Think Big, Go Mobile, In Brazil
Annica Isacsson 19.12.2016

Why mobile learning?

Mobile devices are transforming the way we communicate, live and learn. Mobile learning, or “m-learning”, offers modern ways to support learning process through mobile devices, such as handheld and tablet computers, MP3 players, smartphones and mobile phones. We must ensure that this digital revolution becomes a revolution in education, promoting inclusive and better learning everywhere.

Haaga-Helia UAS School of Vocational Teacher Education is coordinating a project related to mobile learning, business development and frugal innovation. SCALA (Scalable mobile learning services for global markets) is a project funded by Tekes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs /BEAM program. Three companies are also involved in SCALA through funding and by their learning content. The companies´ learning content will within the project be tested, piloted and developed.

The content of SCALA is a Java programming and calculus platform (, a virtual 3 D classroom ( and basic and business English e-learning content ( The testing and piloting takes place in March 2017 within universities, and secondary education in the Sao Paulo area in Brazil, and the project will, as an outcome produce mobile learning research, development of content and a market strategy for the Finnish companies involved.

Why Brazil?

Brazil is the 5th largest higher education market in the world, and the largest in Latin America. Brazil has 57 million students in its basic education, out of which 11,1 million in secondary education and 7,3 million in the higher education sector

Brazilians are turning into heavy consumers of mobile-formatted content, and mobile learning is expected to become a big part of what is consumed on these screens. The most downloaded apps in Brazil are related to learning and educational games. A recent report from market intelligence provider Ambient Insight foresees the revenue for the mobile learning market in the country to represent USD 1,06 billion in 2019, driven mostly by educational apps, platforms and government projects.

In August, 2016 The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, José Serra, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland, Timo Soini, agreed to adapt a “List of Priorities for the Cooperation between Brazil and Finland” involving cooperation in educational matters.

The interest for Finnish innovations and learning content is huge

When I visited Sao Paulo in November 2016 the interest for Finnish education, learning methods and content was tremendous. Finland was in the Brazilian news and lips of everybody in education because of our successes in this field. Mobile learning seems to hold tremendous possibilities, but the competition on the market is fierce. However, there is room for smart, scalable solutions, or as Jarkko Wickström, who works as a coordinator for education, science and research at the Honorary Consulate General of Finland, stated “it seems smart to enter the market through university collaboration”.

Our strategy within the SCALA project is to primarily enter the market potential through mobile learning research, and by testing/piloting content and applications in universities, and in secondary education in the Sao Paulo area. We foresee big potential for SCALA product content in Brazil after having adapted content to fit the local and scalable mobile learning market needs.

Annica Isacsson, SCALA Project Manager, Haaga-Helia School of Vocational Teacher Education, +358-40-4887087,


Annica Isacsson


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