In the United States there is a 99 percent adult literacy rate. In India, however, the percentage hovers around 63 percent. And according to recent studies, literacy and numeracy skills for children in rural India are declining.
I can’t help but think how much technology could play a role in helping to reverse that decline. That’s why I’m excited about Qualcomm Wireless Reach’s Play ‘n’ Learn program, which helps children improve their literacy and numeracy skills with fun Android game apps.
By teaming up with Sesame Workshop India (the organization behind the Indian version of Sesame Street, Galli Galli Sim Sim) Qualcomm was able to use its mobile technology to help create 10 Hindi language games based on beloved Galli Galli Sim Sim characters. Since the program launched in May 2013, Play ‘n’ Learn has provided 3G tablets loaded with the games to more than 370 primary school children in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation area.
We just had a successful launch event in Delhi where several teachers and students came together to talk about their experience with the Play ‘n’ Learn program. For children who received the tablets, positive impacts have included:
- Greater gains in Hindi comprehension, word knowledge and imagination (for children in class 1 and 2)
- Significant gains in comprehension, word knowledge and imagination and over-all Hindi language scores (for children in class1)
- Ability to watch videos, operate the camera and make calls on the tablet
- Improved team and group dynamics
Teachers also reported that their own skills related to flexibility, collaborative learning, curriculum planning, child assessment, teaching method and pacing to students’ needs improved as well.
Due to the successful pilot program, Sesame Workshop India is working to provide content for 2,000 additional children in 25 government primary schools in the Vaishali district of Bihar, India.
The number of smartphone users in India is expected to exceed 104 million in 2014, and my hope is that as more children in India gain access to mobile technology, we’ll see further increases in critical learning skills moving forward. I am fortunate to work for a company that that uses their technology to make a real, positive impact on the lives of children.
To learn more about the Wireless Reach initiative, please visit our website.