There are a lot of challenges faced by rural India and education is one of them. We came with good reasons for mobile to be the media to deliver education and started our journey with mobile education. Our experience in the field has broken most of our assumptions. When we started, we had the following reasons.
- Mobile based learning has potential to reach multiple sections of the society. As mobiles cut across geographies and require minimal infrastructure and there is huge tele-density. Effectively they flatten socio-economic hierarchies; counteract competency
- Mobile learning can be personalized and can offer medium that is not disrupted much by
natural and social challenges of nature; therefore consistent and sustainable. The mobile features like audio and voice can be used effectively.
- Mobile learning can enable instruction specific to individuals and enable students with varied degrees of learner competencies. Slow learners can learn slow, they can even take some extra lessons and still learn. Effectively mobile based education can cultivate interest in learning, build confidence and empowers the student.
Our field learning taught us the following
- The educational solutions work well for urban education ecosystem and not for the rural and semi-urban areas. The internet bandwidth is not available or even if available, the costs are not affordable.
- Learning offered on mobile is not really contextualized; only mobile-literate people can effectively use services,They are only available in English and not in rural languages and this is challenges for adoption in rural ecosystem. Neither all mobiles support rural languages.
- The teachers and students are not technology literate and even if literate, they do not have affordable teaching tools that can enable them to easily get their content or bring their regular lessons to mobile.
To build ecosystem, We need to come with answers for the following questions.
- How to educate students the usefulness and usage of mobile based learning?
- How to inform and educate parents the power of mobile learning?
- How to enhance technical awareness for teachers and demonstrate income generation ability ?
- Can there be a learn while you earn targeted at professionals?