School closures due to the COVID-19 have impacted nearly 25 crore students and 1 crore teachers in India. During this time, Educational Technology or EdTech has emerged as a key tool for parents, children and educators to continue teaching and learning activities.
Central Square Foundation (CSF) has always believed in the transformational role and potential of EdTech solutions. In addition to making education accessible beyond classrooms, it helps children learn at their pace and individual learning level.
CSF is working with key stakeholders in the education ecosystem including the government, investors, and private sector as well as non-profit organisations to make available solutions with high-quality content in vernacular languages for low-income communities. We have curated a database of resources that will be useful in making informed decisions about which EdTech tool serves the purpose best.
This is a first of its kind free of cost mobile app that enables and empowers parents with the right knowledge, language and strategies around child development to hone the skills and learning ability of their kids. It offers a range of engaging digital solutions to help children between the age group of 3 to 8 to acquire foundational skills — the ability to read with meaning and solve basic arithmetic problems. It consists of three apps in Hindi to help children make sense of letters and numbers in fun and interactive ways.
- Google Bolo - a reading-tutor app that helps primary grade students to improve their reading skills in Hindi and English
- Math Masti - it focuses on building foundational numeracy skills among children in the age group of 3-8 years. The app uses a variety of fun, engaging and age appropriate activities that are aligned to school curriculum to help children improve their math learning skills.
- Chimple - is designed to make learning fun. It uses stories, puzzles, and games to teach children reading, writing, and maths.
In partnership with Google.org, Central Square Foundation has created TicTacLearn, a repository of 12,000 learning videos for Maths and Science in five languages — Hindi, English, Telugu, Odia, and Marathi. TicTacLearn will be the single largest such repository of learning videos. It solves three critical aspects of online learning i.e. quality content, engagement and access.
These videos are accessible on YouTube as well as on DIKSHA, the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s primary initiative to make e-content available to school children. The DIKSHA platform has over 80,000 e-books which are available in multiple languages for Classes 1 to 12 created by CBSE, NCERT, and States/UTs. These books can also be accessed on the app via QR codes energized in the textbooks. Doordarshan channels in Jharkhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also broadcasting these videos.
Repository of free EdTech solutions
Over 4,500 EdTech solutions exist in India for use by teachers and students. Given the crisis, various private and not-for-profit players have made their offerings free to support continued learning at home. We have created a repository of the solutions that are available free of cost in an attempt to declutter and aid discovery of tools. This repository can play a crucial role in helping governments, teachers, parents, and children make informed decisions about which solutions fit their purpose.