eKitabu’s Digital Story Time featured on UNICEF Accessible Digital Learning Portal
Source: UNICEF article
Digital Story Time is an accessible digital content initiative launched by KICD (Kenyan Institute for Curriculum Development) and eKitabu in Kenya to respond to the remote learning needs of students with disabilities during COVID-19. Specifically, sign language video storybooks with closed captions were broadcast over a government digital TV channel to homes in Kenya.
Although digital story time was targeted at users who are deaf & hard of hearing, the books also included human narration and closed captions to benefit all learners. The sign language is Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) to ensure it is context appropriate and signed slowly to facilitate language acquisition. Even without knowledge of sign language, all children can benefit from the colorful imagery and sound, and learners who have difficulty seeing the screen will be able to listen to the human narrated audio.
Although a TV channel can be a positive medium for reach due to proliferation of television sets, as far as learning materials go, it is a linear passive experience and does not allow the user to control the pace or express what they know through input, and can also go so far to facilitating learning and language acquisition.
Enablers / Barriers:
DST was given importance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the government agency required remote learning solutions with reach. It was estimated that only 10% of children were able to access the government learning cloud through the internet due to device access or cost of data, however some 60-70% were able to access government educational programming on the TV. While some 80-90% had access to the radio in some form.
English, KSL (Kenyan Sign Language)
Video (mp4), TV Broadcast
Sign Language, Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Video, TV, KSL, Storybooks, KICD, COVID-19, Remote Learning