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Low-bandwidth applications for Education in Developing markets
Josef Noll
University of Oslo

⌘ Objectives

Prepare proposals for Norad/NFR

  • Establish IT as part of the higher education in secondary schools and universities
  • establish at least 3 courses addressing the challenges of developing economies


The primary objective of the Vision 2030 initiative is to contribute to poverty reduction in countries receiving development aid from Norway, by further developing and scaling up innovative solutions that promote achievement of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals for education and health (for each sector individually or in combination).

⌘ Project ideas

1) Mali project - education
novel business model for operators - "Basic Internet" for education
extending mobile networks with (i) Basic Internet/Mobile Broadband and (ii) extending the network to reach novel areas
Freedom of expression - all content- answering the needs for communication of our forces and providing "Basic Internet"
Partners: Orange, IPXextenso, Strømme, Gyldendal, ....
2) Higher Education to address the digital challenges of developing economies
Secondary schools and Universities with STEM education
Education on communication, energy and IT-knowledge through free "BasicInternet" access
from Wikipedia through problem-based learning to solutions
Envisaged partners: AUF, Orange, ... Cedesurk, Monka, ... CMI
3) Global health through mobile apps
GravidPluss (from Norsk, Somali, Urdu to all French, ....)
Partners: Dignio, ...
4) join partners in their calls
extend capabilities of operations from : Strømme Stiftelsen, SAI,
5) establish BasicInternet App Store
create requirements for apps in education and health supporting low-bandwidth (or zero-rated) content
establish the App Store
invite to an Ecosystem
Partners: Google, Microsoft, Apple,...

⌘ Related literature

  • 2,5% CSR i India for infrastruktur og tjenester
  • Font for Telecom operatører (Telecom myndigheter) in some countries in Africa


  • Free Basic (
  • Telenor: DTAC (Thailand) og Grammeenphone (Bangladesh) tilbyr Free Basic
  • Net Neutrality: Facebook versus "Basic Internet"

⌘ 2) Problem-based learning (PBL)

Defining of the problems, examples:

  • Building (mobile and) wireless networks
  • Exploiting solar-based power systems
  • Building a Basic Internet hot-spot
  • IT-education: Programming a web page

Main outcome

  • discussion between students
  • good outcome is defined as part of the process

Steps in PBL

  • Brainstomring
  • Sharing
  • Prioritising
  • Editing


how to use Internet

Skills to learn: presentation (expression) and IT

  • internet
  • communication skills
  • innovation skills: team working

building products:

  • t-shirt factory
  • agriculture products (based on raw materials)

Energy and communications/Internet


  • SWOT analysis to start with
  • see mail

⌘ The Bandwidth Challenge

  • Availability and Affordability

⌘ Requirements for Edu4Development apps

Web vs App.png
  • App tailored towards usage group
    • primary school
    • secondary school
    • higher education
  • re-use existing content
  • availability & affordability
    • low bandwidth requirements
    • cheap/free availability

Comments on requirements

  • costs of mobile networks
  • availability of mobile networks

Note: These comments are not displayed in slideshow modus.

⌘ Focus on higher education

  • STEM education
  • focussing on Communications and Engineering
  • problem based learning (PBL) approach is favourable, e.g. how to built a wireless network?

Information sources

  • Lectures for "mentor-based" learning
  • Extended reading on keywords on Wikipedia or other sites
  • Examples
  • own evaluation

Note: Examples and own evaluation are topics currently badly addressed in Wikipedia

⌘ Action Items

  • Prepare
  • establish at least 3 courses addressing the challenges of developing economies