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The Digital Study Hall (DSH)

Netflix + YouTube + Kazaa take all of these together, and give it an educational focus. What you have is the Digital StudyHall (DSH). It is being described as “a research project that seeks to improve education for the poor children in slum and rural schools
in India.”

How does it work?

We digitally record live classes by the best grassroots teachers, transmit them on the “Postmanet” (effected by DVDs sent in the postal system), collect them in a large distributed database, and distribute them on DVDs to poor rural and slum schools. Education experts and teachers use the system to explore pedagogical approaches involving local teachers actively “mediating” the video lessons. By harvesting a “viral phenomenon” of community participation, DSH aims to help train teachers and deliver quality instruction to underprivileged children. The project is a collaboration between computer scientists and education experts.

The main aspects of DSH are:

A live deployment of DSH has been operating in India since the
summer of 2005. As of summer of 2008, we run pilot “hubs” in Lucknow, Calcutta, Pune, and Dhaka, covering approximately 30 schools. And during this time, we have accumulated more than 1000 recordings of lessons in English, math, and science, in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and English. We have also started applying the same approach to agriculture extension work (Digital Green) and awareness campaign for rural healthcare (Digital Polyclinic, operating in Lucknow and Ghana).

Today, DSH is still a young research project, as we continue to work on rigorous evaluations and seek to understand many outstanding questions. We have, however, already seen initial promising signs, and we hope to eventually scale up the system to cover a far greater number of children, contributing toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education.


August 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment