Recently, I’ve been hearing about Rumie.org from mentors and students, and decided to learn more! Rumie is a Toronto-based non-profit tech startup founded by Tariq Fancy, leveraging a crowdsourcing model to provide free e-learning on small tablets for underserved communities. .
Although “ed tech” has been gaining momentum in recent years, the use of tech for educational access isn’t actually so novel. Models such as One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and Sugata Mitra’s School in the Cloud (which I’ve posted about here and here), were inspired by a similar vision ahead of the ed tech craze. However, OLPC for one, had high costs of hardware (closer to $200 per tablet) and implementation, and little by way of tangible results.
But as Founder Tariq Fancy points out in this post, with technology (as with anything!), timing is everything:
OLPC was a noble effort, but it was an idea before its time. In technology, timing is everything...
In addressing the challenge of sourcing relevant content, Rumie's LearnCloud platform is available for educators worldwide to contribute open access K-12 resources across subject areas.
I participated in a #LearnSyria webinar with Rumie a few weeks ago, which introduced the platform for us to play around in, as well as a current campaign to support learning in Syrian refugee camps through Rumie tablets.
Just as dispersed volunteers online created Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia... the LearnCloud’s fast-growing volunteer community of teachers, subject area experts, and skilled practitioners is building the world’s largest repository of free learning content online. - Tariq Fancy
At a time when we face crises of displacement and resettlement, and with continued issues of educational access, the Rumie model does feel promising to address part of the opportunity gap.
In my next post, I look forward to sharing a Q&A with Deanna Del Vecchio, Head of Partnerships at Rumie.
Follow Rumie on Twitter: @RumieInitiative
Check out their website: rumie.org
A passionate educator.. on a quest for a schooling model to love!