I came across this article by Jessica Marshall in the ‘New Scientists’ and wanted the share it with you. What attracted me to the article was the research by the people at the University of California regarding the medium to spread education.
The University found in their research that the teachers in Mysore, India were not quite well equipped with language skills to teach children English, and also that many of them kept away from school to provide income to their family. But the research also found that 19 out of 47 had cell phones and hence decided to use this medium to spread education! Well smart phones are not only for the well informed and for the corporate bigwigs, it could has help in imparting education and theryby providing equal opportuity as this report clearly shows. Well the method used by John Canny’s group at the University ofCalifornia found that they could use a very popular game in South India to impart the language skills. For eg. they use the game called ‘tree tree’ in which the user have to move the on screen figure, which is called out. The other one is where the user has to move one of the animals among the many and help it to cross the road, this way one can learn about animals, plants, vegetables etc.
Canny’s group plans to incorporate bluetooth, and to include speechrecognition, so students get feedback on their pronounciation based on whether the phone software recognised what they said.
ZMQ has developed a software for HIV education for cell phone users in Africa and India. Now this is what I call as ‘Optimum use of existing resources’!