There are 12 Million students in secondary schools across East Africa, and the reality is it took COVID-19 crisis for students, teachers and even community to understand the importance of leveraging technology for learning. And now most of these new users become comfortable and also aware of how easily they can adapt to new technology to improve the learning experience but also the learning outcomes. Although the immediate challenge became where to find locally relevant, interactive, easy to use and curated digital learning content. That's where Kisomo SmartLearn project comes in to help.
What it does
Kisomo App provides easy access to interactive, curricula based, curated and 100% local relevant digital learning content in form of Real-life HD Videos, Animations and Visual Illustration to secondary school’s learners across East Africa. Our app takes into account the major challenges facing the Tanzania market such as limited internet access and hence build in with features which allow offline access after initial streaming of the video content.
How I built it
The technology behind Kisomo App is purely based on Android SDK development technologies. The offline access feature includes the use of android SQLite and online synchronization process with MySQL online database.
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge I faced was adopting the technology to fit the user needs. Most of the mobile application on the market require users to have access to reliable internet all the time in order for them to access learning content especially in the form of videos. Navigating around this challenge has been a learning curve for me and the entire development team.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The created content has been actively accessed by more than 108,000 students and teachers across Tanzania through our current offline channels including USB Drives and DVD’s. As per current success in developing the Kisomo App, we will be able to provide Interactive learning to more than a million students not only in Tanzania but also across East Africa market.
What I learned
There is an existing fear for people to adopt new technologies especially in a controlled learning environment, but when the opportunity arises for them to adapt and start using these technologies users don’t hesitate and takes little effort for them to master the usage of any new technology.
What's next for Kisomo SmartLearn
We are constantly working on improving our app performance, adding new features such as self-evaluation system, online testing and social forums but most importantly ensuring we upload as many relevant content as possible while increasing our subject matter base. We are currently offering more than 500 curated videos through the app but we are planning to quadruple the video number to 2000 by the end of 2020.