Learntive has begun with the launch of a YouTube channel and video CDs containing complete lectures for Sindh mathematics text books for grades 9 and 10. Learntive has already given 2300 CD sets to district education officers for distribution to teachers at government-run schools in Sindh province.
In addition to working with Sindh government, Learntive is also sharing digitized lessons with various other organizations including The Citizens Foundation (TCF) which runs nearly 1000 schools across Pakistan, Development in Literacy (DIL), and Indus Resource Center (IRC).
The initial funding for the initiative has come mainly from Pakistani-American alumni of NED University who are working in Silicon Valley, California. Silicon Valley NEDians have also volunteered their time and the production facilities to narrate and produce the videos. Of particular note are the contributions of time and money made by my friends Suhail Ahmad, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, Abbas Zaidi and Raghib Husain, all graduates of NED University in Karachi, Pakistan. Ali Hasan Cemendtaur is also working with Bilal Musharraf of Khan Academy to ensure Urdu translations of its online tutorial videos. Ali's voice can be heard in several instructional videos posted online.
Digitizing lessons is the first step toward helping teachers provide better instruction in classrooms. Such content can also be distributed through high-speed broadband expansion. A recent industry report indicates that Pakistan has become the fourth fastest growing broadband market in the world and the second fastest in Asia.
|Source: OECD Global Education Digest 2009
The quickest and the most cost-effective way to broaden access to education at all levels is through online schools, colleges and universities. Sitting at home in Pakistan, self-motivated learners can watch classroom lectures at world's top universities including UC Berkeley, MIT and Stanford. More Pakistanis can pursue advanced degrees by enrolling and attending the country's Virtual University that offers instructions to thousands of enrolled students via its website, video streaming and Youtube and television channels.
Clearly, the concept of virtual instruction is finding its way to K-12 education. Increasing number of Pakistanis are drawn to the Khan Academy channel on YouTube making Pakistanis among its top users. Learntive and Virtual Education for All are a local Pakistani initiatives extending the concept to primary and secondary level.
All of these technological developments and various open courseware initiatives are good news for making education available and accessible to satisfy the growing needs in Pakistan and other emerging countries around the world seeking to develop knowledge-based economies of the 21st century.
Here's a Learntive video:
Here's a video of NED Alumni Convention in Silicon Valley:
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