When it comes to education, technology helps children to literally push boundaries, especially when they are as interactive as some of the newest tools. And a virtual library, a tablet, and an app has set out to do precisely that.
There is no dearth of stories of Lord Krishna, Mowgli, and Aladdin and his magic lamp, on TV or books. But what both these mediums lack is the interactive aspect of storytelling, starkly distinct from the way our grand mothers used to narrate them. Prakash Dantuluri’s Bulbul is an effort to bridge that gap. It is a virtual library of stories for pre-schoolers (eight years old or less), and can be accessed across all mobile platforms (Apple, Android and Windows) as well as on YouTube.
Hailing from the creative field of films, Dantuluri has brought together writers, illustrators and voice artists to retell Indian folktales in the most engaging way possible. Recently, they even introduced a travel series called Tuk Tuk to take children virtually around Mumbai. In the coming days, they will launch many more travelogues; and revive popular stories from different regions of India.
The education tablet, Eddy, developed by New Delhi’s Metis Learning, continues to be a hit with kids. A couple of months ago, it added two new variants — Creativity and Ben 10 Tablets — to its portfolio. These seven-inch tablets, meant for children between two and 10 years of age, come pre-loaded with thousands of books and fairy tales, learning and entertainment activities and video games. And, they aim at inculcating reading, musical, mathematical, and analytical and technological skills in kids.
Its founder Bharat Gulia tells us that in the next set of tablets they plan to explore new topics such as coding, art and craft and moral lessons.
Don’t worry about children straining their eyes, these tablets come with UV-protection. They are priced at `8,999 or more, but you can get them for Rs.6,999 till November 15.
Nandan Nilekani’s ambitious project for kids between five and 12 years old is due to launch next summer, but the beta version of its EkStep Genie app is already receiving positive feedback. This Android-based application contains gamified versions of lessons and concepts that form the school syllabus. And, hence they can be used in schools, during tuition classes or at home, on low-end tablets and smart phones via apps. Or you can simply access them on your web browser. The aim of EkStep Genie is to enhance the reading, arithmetic and learning abilities of a child by providing engaging content.
— Barkha Kumari