Motivated by the need to introduce e-learning opportunities to disadvantaged communities and children in developing countries in Asia, The Patatas developed the idea of using tablets as a platform for educational applications and materials. The Patatas combined mobile technology and gamification in education to supplement traditional classroom learning to make the learning process more engaging.
The Patatas visited Tiwala Kids and Communities during September 2014 to kick start the trial e-learning program. 5 tablets were pre-loaded with an educational application and workshops were conducted for the Tiwala teachers to learn how to use the tablets to improve the learning process. Appreciating the instability of the local power supply due to regular inclement weather, The Patatas also brought in mobile solar panels to charge the tablets.
Together with Tiwala Kids and Communities, The Patatas conducted two separate trials to test the programs in different settings such as in schools, slums and rural islands. The trials also gave insight into defining the timing and frequency of using the tablets, which grade levels would benefit most and measuring the budget needed. A total of 106 students took part in the two trials that ran from October to December 2014 and January to March 2015.
With the learning points from the initial two trials, The Patatas then returned to Tiwala in April 2015 with 5 more tablets for an extended trial session. Understanding that the project was best carried out in schools, partnerships were forged with two public schools in Legazpi and a selection criteria was in place. Students needed to be at least Grade 2 level, a family income below the poverty threshold and to have a commitment to the program.
This extended trial session also provided initial data analytics insight and they showed a marked improvement in literacy and numeracy skills – more than average 30% class improvement! The Tiwala teachers provided feedback that the participating students have improved in their reading, listening and vocabulary. Students also found that they are able to solve Math problems quicker. The extended trial session, with 98 students participating, is still currently running and will continue till April 2016.
The Patatas will continue to expand both the e-learning program and our network of collaborative partners in other communities in Asia. To find out more information about Digi-Eskwela, please click here for the summary report.
You can find out more about Tiwala Kids and Communities here and get updates from their Facebook Page.