E-learning, it’s the buzzword everyone uses when talking about decreasing educational costs and influencing a higher rate of access to education. The concept is simple, the implementation less so. How does education become digitised for people in society who don’t have access to the internet or to a computer? Without electricity or power, how can any sort of digital e-learning sustain itself?
Despite these concerns, e-learning has been on the rise in the past few years. Sustainable ways of innovating such as creating community e-learning centres can help to not only those looking to connect to the internet but can also support green power initiatives. Online distance learning allows students to connect to ever more universities that they might never have the chance to otherwise visit. Distance Education for Africa (DEA) are creating these kind of community centres in Rwanda and Burundi right now!
But where does classroom learning fit in? School-age children should have an opportunity to both more books, literature, and to learn digital nativism from a young age. Literacy and education for kids all around the world increases their chances at a higher income, and improves their understanding of tolerance and what it means to be part of a global citizenry. Due to illiteracy and lack of access to education, many of the world’s children will remain trapped in a cycle of poverty. Over 23 studies conclusively stated that using touch screen tablets improved academic performance results for kids aged 5-18 in developing and high-income countries.
Created as a project of the World Literacy Foundation, the Sun Book tablet aims to address many of these issues. The tablet is solar-powered and doesn’t need electricity to run. Content is all pre-loaded making the issue of internet connectivity not important. Right now, Sun Book tablets are targeted in Uganda. This is only the start. Content on these devices makes sure to include up to 60 percent local content, so that students aren’t just learning about regions far away, but that they learn about places and ideas close to home.
Digital literacy is important. With e-learning initiatives like Distance Education for Africa and Sun Books starting to address the 1.2 billion children that don’t have access to basic educational resources, hopefully that number will decrease in upcoming years.
E-learning has the potential to change many lives and bring about a shift in how education is perceived worldwide.
It addresses not only children’s ability to read, but also their ability to do basic numerical sums and navigate the internet alongside other digital tools with ease. Tools like Sun Book tablets are cost-effective and have immediate visible results.
Learn more about donating to Sun Book tablets and the World Literacy Foundation here.
Written by Gabriella Gricius