A new mobile application has given Lebanese children a good reason for asking mom and dad for a tablet computer or smartphone this holiday season. EduLab, an e-learning software company, has released its “Kitabi” mobile application, through which children can download their school textbooks. The application allows students to highlight text in their e-readers, search for keywords, add notes in the margins and other interactive features that Edulab said would help improve learning.
Tablets and laptops have become standard requirements for several of the country’s top private academies. For example, the Eastwood School has overhauled its teaching strategy to incorporate tablet computers for fifth grade and up. The American Community School has likewise begun requiring laptops at the high school level.
The Kitabi application allows students a way to tap into e-learning even if their school has yet to require it.
Through the application, students can download standard textbooks, such as biology and chemistry readers in French or English, Arabic textbooks and history textbooks in Arabic, as well as supplementary books for parents. EduLab aims to enhance the learning experience by adding animations and videos to lessons and quizzes.
Most of the books now available through Kitabi cost between LL7,000 and LL40,000 – about the price a child might pay for the hard copy. For grade nine students, a host of science and history readers are available for free.
In order to create Kitabi, EduLab teamed up with the Ministry of Education and a number of publishers in Lebanon, including the Syndicate of Scholar Publishers Union in Lebanon. The application will be compatible with iOS and Android platforms.
Though EduLab and public officials launched the application last Wednesday, Kitabi appears to be in its infant stages. The application is available on Google Play, which had recorded between 10 and 50 downloads as of Tuesday, but is not in the iTunes store.
Fadi Yara, Education Ministry director general, said the technology “improves the quality of education and reinforces students’ knowledge utilizing untraditional teaching tools, that allow them to participate effectively in the learning process regardless of their capabilities.”
Elie Chayaa and Dany Aouad founded EduLab in 2005. Through its work in e-learning, the company has reached more than 100,000 Lebanese students. It has deals with more than 170 schools in the country and offers teacher-training workshops to help make the country’s classrooms tech-friendly.
“Technology encourages and drives students to learn and develop their minds,” Chayaa said.
The Daily Star