The beauty of Africa and the innovation here is that everyone is always hungry to do it better.
Built initially on an Android platform but now working on a Windows platform, the Kytabu application will be available on Android tablets from Google Play and on the Windows Apps platform. A short video on the idea behind Kytabu is here.
We have added a dongle/modem to our products and it is not mentioned here, but built on a Windows 8.1 platform with support from Microsoft and is targeted at desktop and laptop users that would not have the means or would prefer not to use a tablet for various reasons.
Our long term objective is to provide end users with a tablet or a dongle/model that with a SIM card for cellular data connectivity and a microSD with the entire learning curriculum provided for by the respective government education bodies. We would then provide updated content from publishers at no cost to the end user on the data connection while using the platform to improve the learning experience of each user individually.
"The Genius in the application is the ability to micro-pay for byte-sized content only when it is needed."
Kytabu has been built on this premise – that educational content needs to be accessible, affordable, convenient, relevant and fun. In our perspective, the only way to achieve the above five qualities while providing a conducive learning environment for our teachers and their students while keeping all other stakeholders productively engaged is using a subscription and leasing model powered by a mobile money payment platform. Here are the six parts of Kytabu that we believe make it very special.
As you study on the application, the application learns from you. An intuitive learning tool.
It fits into the way we buy: sachet economy – and the way we pay for everything; mobile money.
Broadband is costly, so why use the net when you can pre-load everything? Then add a SIMcard for updates.
There is a varied market in the developing world. But the same product has buying pans for both whether as bundled content or a one-off lease.
Tracking learning patterns, content experiences,user progress and general learning trends can only add value.
Anywhere, anytime and on any platform, we can support teachers and students while helping publishers monitor their material.
"Designed to be simple and built to be interactive, the Kytabu application is perfect."
The -Textbooks- App is the core of Kytabu and will host the learning curriculum that the Kenyan and East Africa countries use in primary and secondary schools. We are building a digital curriculum repository for the region starting with Kenya that would have a library of all curriculum required content in partnership with the respective publishing houses in the region.
The -Audiobooks- App is an audio library of the text heavy literature content as well as selected subjects that also add value to the student in various ways. This include the opportunity to improve annunciation, the ability to listen when they are not in a position to read and the opportunity to learn as a group.
The – Games- App has games that improve retentivity when compared to reading only. Creating a learning games portal that promotes learning especially on STEM subjects is of great value. These games, though not created by Kytabu, are closely curated and monitored for impact while opening up opportunities for local game developers with an understanding of local cultural behavior and games.
The -Virtual classroom- App is for closed chat rooms managed by a class teacher where students can converse with each other on the content discussed in class or other issues of interest. The be released in the BETA version of Kytabu, VCs users will have many more application features that will be an added learning advantage for students and teachers alike.
The -Past Test and Exams- App will be an examination portal that will be online based and will have the previous examinations for the learning curriculum official examinations as well as local and regional examinations for the students to test themselves on. This application will be at its full functionality on the BETA version of Kytabu.
The -More For You- App is the Kytabu app store that will open up the application to other learning applications that are in the EdTech space that have a specific or general use for the end users of Kytabu. This app will be fully functional in the BETA version of the application.
How do we get learning content to be available to every student?
In 2012, an idea hashed up by Tonee Ndungu and his father (a local school headteacher) on how to provide textbooks in an affordable but digital means to his school of 64 children seemed distant but logical. Leasing out content in byte-sized chuncks through a mobile money payment fit the local economy of the urban settlement his school was in. Everyone understood the economics of paying very little for only what is needed now, as they worked for the money they would need for what they would have tomorrow. Called the ‘kadogo’ -meaning little- economy in Swahili, education content seemed to be the only frontier the solution had not reached. And so Kytabu ( from the word “Kitabu”, Swahili for ‘book’) was born.
Simplified to a paragraph, the objective of the application is to provide students with access to affordable learning content, that is current and relevant, in a convenient manner that is still fun and engaging. The application, built with the knowledge that the education sector has many stakeholders, creates a conducive working environment for publishers and content developers will bringing in mobile service providers and hardware manufactures into the education sector to grow its impact and capacity. With 7.5 million children in formal schools and another 7.2 million in informal learning environments in Kenya, there has to be more we can do with the 250,000 teachers we have.
Passionate about technology and the opportunity it provides education in the developing world.
A telecommunications engineer with 16 years in the Kenyan Telco sector. Led teams from Telcom Kenya and Orange to Safaricom and Econet.
An impact investor with a passion for a more just and sustainable world. Passionate about access to education content in Africa.
Digital design lead for Kytabu based in Nairobi with a love for User Experiences that a central to an African audience on both web and mobile.
Happyness lead consultant for content design, delivery and feedback genaration for Kytabu. She makes sure we keep everyone happy.
An education lover, impact investor and board member. He is part of ‘the soul’ of Kytabu, keeping everything pointed at children. Everything!
Our scribbles and a few experiences in the everchanging world of edTech!
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The Innovation in education content would be the miracle of striking a balance between the affordability of the content and the profit for the publisher and any other stakeholders in the process of distribution. Kytabu uses a subscription system that rides on a locally stored library of content on a dongle or tablet to make […]Read More
In addition to buying hard copies of books when shopping for textbooks online, students also have the option of using e-textbooks. E-textbooks typically contain the same content and layout as hardcopy versions and are made available for web viewing or download to a computer. If a student needs to decide between an actual textbook or […]Read More