planning stages to sustained, scaled replication. Also, insights about new educational models for life-wide learning are emerging from recent work. 

In this session, WR will present eight essentials of a successful mobile learning project based upon an in-depth evaluation of the many pilots funded by Qualcomm around the world. Positioned as a global arc of lessons learned, the eight essentials are key milestones that build upon one another to strengthen a project’s impact on student learning both in and out of school. For each essential, we will provide tangible, research-based examples from WR projects to ensure that the audience has a strong contextual understanding of both the eight milestones and how to implement that particular design principle within their own mobile learning projects.

These include:

  • Purposeful planning for mobile device usage.
  • Preparing educators effectively.
  • Securing leadership buy-in.
  • Leveraging content and curriculum that is mobile-empowered.
  •  Understanding the power of Internet access.
  •  Measuring project results with meaningful metrics.
  • Building personal learner efficacy and capacity for self-directed learning.
  • Creating an ecosystem that is sustainable and scalable. 

This session will provide valuable information for a variety of mobile education stakeholders. For policymakers, the eight essentials provide a road map to share with program developers and project implementers to ensure a positive return on investment for government and/or NGO funding. Educators will learn design principles for effective models, based on evaluations of WR portfolio of successful mobile learning projects, which they can use to develop a comprehensive strategy and avoid the costly ‘re-inventing the wheel’ paradigm. Industry leaders will have a greater appreciation for the complexity associated with mobile learning successes and can use that knowledge to design and support products and services that support education’s strategic plans. All participants will receive access to a new white paper that summarizes the eight essentials with in the Global Arc of Mobile Learning Lessons.


Angela Baker is the Senior Manager in Government Affairs at Qualcomm, has over ten years of local, state-wide and national political experience. Currently, she is a Senior Manager with Qualcomm Wireless Reach, a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. Previously, she served as an adviser in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Office of Innovation at the United States Department of State, where she worked on foreign policy goals connected to the 21st Century Statecraft agenda through bilateral and multilateral engagement with strategic partners on technology and development issues.

Prior to working in the Obama Administration, Baker worked for an international advocacy firm in Seattle, Washington, where she helped to create nongovernmental organizations focused on helping those in need. Baker has worked in several countries spanning Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Europe. Recently, she spent three months working in the Palestinian Territories and has a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. 

Qualcomm Wireless Reach is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with more than 375 stakeholders, we invest in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. To date, Wireless Reach has 88 projects in various stages of development in 34 countries. Wireless Reach projects demonstrate the positive social and economic impact of wireless technologies in the communities in which we live and work.


Twitter: @bakerac1

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