Practice makes perfect

comments Commentstotal5
In Finland we have a saying “harjoitus tekee mestarin” which is best translated as “practice makes perfect”. If anything, mobile devices as tools to learn offer the possibilities to practice. A study after study concludes that the one item people always carry with them is their mobile phone. Mobile technology frees knowledge, information and education from the constraints of classrooms, and it provides access to learning when and where preferred.

Take Nokia Mobile Mathematics as an example. To answer the request from the Deputy President of South Africa on how to leverage mobile phones to speed up learning, we created the solution which contains over 9000 high school level mathematic exercises, related theory, worked examples and peer-to-peer encouragement, allowing students to practice math on weekends, during holidays – whenever.

And believe it or not: 82% of the use happens outside school hours - to say nothing of the amount of practice… two young girls stood out from the crowd of users: One of them completed 1,378 practice tests and exercises in one school year. Her marks improved from 42% in Grade 9 to 70% in Grade 10. Her friend completed 2,084 practice tests and exercises and saw her marks improve from 65% in Grade 9 to 76% in Grade 10. Can you imagine – a teenager getting through over 1000 exercises outside school hours on their own or a parent’s mobile phone?


BYOD seems to be a hot topic on this network. Based on our experiences especially services that are meant to be used also outside school hours are more successful when students can choose their own device that best suits their needs and empowers them with the flexibility to learn in their own terms. Developing services for a multi-device environment and instructing users with different gadgets is not the easiest for the solution developers, teachers and organizations involved, but the “customer” we are serving here is the student, and none of the parties mentioned above.

Why not try it out? Register at, create study groups (your class), encourage your students to join, invite them to the group and follow their progress. And who knows: maybe some of your students are already on the top charts? Because mobile learning is happening as we speak whether we all plug in or not.

Comments (5)

Sign in to view or post comments
Why do I need to sign in? Microsoft respects your privacy. A global community, the Microsoft Educator Network asks you to sign in to participate in discussions, access free technology tools, download thousands of learning activities, take online learning or connect with colleagues.