Frequently Asked Questions
What are Rumie Tablets?
They are low-cost tablets loaded with a library of curated learning resources.
- They are super power-efficient: Less than $1 a year to charge
- Hold relevant, high-quality content: The open source textbooks and videos on the tablets were selected and reviewed by teachers in Canada and in Turkey
- Work without Internet: Content is preloaded onto the device itself
- Measure Impact: Background analytics automatically track student progres
- Contain approved content only: Only educational content can be loaded
- Give rewards for learning: Children unlock playing time for pre-installed games by completing educational exercises first - adding further incentive to study
Learn more at rumie.org/rumie-tablets
What is on the tablets being used by Syrian children now?
Each tablet is fully preloaded with a library of resources:
- Syrian e-textbooks from the Syrian Education Commission
- Video lessons from Nafham and Tahrir Academy
- Other tools include: Offline encyclopedia in Arabic, dictionaries, language-learning apps, scientific calculator, graphing software, periodic table, world map, digital atlas, grammar rules and quizzes, vocabulary apps, algebra and arithmetic apps with quizzes and games, grammar apps with practice quizzes, geography study quizzes... the list goes on.
Is the content you use high quality?
Yes. We evaluate the content we use and work with our local partners to make sure that we deliver the best options for each local community.
Free and great content is becoming widespread in the last few years. Statistical tests show that many of these free sources are driving student achievement gains even for the most affluent communities in rich nations.
Imagine what would happen if we could give children in poor communities – who are just as inherently capable – access to this same great content? That's our central mission at Rumie.
What else do you add to the devices?
We've developed a custom interface to manage how children access the device, allowing us to do many cool things.
For example, we can control which games go on the device – limiting them to ones with educational value, and setting them up to be unlocked for short periods to reward kids for good behaviour.
We also focus on synchronization and analytics: when devices connect to the internet (say, once a month) our system updates content and collects anonymous analytics data on how devices have been used, so we can monitor programs and keep making this approach better.
Do you need help finding great content for any other projects?
Yes - we have projects underway in other countries (Brazil, Moldova, Nepal, and more) and need help finding content in various subjects and languages.
In the near future, we will be featuring these partnerships on the LearnCloud to provide opportunities to contribute. For the time being, email us at email@example.com and let us know what subject area or language you’re interested in. We’ll get you started with finding and adding resources.
Have you done this before? What is the impact?
Rumie Tablets are being used in thirteen countries with very positive results. For LearnSyria, initial results are extremely positive and promising:
- The solution is affordable and rapidly scalable.
- It allows schools to accommodate more students with existing capacity.
- It enables students to learn on their own time and make up for missed school.
- It is showing significant positive impact on children's mental health.
- The content solution is supported by the work of thousands of skilled online teacher volunteers working pro bono.
Why are you raising money for tablets instead of food, water, medicine or direct support of relocation and refugee efforts?
In raising money for tablets, we are actually raising money for education. Rumie Tablets are a delivery mechanism for the latest high-quality free digital learning resources. And these preloaded tablets just happen to be a far, far more cost-effective way (by a margin of over 100 to 1) to deliver a library of great learning content than printing and shipping paper hardcopies over. There are a few reasons that we believe it is necessary to send education - and not just food and water - to Syrian children:
- One can do both - they’re not mutually exclusive, and they’re all necessary.
- Most people and relief organizations are focusing on these immediate issues, while education is a long term issue that desperately needs attention but isn’t yet being adequately addressed. Millions of children have been out of school for years, and they need education so they can properly rebuild their country. Syria is at risk of a lost generation without our help. Visit NoLostGeneration.org to learn more about this problem.
- The majority of Syrians are displaced - and while Western countries can do their part to resettle some, they can’t resettle ALL of them. Besides, what would be left of their home if that were to happen? (The long-term solution is not that all Syrians move to Germany...) The vast majority of Syrians will eventually have to rebuild their country and most of the focus right now is on the 2-3% that will resettle. We’re trying to help the 97% of Syrians who either can’t or don’t want to relocate.
- Most important of all: They asked us for this. We always work through local NGO partners and in every case they approach us with interest in implementing an innovative technology solution. In this case, they’re already running schools that are overcrowded and have limited resources. They know best what they need.
I am a celebrity or public figure and would like to endorse the campaign or help in some other way. How do I get in touch with you?
Contact Allison Kavanagh at firstname.lastname@example.org