INCREASING LITERACY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES THROUGH ICT
WHY LITERACY? Reading is a fundamental ability and its best taught in the early grades (1-3) or earlier. But about 70% to 90% of students in many developing countries were still unable to read a single word from a single paragraph at the end of the third year of their education.
CONNECTIVITY With the development of Internet services (e.g. cloud computing), Internet access has become essential for education. However, most of the children in developing countries dont have any access to the Internet.
Which technology should we use? WiMAX technology can provide Internet access to large areas (with a radius of 50km). Plus, it's fast: one can easily stream HD video. Another option is using mobile networks, such as GSM and 3G: they can cover a whole country and are suitable for sending text messages.
Potential of the TV spectrum It is now possible to use the TV spectrum for the distribution of educational content. For example, the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) can deliver games and interactive lessons to every TV set. Plus, MHP can be used in conjunction with other technologies: students can receive a quiz on the MHP and answer it via SMS. Offline Internet Another idea is to use 'offline internet' access: in remote villages students can receive a memory stick with content downloaded from a location with Internet access.
ICT APPLICATIONS Raspberry Pi devices The brand new Raspberry Pi devices are affordable credit-card-sized computers that cost as little as $35. Moreover, the devices use SD cards to store data so every student can have his or her own progress tracked regardless of the number of devices. Oen-source OS for education The open-source Edubuntu operating system is a distribution of Linux for educational needs. It can be easily installed on the Raspberry Pi devices. Administrators can maintain the devices remotely and check their logs periodically to keep track of their usage and update them if necessary. Mobile solutions Mobile phones are already used as a solution for individual education in developing countries. For example, Nokia Mobile
Mathematics is a mobile phone application already deployed in South Africa. With Mobile Mathematics learners can practice math exercises and their teachers can keep track of their progress.
CONTENT Linguistic skills While children in developing countries are commonly taught by foreign teachers, its essential that students understand the language used in the classroom. We suggest exploiting some of the most intuitive learning methods: the Pimsleurs Approach, SRS decks and Rosetta Stone. For instance, the Pimsleurs Approach can dramatically improve ones understanding of a language in as little as 10 days. Moreover, these techniques can work with the use of only audio to achieve great results while also teaching spelling and reading if combined with a graphical interface. Games for education Learning whilst playing is a non-traditional but wonderful approach. Playing games is fun, so learning can come as a side effect of this process. It is really suitable for developing countries: students should be keen on playing as it is a good pastime and educational games would keep them highly motivated through high scores (appealing to the competitive nature of all humans). Single-player games can lead to faster progress, but we also endorse the use of multi-player team games as they can improve their teamwork and cooperative ability. Role-playing games, in which a person controls a character and tries to get a higher level, have proven to be very popular, so we can make use of them by taking an educational approach.
CHANGPING CHEN (China)
PABLO LANASPA FERRER (Spain)
JUSTAS EMGULYS (Lithuania)
MILLENNIUM YOUTH CAMP 2012