MILLEE: Education and Mobile Phone Games

Story bubbles on world map
Source: Ashoka

Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE), a non-profit organization uses mobile phone games to improve literacy skills in emerging countries.  Founded in 2004, MILLEE develops human-centred, immersive and enjoyable language learning mobile games which are modelled after the traditional games children play in the community. In India, MILLEE is using mobile games to impart English literacy skills to the poor children attending public schools. Mobile phones have also facilitated out-of-school learning. The organization has confirmed the effectiveness of mobile phones in learning through field projects in India.

Mobile phones provide a cost-effective, easy to use and fun medium for learning. Issues with mobile phones such as small screen, small keyboard and limited amount of storage have not proved to be hindrances for MILLEE. MILLEE is scaling up its English literacy program in India and also expanding to China, Kenya and other emerging countries. The rapid proliferation of mobile phones provides an excellent opportunity for expanding into many countries. India, for example, has more than 600 million mobile phone connections.

Mobile phone as a medium of learning has attracted considerable interest. Last year Nokia introduced Nokia Life Tools, a set of application for Agriculture, Education and Entertainment services for customers in emerging economies. Recently, a mobile service operator in India has also started offering language learning feature.