Offline educational resources – crucial for African schools in the years to come

During eLearning Africa 2015 in Addis Abeba I have met many enthusiastic and inspiring people. The conference has covered many topics like MOOCs, mobile learning and the importans of vocational training.

With my background as an advocate for open educational resources the big question for me has been; Can open educational resources make a differens in changing global learning – and specifically for emerging economies? After listening to talks on different relating topics and talking to teachers and startups from many different countries my conclusion is: YES!

During his keynote the frist day at eLearning Africa, Mark Surman from the Mozilla foundation showed a survey with predictions that within 2025 nearly 5 billion people all over the world will be online. Most of the new users will be in developing countries.

In the meantime it is crucial to address the fact that most africans schools are not online. The importans of online connectivity and the importans of offline resources when a school goes offline for any reason. For those schools that are online, having offline resources will also address the issue of cost when using video lectures from sites like Khan Academy is equally important.

There are some projects that have addressed this problem and I would like to give en introduction to some of them:

KA – Lite

kalites

KA Lite offers instructional videos from Khan Academy on math, science, history, economics and matches the common core standards. They also provide a diverse collection of math exercises for students that generates immediate feedback, provides step-by-step solutions, and works through a point system to encourage continued practice of material. You can download as many as you’d like to use in your installation of KA Lite.

Offline version of Wikipedia

Wikipedia offers free copies of all available content to interested users. These databases can be used for mirroring, personal use, informal backups, offline use. All text content is multi-licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Images and other files are available under different terms, as detailed on their description pages. Often this means that you can use the pictures as well.

Gutenberg project – 46.000 books offline

Project Gutenberg offers over 46,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers. No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, we kindly ask you to donate a small amount so we can buy and digitize more books.

The Rachel project

The Rachel project have made a server(small and compact) including some of the best educational resources on the web, neatly packaged together for download and distribution in places without internet. For more info, check out this video explaining how it is made.

Apps on Android and iPad

Some of the apps on tablets like Android and iPad will not require you to be online at all times. There are a groing number av apps that will provide a good learning experience.

Some of the apps that we have tried in projects are:

  • Mathking
  • Quizlet
  • Dragonbox
  • O Clock

Tanx to Nuug Foundation as sponsor for my trip to eLearning Africa.