Michael Dawson

CEO, Ustad Mobile, Inc

United Kingdom

Mike Dawson (CEO of UstadMobile) has been working in Education Technology in developing countries for over 8 years and has 15 years of software development experience. He is the CEO of Ustad Mobile ; an open source edtech startup that helps track school attendance and deliver learning content to offline low cost devices in India, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Kenya amongst other locations.

He led the original implementation of One Laptop Per Child in Afghanistan as the CEO of Paiwastoon, an Afghan International ICT company. The project included the creation of interactive content for the Afghan curriculum in Dari and Pashto, teacher training and infrastructure. Seeing the challenges of using high cost high maintenance infrastructure Mike started to look for ways that content could be created for devices that people already themselves. Mike has worked and provided consultancy and software development services to USAID Projects, Oxfam Novib, and UN agencies.

From his experience in Afghanistan Mike became very adept at handling engineering in difficult environments. He worked on solar power systems design and implementation for both education technology and general communication projects, bandwidth management systems for limited connectivity environments and low maintenance auto restoring systems to be used in environments with limited access to IT expertise. He is fluent writing code in Java, Python, HTML5/Javascript and Perl and has contributed code to numerous open source projects including Nokia for Arabic font handling on feature phones and patches to synchronize email for offline use.