Observations from Haiti

We have some early thoughts from our proof-of-concept trial in Haiti (launched Fall 2013).

First, a quick description of the photo: Wesnick (holding the device) became an orphan after Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010, which destroyed over 1,300 schools and has led to one of the lowest enrollment rates in the world.

Like many kids in Haiti, Wesnick is eager to learn but has limited access. When given a Rumie tablet he instinctively figured out how to turn it on and use all of the educational textbooks, videos, exercises, and games on the device. (In case you wonder how intuitive tablets can be, just think of that one or two year old who can barely speak but has somehow figured out how to unlock and load apps on a smartphone or tablet.)

Student engagement levels were extremely high. (This seems quite clear judging from the photo above, where Wesnick’s popularity has suddenly skyrocketed.) Each device in the deployment holds a full library of learning materials – on a device that costs the same as just one textbook.

The community quickly learned of the devices and some made requests to see how they might buy more of them. All of this is a good sign, not just that the devices work and are enjoyable to use – but that they provide great value (i.e., utility to consumers at a given price point). In our target markets, affordability and value are everything, so this is a good start.

Because this was our first trial and we sent devices very early along in our technology development plan, only a few of the software features we’re working on were available. For example, our gamification system and data analytics tracking were not yet ready for primetime. Even so, the qualitative data and observations we received back were encouraging.

A promising start! And now, back into our cave to do more product development and testing before the next deployment…

1 Reply to "Observations from Haiti"

  • arshad durrani
    November 2, 2014 (3:30 am)

    wonder how we in Swat (Pakistan) may have recourse to this resource?Need to see the contents for relevance,and adaptation.

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