Building the 21st Century Classroom with 3G Smartphones

The Qualcomm® Wireless Reach initiative and public/private stakeholders are putting the power of computers in the pockets of 3rd and 4th grade students at Nan Chiau Primary School in Singapore. The WE Learn mobile education project uses 3G-enabled smartphones to transform learning from a traditional, teachercentric model to a student-centric, inquiry oriented, collaborative model. By enabling 24/7 access to resources in and out of the classroom, the project allows students to acquire and practice 21st century competencies and knowledge.


  • During the project’s pilot phase, students using smartphones for learning were observed by teachers to have become more independent, inquisitive and self-directed.
  • Test scores on self-directed and collaborative learning skills (defined by Singapore’s Ministry of Education as part of 21st century competencies) have improved significantly:
    • In English classes, children using the smartphone-enabled curriculum showed significant improvement in their spoken English skills and ability to ask and respond to questions.
    • In Science classes, children using smartphone-enabled curriculum showed significant improvement in their ability to answer open-ended questions.
  • Teachers are adapting their teaching methods to incorporate technology and reflect the positive results and responses from students.
  • Parents have become more open to using technology for learning and support new learning tools such as text, drawings and audio and visual recordings.
  • The project offers an enhanced curriculum, including software upgrades and an improved MyDesk software-based learning environment.
  • Following the success of the pilot, project stakeholders have committed to expand WE Learn in 2014 to include additional schools and students.

Download the case study.