A Toronto-based startup called Rumie is helping expand children’s access to education by providing them with tablets that are preloaded with educational materials.
In a global economy that is largely knowledge-based, insufficient access to education means that over a billion children worldwide are left behind. Providing education through technology is, therefore, more important than ever.
Rumie aims to combat this by providing low-cost, energy-efficient tablets to children in impoverished areas. These tablets come preloaded with a combination of educational materials and games that children can unlock by studying. These tablets are especially useful in areas where access to books, libraries or other educational materials are rare.
The tablets use LearnCloud to organize and distribute free educational materials to children who often lack access to the internet. All the materials on LearnCloud are free and available to anyone, and they can be uploaded by anyone. Once resources are uploaded, Rumie’s partners in each country organize them and upload them to children’s tablets.
The tablets cost $50 each, and the company raises money for them through a campaign on Indiegogo. They contain a “learn” section with educational materials and a “play” section which contains games that can be unlocked by a teacher or by doing educational exercises.
The tablets contain software that allows users to organize materials in a similar way to the organization on LearnCloud. This means that materials on the tablet are easy for students to access and work with. The tablets’ technology also allows Rumie to collect data and monitor the devices for feedback, therefore allowing them to improve as necessary.
Rumie provides tablets to children in North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Their latest project, the LearnSyria initiative, aims to provide educational materials to children in refugee camps in three ways. People all over the world can choose to either upload topics and materials to the LearnCloud, they can donate money to help provide tablets to children or they can spread the word about Rumie’s mission.
Rumie tablets were shipped to Liberia with the intent to be used for rehabilitating child soldiers in 2014. Instead, these tablets became a source of entertainment and hope for children during the isolation and fear of the Ebola epidemic. Children were able to stay busy and continue learning even while confined to their homes, and the Huffington Post describes children holding their Rumie tablets with “a faint glimmer of hope and self-empowerment in what is otherwise an overwhelmingly dire situation in Liberia today.”
Rumie is taking bold steps by providing education through technology to empower children globally and create change for the future.
– Eva Kennedy