Island students join top Silicon Valley programmers to create life-saving digital lessons

| March 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
Street children in Cambodia using TME DVDs

Eleven Isle of Man youngsters recently learnt how to create an interactive lesson, in a foreign language they didn’t understand, as part of a collaboration with a newly-registered charity Thare Machi Education (Isle of Man).

TME (IOM) uses new media to create lessons on basic health and life-skills topics which can teach some of the world’s poorest people in their own language.

Programming (or “authoring“ as it is technically called) of the lessons on DVD is not a straight-forward operation and previous helpers have included a team of young bankers from Goldman Sachs and some of the world’s high-flying interns working in Silicon Valley.

TME (IOM) has pioneered a template-based authoring process which makes it quick and simple to make an interactive 20-minute lesson targeted at people who cannot read or write and who have not had much use of technology.

The volunteers from the Island were trained from scratch in how to replace the English language soundtrack with the newly-recorded foreign language one.

The youngsters, from Ballakermeen High School and Queen Elizabeth II High School were brought together as part of an initiative by the St John’s based One World Centre which works to highlight and address the issues around global poverty.

One World Centre Director Rosemary Clarke said, “It was inspiring to see the students working so hard in order to create something that will benefit people less fortunate than themselves”

The Ballakermeen students became interested after selecting TME(IOM) as their chosen charity for the Island’s “One World Charity Challenge”. This is an annual programme that introduces schoolchildren to different charities working overseas and invites them to create the best presentation about the work of that charity for a group of judges. The winners gain a cash award for their chosen charity.

This group attended an authoring session in December. Student Kellie de Vos said, “It was fantastic to think that a few hours work can possibly save a life – or even many lives.”

The students at Queen Elizabeth II school spent a full day on the project and successfully created a lesson on Healthy Eating in Spanish for South America. They have subsequently completed Having an HIV Test in Afrikaans and Acholi.

TME(IOM) is now working on obtaining more translations and audio recordings so that these young agents of development can hone their newly acquired skills.

In particular TME(IOM) is looking for people whose mother tongue is not English especially the following: Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Punjabi, Gujurati, Siswati, Shona, Swahili, Thai, Romanian, Brazilian Portuguese, Lingala, N’yanja and Bemba.

Anyone who can help translations in these languages should contact Rosemary Clarke at the One World Centre on 01624 800464.

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Category: Charity, Community

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