CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say animated teaching videos can deliver vital education to every part of the developing world -- via cellphones.
Educators and faculty at the University of Illinois have produced animated educational videos people around the world can watch at home, over and over again, on their cellphones. The videos are easily understood lessons about farming, protection against disease, and sustainable individual economic pursuits, a UI release reported Monday.
The initiative, Scientific Animations Without Borders, takes advantage of the widespread availability of cellphones in the developing world.
Recent research found nearly 60 percent of the 2.4 billion cellphone users in the world live in developing countries
"This is a very different paradigm from some other current development projects, where U.S.-based educators are flown to another part of the world, interact with people in the field for a few weeks to several months, and leave," said UI entomology Professor Barry Pittendrigh, a member of the team developing the animations. "From a financial perspective, this is a much cheaper way to do international development."
Animation reduces the costs of making a video on a particular topic, creating videos with near-universal appeal.
The videos are narrated, and the narration can be recorded in any language with any dialect or accent.
"The way these animated videos are designed, they can be easily adapted to other cultures," Julia Bello-Bravo, a UI field extension specialist, said. "We are also capturing indigenous knowledge and putting it into the video, so when they see the video it is familiar to them."