What are some ways to make good quality education accessible to low-income communities?

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By Leveraging reach & acceptability to Android based Tablets and Mobile

Posted by Rohit Prakash on 14 Nov, 2018

Let us first meet Nikhil.

He is a class 8 student from a government school in UP. Since last one year, he has been learning from his tablet and building various working models. One such is that of a fan he made a while ago from waste items lying in his home. Look at this video where he is excitedly sharing his creation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZhy3lw2mRY

I am very hopeful when I say this. We have sowed the seeds of a future scientist in Nikhil. And who knows, if he continues to get access to skill based content and the right guidance, he very well may become one.

Today, there are many children like Nikhil who are using their personalised learning tablets set up in their government schools for enjoyable learning.

Why am I able to do this today? Is mobile and tab based learning really the future?

The rural regions and our underserved citizens in those areas are right at the cusp of riding a mobile powered development wave. Affordable mobile phones and android are reaching the homes of our rural most regions in every state of India. It has fast become their defacto access to information, livelihood, entertainment and even govt support/subsidies now.

The best part of this mobile revolution is that there is almost a natural adoption to it. Consider your case. When you first bought a smartphone, was there anyone to train you?

The way I see future and transformation in rural learning is to leverage this reach and natural adoption to android powered touch devices to deliver enjoyable & interactive learning content right at the finger tips of the learner.

I had written a blog sometime back on why educational tablets for government schools have the potential to disrupt rural learning. Please read the same here:

http://www.idreameducation.org/blog/educational-tablets-government-schools/

There is another very important piece to the puzzle though. Availability of learning content in local language. In India, close to 65% of students still learn in their local language. But availability of quality learning material in local language is still very limited and that too difficult to access and use.

When I was starting iDream Education with my friend Puneet, we were very clear on certain fundamentals. One of the key ones was to work on student centric digital learning solutions that align to the natural psychology of all stakeholders in government school ecosystem.

One of our core products TABLAB is built on these fundamentals. Via a multilingual, integrated and a personalised learning platform, we deliver local language content across multiple categories on a tablet. These tablets are stacked in an auto charging rack and are used by students in government schools. Key here is to uncomplicate everything and make it so easy & hassle free that there is almost a natural adoption to it. Because then, it can scale.

So, TABLAB essentially has become a plug n play learning lab that is easy to set up, easy to use & manage, is cost effective and very scalable. To answer your question, I strongly believe basis my experience that such a hassle free student centric approach can make good quality education accessible to low income communities.

Mobile however presents even a stronger and much more scalable approach to make digital learning reach the last mile learners. It is affordable as well. 

We have also just launched an iDream Learning App. 

It is a unique adaptive practice app that guides users to master every topic and improve their scores. 

To summarise, tab and mobile based learning is definitely an approach with a lot of merits as shared above to make good quality education accessible to the last mile learner or the low income communities. 

However, any solution must complement the psychology and natural behaviour of all stakeholders involved in the learning ecosystem. It must solve their needs and make life easy for them. 

In case you would like to discuss more, please feel free to write to me at rp@idreameducation.org

Here's our website with more information on our work: www.idreameducation.org

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