Learning Grounds aims to support underprivileged children in compensating for the disadvantages they face in arriving at the same baseline as others who are better served than they are by the current socio-economic and cultural systems.
Learning Grounds is a grassroots social upliftment project supporting the wholesome development and empowerment of children from socio-economically underprivileged communities. These may include, for instance, children belonging to Scheduled Castes/Schedule Tribes, fisheries colonies, plantation workers’ colonies, migrant workers’ colonies and other similarly marginalized communities in the state.
To bring to life internet-based self-organizing learning environments for the empowerment of children from socio-economically underprivileged communities through self-directed and mutually-networked learning.
To provide a learning platform that benefits these children by aiding their autonomous learning in areas such as effective communication, thinking skills and understanding of scholastic subjects.
To unleash the potential for real social systems change through bringing gaps in educational engagement resulting from factors of socio-economic and cultural adversity.
In order to enrich the learning environments to most optimally benefit participants, internet-based educational content would be made accessible to the targeted audience to serve as a supplement to their other academic engagements which may already be in place. This will be tailored to the needs of subsets of the audience categorized by age group, catering to individuals from kindergarten all the way to standard 12. For example, children between ages 4 and 7 may find be best served by exposure to material covering English and Mathematics whereas those in the high schooler age group may require the inclusion of topics related to the sciences such as Physics and Chemistry.
Learning content for the platform will be developed by experts skilled in effective pedagogical methods using highly engaging audio-visual models designed to foster natural curiosity and eagerness for self-learning among students. These may be indigenously developed in-house or obtained from established voluntary sources and then optionally modified to suit specific user-group requirements.
In order to facilitate the various areas of project operation, Learning Grounds aims to include the services of volunteer members, for the rigorous review of educational material featured in the platform as well as its real-time delivery on site to beneficiaries. A board of patrons of internationally distinguished guides and spokespersons whose ideals and vision are reflected in the project will provide a clear front face and voice for it before major institutions and the wider public. An advisory committee of visionary experts will serve as key visionaries for future-focused meta-perspectives and strategic guidance towards shaping the operative framework paradigms for the project and provide active supervision to our material reviewing methodologies. An academic council, consisting of qualified individuals from various disciplines will provide a more “hands on” approach to creating educational content, identifying usable content from pre-existing sources, modifying content to suit the target demographic, elucidating the most effective methods of transmitting such content to its recipients, updating content to make them current and taking content-related action based on the feedback received from the children.
Operational volunteers will interface with local authorities to identify venues and schedule access times for the children using the platform. They will be provided with requisite equipment to carry out these tasks, which may include, but are not limited to, computers, video projectors, projector screens, power sources, storage devices, internet devices and cables. As they would have to directly interface with the children, operational volunteers will be selected based on the areas where Learning Grounds would endeavour to realize the project, so as to have them available locally to carry out their responsibilities. The venues will be chosen appropriate to the attending age group. For example, in the case of the youngest students, the availability of a safe local nursery school for recurring sessions will be prioritized over, say, a general community hall.
The computers used for the Learning Grounds platform would also be made available for children to further explore the topics featured and all attempts at curiosity and learning engagement by them will be encouraged and supported.
Through the above activities, the Learning Grounds project aims to support underprivileged children in compensating for the disadvantages they face and in arriving at the same baseline as others who are better served than they are by the current socio-economic and cultural systems. The operation of Learning Grounds in locations outside Kerala, and even outside India, and the possibility of lending the ideology to other organizations or individuals who may wish to take up similar tasks in their own localities, will be explored upon successful establishment of our processes and practices.
Learning Grounds intends to commence these activities in pilot locations across Kerala to test viability. Up to 10 locations will be identified for a tria run, based on highest applicability of project activities and availability of local volunteers. The trial run would ideally target children from the ages of 4 to 7, and to this end, educational content will be selected or developed with a primary focus on areas such as English, Mathematics, thinking skills, etc. Feedback from these sessions will be used to further refine the modus operandi of the project.