Kitkit School is a comprehensive early learning solution built for ALL children.

We created Kitkit School to bring high-quality learning experiences to the children who need them the most around the globe. Named for the word “to think” in Thai, Kitkit School is a tablet-based application with a comprehensive curriculum that spans early childhood through early elementary. It is designed to provide children with the foundations and practice needed to build fundamental skills in literacy and numeracy regardless of access to school or resources. Our commitment to accessibility also led us to add sign language functionality into Kitkit School, including the ability to allow users to incorporate local sign languages into the app.  Kitkit School was recognized for its achievement by being named a semi-finalist in the ongoing Sign On for Literacy Prize, a global competition that seeks to improve children's access to quality sign language educational materials worldwide. Kitkit School combines international best-practices in literacy and math education with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to help every child succeed as an independent learner. Its flexible learning architecture comes to life with nature-themed graphics that cut through cultural boundaries and connect the world’s most diverse students to positive educational outcomes.

Kitkit School includes a suite of mini-games, books, videos and quizzes that help children practice reading, writing, counting and math operations. The app also contains a library that children can freely explore, as well as tools that encourage creativity, including a virtual drum, marimba and painting set.

Efficacy Test in Africa

Team Kitkit School conducted three field tests in 2016-2017. These field tests included daily observations, an oral pre- and post-test for Standard 2 students, and a digital pre-and post-test for all participants. Our oral tests provided valuable information about the range of achievement within rural and peri-urban areas in Tanzania, with students in the two schools we tested scoring higher on average than Tanzania's 2014 National Baseline Study would suggest. However, our findings were consistent with the 2014 National Baseline Study in that children’s scores in reading comprehension and more complicated math operations were significantly lower. Thus, while it seems early level concepts (such as number, letter and syllable identification) are memorable and retrievable concepts for children, they may need more support in more advanced conceptual tasks. Bearing this information in mind, we made it a goal to ensure that Kitkit School provides multiple means for children to think abstractly early in the curriculum. Doing this ensures that students begin building a foundation of abstract reasoning from the start, allowing them to apply critical thinking and problem solving to more complex concepts and exercises when they arise. When teaching addition and subtraction, Kitkit School provides not only numbers, but also real-world objects to create a sense of familiarity between abstract numbers and the environments that children live in.

Case Study: Kitkit School’s Design for ALL children

After a few days of observing the program at one of our Field Study schools, the teachers suggested that we include one Standard 3 student with Down syndrome. The student had missed a few years of school, but had been allowed to progress through the standards despite low achievement scores. The student's family and teachers did not have high hopes or expectations for achievement, but rather viewed school as a means for passing the time. However, after being included in the field study, the teachers were very pleasantly surprised to see the child’s enjoyment and heightened progress while playing Kitkit School. The child had no prior experience with using a tablet, but was able to figure out and play several of the games independently. The teachers found that the game captivated the student's attention while imparting important educational content. As a result, both the teachers and the student's family noted the great potential of tablet-based learning for children with special needs.

Our field test elicited very positive responses from principals and teachers. A principal at one primary school remarked that Kitkit School made it easier for children to learn, noting that the game's engaging and child-friendly nature made it perhaps even effective than the teaching styles found in many of the school's classrooms, and he was grateful for the opportunity to reduce blackboard time for his students. Another teacher noted how beneficial the game is for slow learners and others who could benefit from increased practice. Still another teacher spoke of the impact the game has had on both the students' and the teachers' creativity: it encourages thinking more broadly about education and encourages students to be more innovative in their problem-solving.