Tuesday, November 4, 2014

‘Kahani’ App featuring Pratham Books stories wins the Chrome App Developer Challenge

A few days back, my colleague Karthik, had shared his experience on attending this event announcing the Chrome App Developer Challenge organized by Google for Education and READ Alliance where Pratham Books had pitched in as a content provider for the app. While the deadlines extended, the anticipation for the results increased, especially because at least 5 teams had expressed interest and borrowed content from Pratham Books for their app development and we couldn’t wait to see how would they use our stories.

Well, the wait has been worth it. One of the top 3 apps on the Chrome App Developer Challenge is the app ‘Kahani’ by Team Mirage which has Pratham Books content on it. Yeyyyy !

Currently two of our books ‘The Annual Haircut Day’ and ‘The Moon and the Cap’ are up on the app in English and Hindi versions The audio of the books was recorded by the Radio MIrchi team as part of the MIrchi Cares initiative.. Upcoming titles on the app are ‘My Car’ and ‘We are all Animals’.
Team Mirage has also put together a bunch of activities to be completed by the reader at the end of both the stories for making the story reading fun !

A few cool features like flipping of the page from the top to give it a feel of pages flipped on a paper book and movement of clouds on the home-page every time you hover your mouse adds to the appeal of the app.

Do check out the app here (Since it’s a Chrome based app, it will open only on a Google Chrome browser) :



The results for this were announced yesterday, on a Google Hangout that was attended by Dr.Sugata Mitra, well known for his ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment. During the hangout, he also gave a 20 minute talk on the importance and role of technology in education. What I found most interesting in his talk though was his stress on ‘independent learning’ for kids with regards to technology. Citing an example from a ‘Hole in the Wall’ center, Dr.Mitra narrated how a bubbling class busy finding answers on the Internet fell silent when a supervisor walked in and asked the kids what were they doing and if he could help. Dr.Mitra said that the biggest mistake an adult can make in a technology based learning is ‘interference’. Learning stops when an adult tries to ‘show’ a group of kids what to do. Guidance is required, but ‘teaching’ should take a backseat here. Kids learn ‘technology’ merely my observing and that’s what he had based his entire ‘Hole in the Wall’ model on.

His insightful talk recharged everyone present at the Hangout. Next were the presentations from the winning apps and with a vote of thanks from the organizers, the virtual event concluded.

With this app, Pratham Books has taken another step into the digital world. The idea to reach out to as many children in as many ways with our books encourages us to keep collaborations like these in the fore front. We thank Google for Education and READ Alliance for inviting us to partner on this event and Team Mirage for the wonderful app they developed from our books.

November has started on a great note!

blog comments powered by Disqus