Mobile Devices for Early Literacy Intervention and Research with Global Reach

Breazeal, Cynthia, et al. "Mobile Devices for Early Literacy Intervention and Research with Global Reach." Proceedings of the Third (2016) ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. ACM, 2016.


Extensive work focuses on the uses of technology at scale for post-literate populations (e.g., MOOC, learning games, Learning Management Systems). Little attention is afforded to non-literate populations, particularly in the developing world. This paper presents an approach using mobile devices with the ultimate goal to reach 770 million people. We developed a novel platform with a cloud backend to deliver educational content to over a thousand marginalized children in different countries: specifically, in remote villages without schools, urban slums with overcrowded schools, and at-risk, rural schools. Here we describe the theoretical basis of our system and results from case studies in three educational contexts. This model will help researchers and designers understand how mobile devices can help children acquire basic skills and aid each other's learning when the benefit of teachers is limited or non-existent.

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