Although education is fundamental for improving people’s lives, lack of access to quality education has been identified by the United Nations as one of the world’s most pressing problems. At least 250 million children worldwide have not achieved literacy and numeracy. To make matters worse, there exists a 100 year gap between educational outcomes in developed and developing countries. According to the Brookings Institution:
"It could take more than 100 years for students in developing countries just to reach today’s average level in developed regions when it comes to science—and they might never close the gap in math."
Why is this the case? Access to quality education, unfortunately, is limited by factors like geography and wealth. Many regions lack resources to adequately support each individual student.
Further, educational practices throughout most of the world are decades behind what research says provides for effective learning experiences. Textbooks and video lectures, for example, can deliver information, but they cannot cultivate understanding or provide students with the necessary practice and feedback to master a skill.
This results in learning experiences that are neither effective nor enjoyable, causing learners to struggle unnecessarily in the classroom and through life, and even to dislike the idea of learning altogether.
Oppia’s mission is to help anyone, anywhere learn anything they want to in an effective and enjoyable way.
The Oppia team works to create effective, enjoyable online lessons at scale that can reach millions of people. We want every individual, no matter what their personal circumstances, to have access to learning experiences that are not only pedagogically effective, but also fun and engaging.
Oppia’s unique technology simulates an interactive tutor, adapting each lesson to individual learners’ needs and providing specific, targeted feedback to help them improve. Furthermore, the lessons are openly licensed and the platform open source, which enables a diverse group of educators and technologists from around the world to regularly iterate on and improve them.
To date, the Oppia community has created 10,000 lessons and served over 500,000 users from an incredibly diverse assortment of backgrounds. And while 500,000 might not be 250 million, it’s a start.
Perhaps — with your help — we can close the gap.