START is a digital learning and MIL toolkit, which has been developed after years of experience in imparting functional digital literacy through hands-on training and workshops in rural and tribal communities. It has been designed exclusively for first-generation technology users to promote digital inclusion and fight information poverty.
It is a 45-hour digital learning curriculum that covers 30 topics ranging from basics of computers, use of applications, media & information literacy and online security and safety, among others. The pedagogy for START focuses on hands-on training and workshops in rural and tribal communities through activities and gamification of topics.
The START digital learning curriculum comprises five books — Bhoomi, Ankur, Dhatu, Dahlia and Titli. The names of the books represent the stages/parts of a plant. When children first come to the classroom, they are like seeds but by the end of the training, they have blossomed into beautiful flowers.
The curriculum is a combination of theory and activities. It is a holistic guide for a facilitator to empower communities with functional digital literacy. The curriculum provides an effective encounter between “what to do” and “how to do it” and will help the facilitator to simplify teaching and learning methods. This guide will provide hands on experiences to youth using creative thinking to use digital devices and technology innovatively and for daily use. The skills, competencies and knowledge of this digital literacy curriculum are important for stakeholders to be able to participate and flourish in learning, work, civic life and leisure. They will learn to use technology to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively.
The curriculum can be completed within a duration of 45 hours, out of which 30 hours can be dedicated to the coursework and demonstrating the concepts using the activities in the five modules. These five modules have been divided into 10 chapters further sub-divided into 30 topics in total. The remaining 15 hours is dedicated to using Workbook which is designed for students as a part of homework or assignment to ensure continuity and practice of the concepts learnt.
It covers not only the pedagogical design aspects of digital education and computing education, but also the courses supported by activities and demonstrations, thus serving as a valuable resource for the student’s growth and effective learning. It is running across 23 Indian states and has reached up to 5 million+ people.