A new service has been launched, called PocketSchool, which helps busy people learn a new language without needing to take the time to sit down with a textbook or CD.
PocketSchool works by sending out a daily MMS message to the customer's mobile phone containing a lesson, as well as the phrase spoken in both English and the foreign language the customer has selected. There are both six- and 12-week courses available, and payment is handled online via PayPal.
The price for the service is $20 for a six-week course and $35 for a 12-week course.
Director of PocketSchool Andrew Sinclair says, "PocketSchool is easily accessible, practical and convenient, offering subscribers a simple lesson every day. One of the best things is you can practice anywhere you have your phone, including while travelling"
At the moment there are four languages available through PocketSchool: Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, with German to be added to the list soon. Michael Drysdale, co-director, says the company has plans to expand its range of languages on offer in the near future:
"We are now working on developing a number of Asian languages for PocketSchool. A large amount of outgoing tourism from Australia is to this region, with growth particularly for China. With a tourism industry that is still maturing and the upcoming Olympics we believe that Mandarin courses will add value to our customers in communicating and getting more enjoyment from their travels."
Languages are just the start. Drysdale believes that there is a great deal of potential in mLearning, despite its infancy. As data stability improves, handsets become more standardised and mobile data costs decrease, which will make mLearning an increasingly viable format.
"PocketSchool was founded on the basis of providing education through mobile devices and we have a couple of new products in different stages of the development lifecycle. The language course via MMS was the first product we believed aligned the technology with the learning goals." Drysdale said.
For more information on PocketSchool, or to sign up to learn a language, go to www.pocketschool.com.au