Mathematics in Regional Language through Accessible Ed-Tech
By ANANYA VEERARAGHAVAN
With the onset of Covid-19 students across the country (India) faced severe consequences due to lack of classes, and teacher availability. Moving to online models proved to be extremely challenging especially for students from under-served communities who had little to no means of learning once schools shut down in the pandemic. With this as the backdrop, we decided the best solution would be to start a local YouTube series where we upload videos for students in our regional language. (We found several videos in English and Hindi but no good quality videos in our local language) Majority of the children we cater to study in Kannada (regional language) medium schools or in English medium schools with very poor grasp over the English language.
1. Free Platform – YouTube
2. Accessible approach – Nearly every family in the state has access to at least one smart phone. Hosting videos on a free platform like YouTube, which requires only a device with an active internet connection, enables students to use content in a low friction set up.
3. Personalized Learning – Students can watch videos as and when they have access to a device and can adjust the pace of their learning as per their requirement. The students can also pick the videos that they are interested in, giving them the independence to choose what they wish to learn.
4. Doubt Clarification Mechanism – A WhatsApp number has been provided along with the videos to ensure a feedback loop is in place. Students can always reach out to the number with doubts, questions, requests or feedback. This also develops a sense of community, where in students get to interact with their online educators and build a safe space.
5. Learning Resources – Every video has formula sheets, work sheets, and other resource material attached in the YouTube description. We also hope to provides students with additional self learning material to instigate a sense of curiosity regarding the topic.
6. In case of shortage of teaching faculty/ lack of quality education, the videos serve as an alternative mechanism to facilitate classroom learning. The videos can be played in schools, with or without teacher facilitation, as per the school’s requirement. Doubts can be sent across to the linked WhatsApp number.
Links to few of our videos:
YouTube Series Summary : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eJPqCx5-rY&feature=youtu.be
Introduction to Trigonometry : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_OSO6POAho
Linear Equations : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIP5XbTvYrc
Our outreach for the current YouTube Math Grade 10 series comprises 2 components –
Digital Marketing – We started our YouTube series only 3 months ago and have begun our outreach campaign 2 weeks ago. Here are some numbers:
a. Total number of views: 19000
b. Watch time: 838 hours
c. New subscribers: 440
These numbers are relatively low if we consider the number of videos we have uploaded (55), however, we are working on targeted marketing so that the children from the under-served communities in the state are at least aware that a resource like this exists for them to learn from.
2. Pen drive distribution – We are distributing pen drives for free, with all chapters uploaded to it, to public schools that do not have access to stable internet connection.
Additionally, we also have a mechanism in place for students to reach out to us via WhatsApp in order to build a community and provide care beyond academics. Here, we have had children from different villages and districts of the state reach out to us with doubts or feedback on videos.
Potential impact – There are over 800000 children from public schools writing class 10 examinations each year (which is one of the most crucial exams for them). If we can reach out to this audience and ensure that our quality of videos adds value to them, then we might increase the pass percentage in the state, reduce the number of dropouts and instill a curiosity in STEM for children who wish to pursue a future in it.
Note: The same model can be extrapolated to other grades as well.
Adopt & Adapt
This is based entirely on our Math series prototype in Bangalore, India.
Record teaching videos – The educator will have to place a camera in a position that captures what they teach on the board. Alternatively, the educator can also use a smart pen or a virtual board to record the lecture. The educator could also record their classroom videos and not waste any resources separately for this.
Minimal editing – In case of any retakes or cuts, one will have to merge the videos together. If budget permits, animations and other graphics could also be used to make the video more engaging.
YouTube channel – A YouTube channel to upload the recorded videos is required. This is free to create. In order to reach maximum students, active marketing of this channel will be required.
Device and internet availability – Students are required to have access to an internet enabled device and an active internet connection to be able to watch the videos on YouTube. Alternatively, the videos could be played in the school or in study groups where children can watch the videos as a collective group.
Feedback loop – A mechanism must be set up for students to reach out in case of any doubts/queries/concerns. YouTube comments section, WhatsApp messages, chat-bot, etc. Ensure that it creates a safe space for the child to freely discuss with the support team.
Note: An advantage of the current model is that it does not require to be replicated by each school. All schools that follow the same curriculum can make use of the videos. What it does require is to recreate content in different regional languages when required to help contextualize learning.