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Kytabu helps schools prepare for a virtual class room working together with teachers, staff, students and partners.
Kytabu is a Kenyan EdTech company working towards every African childs’ equitable and affordable access to digital learning resources. Using the established Kytabu platform, innovative mobile applications, learning management system and school management system, Kytabu has worked to create holistic community learning support using technology to bring teachers, parents, students and schools in the community together on one platform.
KYTABU would increase student access to video courses and assessment content in both middle class and low-income communities across Kenya and East Africa. This could be easily replicable to other geographies and contexts by partnering with other content creator
A mobile learning platform for students in Kenya
Kytabu started as a mobile application for students to access textbooks, audiobooks and vidoes curracted from around the world that would support and supplement the content students learnt in class. Initially supporting the Kenyan Governments’ Digital Learning Platform (DLP) program, we built our software for windows tablets and the application was uploaded and used in 65,000 devices around the country as well as being used by Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. We supported a total of 91,000 learners, has 2,784 KICD approved textbooks, 200 audiobooks and 312 videos.
Kytabu’s Coronavirus Response:
Our coronavirus response is:
Greatly scale Kytabu for Schools and Students to have easier home learning.
Accelerate video content creation to 4500 videos in 3 months with 1500 a month.
Scale up free access to video courses to students on our mobile app.
Target Class 4 to Form 4 student with videos in every subject.
Keep the costs for access at little to no cost to the end user.
With schools closed for an undefined period of time, students are scrambling to be prepared for the end year examinations for those in senior primary and secondary school while the rest of the students still have their end year exams to study for. The elongated period with no formal education will greatly affect the outcomes of these exams that can impact childrens’ lives permanently.
Our User Survey:
To assess the need and confirm the expectations of video content, Kytabu did a user survey by sending an sms to 2500 users (half our user base) from our user pool at random and asking a simple set of questions on the content they felt would have the most impact. The results are in the appendix of this concept note.
We asked our users what would make a real impact for them when it came to accessing content hoping to understand the needs of those in more senior classes. We took into consideration the cost implications,devices that the user would use and the overall screen time a student would engage with a device to get a meaningful experience. The result was as follows:
82% of our students preferred using videos over textbooks and audiobooks.
66% were keen on having assessments as part of the learning process to help them measure their success rate and level of content comprehension.
100% wanted to study in collaboration with others.
44% were uncomfortable working with their teachers on mobile devices.
93% were able to use mobile apps whenever they needed to.
88% were “ unaware of threats by online learning” such as zoom booming.
79% were using past papers from website that were charging for them
96% would like to see content creators they see online creating learning content
85% are new to zoom, google classroom, skype and Microsoft teams
92% would like to keep having access to the content created all year long.
The Kytabu mobile app is on the Google Play Store and has been for the last 4 years with periodic updates we have been making for our small number of users (less than 5000). We had pivoted to a School Management System and a Learning Management Platform development because it was more sustainable for the company.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have received more than 1000 emails and calls about the application and students and parents alike have offered to pay for content on the application if we update our material.
A partnership With ABSA Bank (formerly Barclays Bank) has given us access to schools seeking hardware credit lines from the bank, to our online platform. Their entire school database of roughly 5000 schools is looking to deploy and run our school management system that supports online learning content and online call infrastructure. This will support the total of 3,2500,000 students with the bank averaging 750 students per school.
Kytabu is building up on our digital content expertise to create video content and interactive, adaptive student assessment. over the next 3 months. We have set a target of 4,500 videos and 15,000 assessment questions. Our influential content creators, with 1,947,318 cumulative followers on Instagram only (not including twitter, facebook or youtube numbers), would use it to share content online in addition to having access on the Kytabu App.
Part I: Content Creation
To hit our target of 4,500 videos and 15,000 assessment questions in 12 weeks, we have hired 15 teachers from local Kenyan schools, 15 education script writers and 15 professional content creators that have a big online footprint, are trusted online personalities with an interest in education and have skill and the knowhow to create content in their homes without additional exposure to others putting them at risk of COVID-19.
We had the content creators select subjects they would be most comfortable with from the list of subjects in the Kenyan education system, linked each content creator with a teacher and script writer, and gave them all a stipend to begin the process of content creation with each team expected to have 100 videos at the end of each month starting in May 2020.
We are then animating the videos to bring a more descriptive presentation to students learning from home. The teachers will help in the creation of assessment questions that will coincide with the scripts they create that will be video lessons.
Once the videos and assessment questions are complete, we will host the content on the Kytabu mobile app and give students access to them on any mobile device or tablet on Android. Students will also be able to access the learning content videos and assessment on our website and the content creators social media platforms. We have created pages on our website for each content creator where users with online access on the web will be able to have free and open access to their videos and be able to do assessment on our website.
We will also share the content we create with partner organizations that are in EdTech and have apps similar to Kytabu including Zeraki and eLimu among others. This content will be available all year long and the students will be able to watch the content on mobile or webs and be able to share the content through social media platforms like whatsapp. We will also keep making adjustments or creating new videos where necessary if any topic needs changes or unpated to the content are required.
Part 2: Building for the video and assessments into Kytabu
The current Kytabu app on the play store hosts textbooks, audiobooks and videos but is limited in functionality. We want to make development changes and redeploy the application to ease the user journey on the application and improve user tracking, and collaboration.
The Kytabu app and web content management portal development would be a short sprint that can be done in a month, to coincide with the completion of the videos and the assessments that come with the videos. This version will be able to:
Host content in linear fashion allowing students to progress through the content in place of having to search it out.
Allow for collaborative learning among many users on content assigned to them or that they choose
Provide assessments after the video content and allow the student to repeat the material if they do not achieve a required grade.
Provide overall performance reports that can be shared online
Host more teachers, content creators, videos, assessments and be a portal for all new members to manage their content and participate effectively with students.
The mobile app version we develop will have a web-based hybrid application that will work on lower end phones that have a display. These phones, running on a Symbian OS, are still largely available in low income homes and are also very affordable and available with a strong 3G connection but limited storage capacity.
Part 3: COVID-19 content on Kytabu
There is a pool of content available around the world including self assessment, hygiene behavior and immediate response suggestions and instructions that are not reaching young people because they are not in the habit of watching the news or reading adult framed content.
Using Kytabu, we would like to adapt this content to work on an app and help improve and keep track of the health status of our users and those around them. We will provide a gamified COVID-19 daily or weekly self-check, a short weekly questionnaire that they can answer and provide health information and contact details that our users can use when in need.
What we need help with
ytabu would like to deploy the Kytabu School management System in 5,000 schools and in creating the initial 4,500 videos for learning, 15,000 assessment questions and the adaptive version of the Kytabu students’ app. With the current group of 15 teachers, 15 scripters and 15 content creators, we can achieve this in three months. We would then like to grow this number to 30,000 videos and 100,000 assessment questions with an increase in content creators and teachers supporting the content creation process from August. The content would be shared across various mobile apps, be available online and delivered with online and offline capabilities on both mobile and web.
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