Literacy for a Billion in India!

by PlanetRead
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Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!

Dear Friends, 

Hope you're all doing well.

I am pleased to share with you that we have partnered with a not-for-profit called Khun Ta Nau Welfare Society located in Namsai District in the state of Arunachal Pradesh (north eastern India) to produce AniBooks (animated stories with "Same Language Subtitling") in Khamti. 

Khamti is a tribal language spoken by an estimated 5,000 people in the north-eastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, in the Dikrong Valley, Narayanpur, and the north bank of the Brahmaputra. 

Khun Ta Nau Welfare Society located in Namsai district in Arunachal Pradesh is a registered Society that works in the field of education, empowerment of women and girls, conservation of the environment, and several other social activities in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh. 

Khun Ta Nau works closely with the local education department, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, which is supporting the production of AniBooks in Khamti. 

We have also partnered with BookBox (www.bookbox.com) the team that has innovated the concept of AniBooks to create the Khamti stories. We have planned to start by converting 3 existing animated stories that BookBox has already produced into Khamti. 

Ms. Deshmukh is the one leading this project from our side. She has traveled to Namsai to work with Khun Ta Nau Welfare Society's team. Many north-eastern regions in India are underdeveloped with poor roads, erratic power supply, and very poor mobile network and internet connections. So, we're working in an extremely challenging atmosphere. 

In the first phase of our project, we are focussing on finding good local resources i.e. language experts that can translate, review and narrate children's stories in Khamti. It's important our language experts understand the need for a good storytelling style. We have identified some experts who are working on the translation of the first story. Our aim is to have the translation ready within the next 10 days. 

Ultimately, we plan to convert 3 existing AniBooks into Khamti and produce 3 new AniBooks from Khamti culture. We have started the process of identifying good local stories too.

Once all 6 stories are produced in Khamti and English, we will distribute them widely among the local schools in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. We will also provide the AniBooks to local NGOs and other organizations that are interested in promoting tribal languages. We will also work with the BookBox team to launch all Khamti AniBooks on YouTube to spread the language across the world.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Best wishes,

Parthibhan

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Dear Friends, 

Hope you are all staying safe and healthy. 

I am happy to share with you that on 8th February 2022, 3 to 4:30 pm ET, Dr. Kothari (Founder, PlanetRead) will talk about Accelerating Literacy Through Same Language Subtitling, a webinar hosted by First Book.

In this session, Dr. Kothari, Ph.D., a faculty of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India, will explain how the Billion Readers (BIRD) initiative is advancing literacy in India with the use of Same Language Subtitling on television. We will also discuss U.S.-based research into and early usage of Same Language Subtitling to support the development of literacy skills, and hear from literacy-focused leaders sharing their perspectives on its potential use in the United States. 

Moderated by Mr. Zimmer, President, CEO and Co-founder, First Book, this conversation will explore how other countries have utilized Same Language Subtitling to boost literacy rates and investigating the potential for implementing this research-based approach in the United States. 

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise advancing educational equity for children in poverty, which disproportionately impacts children of color. As part of its mission, First Book works to learn from and share educational innovations from around the globe to inform efforts to advance educational equity and achievement in the United States. 

Click here to register & receive video recording. 

More information: https://gradelevelreading.net/about-us/campaign-overview and @readingby3rd

This webinar will take place at 1:30 a.m. India Standard Time on February 9, 2022. A recording of the session will be sent to all registrants. If you have any questions or queries, please write to me at: parthibhana@planetread.org

Another exciting update from our side: our Same Language Subtitling project led by IIM-A and supported by MIT Open Learning and J-PAL South Asia recently won a Design Grant (606 global teams competed, 10 won) to come up with a proper strategy and coalition of partners to scale up SLS on TV in interested states/languages. 

This Design Grant allows BIRD to not only strategize and form a winning coalition of partners across the government, private TV networks, and DCPs, it offers the possibility of long term support to firmly establish SLS in India’s entertainment ecosystem. Turning on reading for a billion people, if done well, can be as simple as turning on the TV. 

More information: https://www.co-impact.org/foundational-fund-design-grants/  and https://billionreaders.org/

And finally an update on the eye tracking project that we are working on: we have had to slow down on this project due to the 3rd wave of Covid in India. We have been getting some content ready with Same Language Subtitling. The situation is getting a better now and we are hopeful of resuming the programs in a week or so. 

Thank you all for your support. 

Best wishes,

Parthibhan 

 

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Dear Friends, 

Hope you're all doing well. 

I am pleased to share with you all that Echidna Giving is supporting a research project to study the impact of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on reading engagement and reading skills in out-of-school girls. 

The main goal of our project is to study the impact of SLS on girls and women.

The central research question we seek to answer is how SLS can be leveraged to improve reading literacy among girls who are no longer in school, from low-income families.

Specifically, we will examine: 1) Is the extent and nature of reading engagement enhanced by watching entertainment content with SLS? 2) Does regular and long-term SLS exposure contribute to the strengthening of weak reading skills?

Research Methodology:

We plan to conduct an eye tracking study on 300 girls and/or women. Our aim is to cover around 350 in total to account for dropouts. We will divide them into 2 groups of 150 each and both will be given audio/visual content. As eye tracking is an intensive time consuming activity, we will carry out the implementation in 3 phases spread across the 2 years of our project and in each of the phases we plan to conduct eye tracking studies of 100 girls/women.

While the content will be the same, one group will view it with SLS (treatment group, TG) and the other without SLS (control group, CG). Both groups will watch 30 mins of content 3 times per week for 3 months.

We will have a strong monitoring mechanism in place with an attendance register to make sure every session is tracked.

At baseline and endline we will eye-track viewing of the same content, with and without SLS. Analysis of fixation count and duration, saccade length and direction will provide an accurate assessment of reading engagement and improvement from sustained SLS exposure.

Eye tracking Device:

Eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze (where one is looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head. An eye tracker is a device for measuring eye positions and eye movement. Eye trackers are used in research on the visual system, in psychology, in psycholinguistics, marketing, as an input device for human-computer interaction, and in product design. There are a number of methods for measuring eye movement. The most popular variant uses video images from which the eye position is extracted. (Source: Wikipedia)

The eye tracker precisely pinpoints, 60 times/sec, where a person is looking. We already have one eye tracking device. Considering the volume of eye tracking we have to conduct, we decided to purchase another equipment. 

We did our research to understand the options in the market and finally purchased the latest version of the device we already have. The new device is Gazepoint GP3 HD eye tracker, 150Hz system, API/SDK included, recommended for eye tracking software developers.

Outreach Partners:

Our outreach partners will play an important role in working closely with the girls and women for our project. With many years of experience in working at the grassroots level especially among underprivileged girls and women, they will bring in key insights that will be useful for us.

While looking for outreach partners, our most important criteria was that they have a strong background in working with girls and women and preferably have run educational projects. We had found 15 odd organizations and we shortlisted 4 after discussing with them in detail and understanding their background.

We have just laid the ground work for a pilot project in Pondicherry. I'll be sharing updates as we make more progress. 

Best wishes,

Parthibhan 

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Dear Friends, 

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy and if possible got your vaccines too! 

I mentioned in my previous update that we were working on 5 new AniBooks in 3 languages namely English, Hindi and Tamil. I am happy to share that we completed the production of those stories as planned. 

With Oracle’s support, we produced the following 5 AniBooks: 

  1. Sam's Chirstmas Present
  2. The Village of 5 Poles
  3. Kanchha, the Rhino
  4. Who is our friend?
  5. Just the Way Iam 

AniBooks are animated stories powered by Same Language Subtitling (SLS). Please view them by clicking on the links below: 

English playlist:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPDzF0B97OtFZ1lFiuN-1eBSiQGgOSKxL   

Hindi playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_YQntlygLzYPHuh3HCrzjWPkuchJ6JiK   

Tamil playlist:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuTksi-FtuRgXmX32tRxlBi0zv8LYsNol

We have partnered with BookBox, a social enterprise born out of PlanetRead’s SLS innovation. BookBox has been creating AniBooks with SLS and is using its YouTube channel to promote reading. All AniBooks are all available free on BookBox’s YouTube channels, which have over 100 million views and more than 800K subscribers across channels.   

AniBooks are platform agnostic and available in the form of CDs, DVDs, internet downloads, mobile Apps and videos that can be played on TVs too. Usually produced in English the first time, they can be easily converted into any language. They currently available in a mix of over 50+ languages (15+ Indian and 35+ international). 

For more information about PlanetRead’s work:

President Bill Clinton speaks about PlanetRead: http://tinyurl.com/39epgrm

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster: http://youtu.be/K7XDMzsLd5o 

Coverage by SBS Dateline, Australia https://youtu.be/tOsWToI2PIw 

Visit http://www.planetread.org

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Dear Friends, 

 I hope 2021 is off to a good start for all of you. 

Last year was undoubtedly tough for everyone around the world but the year ended with a fantastic endorsement for Same Language Subtitling (SLS) by UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in their parliament. The best part is we got this endorsement on video: https://youtu.be/F5FuWIP0G88. 

Thanks to Ms. Marson MP and Mr. Warren of https://turnonthesubtitles.org/ for their question in the UK parliament. 

As you might be aware, two passionate supporters of SLS, Mr. Warren and Mr. Barrett MBE have been working closely with Dr. Kothari (Founder, PlanetRead). They started a campaign called “Turn On The Subtitles (TOTS)” with the aim of making policy makers, broadcasters and parents to turn on the subtitles for children’s programs, by default. To know more, visit: www.turnonthesubtitles.org/research/. This recognition for SLS in the UK parliament would not have happened without their support. 

In other news, we have been steadily producing AniBooks (animated stories with SLS) as part of our Oracle funded project. From April to September 2020, we produced 5 AniBooks in 2 languages, namely English and Hindi.

Anand

English: https://youtu.be/-ZIe-MzZsMs 

Hindi: https://youtu.be/wxeRMtNRrDM

Cicada's Song

English: https://youtu.be/Y2xYWTfzgVQ

Hindi: https://youtu.be/EyGL4VCj1jA

Gadbad Das in 'No water for you!'

English: https://youtu.be/XLDqwKcK1pU

Hindi: https://youtu.be/Iu7t2Hpwn6A

Let's have an inside day!

English: https://youtu.be/3QTc0bV2-4M

Hindi: https://youtu.be/HL5ZpYM9FI8

The Bee and the Elephant

English: https://youtu.be/LkMcB_dreRc

Hindi: https://youtu.be/AnX-VVzWpaE

We are now working on another set of 5 AniBooks that will be made in 3 languages: English, Hindi and Tamil. We will be completing the production of these AniBooks in the next 2 months. 

One major challenge we’re facing is in the distribution of our content via our partners to school children. Due to Covid 19, all schools have been under lock down since March 2020 till date. Hence, we have not been able to reach the children directly.

However, views for AniBooks on our YouTube channel have more than doubled in the last 6 months. April to Sep 2020, we had got 10.5 million views and for the previous 6 months period, we got 4.6 million views. 

Once the schools start, we are confident we will be back on track to reaching thousands of children very soon.

Thank you all for your support and here’s to a healthier and safer 2021.

With best wishes,

Parthibhan

 

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PlanetRead

Location: Pondicherry - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Brij Kothari
Founder and President
Piedmont, CA United States
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