Qualcomm-Sesame to boost digital learning

NEW DELHI: American global semiconductor company Qualcomm, through its Qualcomm Wireless Reach initiative, and Sesame Workshop in India showcased the benefits of using smartphones and tablet-based digital games to improve primary grade literacy and numeracy for children aged 6-8 from low-income communities through their “Play ‘n’ Learn” program.

Wireless Reach provided funding and program management support for this project and also provided 3G enabled devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors for use by children in Delhi. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

The “Play ‘n’ Learn” project, a collaboration between Sesame and Wireless Reach, specifically looks at whether mobile enabled game-based learning could be an innovative mechanism to address the learning deficit in primary grade children. The project developed Android games focused on literacy, numeracy and physical well-being, and deployed them among children of ages 6- 8 using tablets and smartphones.

The project was rolled out in schools in Delhi, as well as the Vaishali and Patna districts of Bihar covering over 4,500 children in 57 schools and additionally among 40 children in an under resourced community in Delhi. Research using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies was used to study the impact of introducing games in these diverse settings.

“The “Play ‘n’ Learn” initiative demonstrates the kind of impact mobile technology can have on improving learning opportunities for school children,” said Yashpal Arya, Chairman, Education Committee, South Delhi Municipal Corporation. “The intervention has built teachers’ capacities, in terms of both engagement and classroom management.”

According to Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop in India, “The “Play ‘n’ Learn” initiative helped us build a body of evidence to support the fact that game-based learning using smartphones and tablets can lead to improved gains in reading and numeracy – both essential skills for young children to make them lifelong learners. We are now looking at ways to expand the model for large scale impact.”

“Qualcomm is honored to be involved in this ongoing effort with Sesame Workshop in India and our other project collaborators,” said Monalisa Sahoo, Senior Director of Marketing, Qualcomm India. “India is experiencing the rapid adoption of advanced wireless technologies and we believe that access to mobile can provide transformative educational opportunities for children throughout India.”

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