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Improving literacy in rural India: cellphone games in an after-school program

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5 Author(s)
Kam, M. ; Human-Comput. Interaction Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ.''s, PA, USA ; Kumar, A. ; Jain, S. ; Mathur, A.
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Literacy is one of the great challenges in the developing world. But universal education is an unattainable dream for those children who lack access to quality educational resources such as well-prepared teachers and schools. Worse, many of them do not attend school regularly due to their need to work for the family in the agricultural fields or households. This work commitment puts formal education far out of their reach. On the other hand, educational games on cellphones hold the promise of making learning more accessible and enjoyable. In our projects 4th year, we reached a stage where we could implement a semester-long pilot on cellphone-based learning. The pilot study took the form of an after-school program in a village in India. This paper reports on this summative learning assessment. While we found learning benefits across the board, it seemed that more of the gains accrued to those children who were better equipped to take advantage of this opportunity. We conclude with future directions for designing educational games that target less well-prepared children in developing regions.

Published in:

Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), 2009 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-19 April 2009

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