Project Incharge: 
Dr. Prema Nedungadi
Date: 
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Center: 

Amrita Learning app is a free, complete K-5 curriculum designed for adult learners. It is available now at the Google Play Store. Our curriculum has over 375 lessons, stories, articles, songs and games, as well as a 300+ word-picture dictionary with English and Spanish Audio. All stories, articles and reading passages have full voice audio support, and Spanish support is available on many stories, as well as the Fry's Words lessons.

Levels K-3 have many video lessons with explicit instructions on each letter of the alphabet and how to build words, as well as short reading passages with assessments. Bingo games reinforce lesson vocabulary for many of the lessons.

The lessons for levels K-3 are unlocked, giving adults the freedom to choose only the skills they are missing, instead of being locked into completing many lessons that they do not need. Grades 1-3 are broken into half-levels for ease of completion - there are between 30-50 lessons and assessed reading passages for each half-level. An optional leveled exam follows every series of lessons. The student receives an electronic certificate after passing the exam.

The Spanish supported story lessons at levels 3-5 include vocabulary bingo games and assessments. Only the first story is unlocked in each series; the student must pass the assessment to go to the next story. Our audio-supported story series are designed to uplift and inform the readers. Vocabulary and interest is built up over 2 stories for a factual life-skills passage which comes after every 2 stories in the series. The setting for this series is Los Angeles.

The story series written for native English speakers is based both in Detroit and in the Southern U.S.

A New series, which is located in the "Reading Library" (open to all levels, with audio support) features Cam, a young jazz drummer, and is based in New York.

Other features of the app include the freedom for learners to visit multiple destinations via the Picture Menu, accessible by the striped icon at the top of the screen. This menu includes buttons for "My Lessons," (the learner's assigned lessons based on the pre-assessment); Leveled lessons; the Reading Library; and Games. There are English and Spanish audio icons next to each menu item, in case the student cannot read words yet.

The Reading Library includes stories from all of the story series, in unlocked format. This way, people have access to all 3 series. Stories and articles found in this section also include true stories of bravery and overcoming obstacles, such as Malcolm X and the Dictionary, and George Powell, P.O.W.; Stories from Around the World such as Hector and the Goat Race; articles about Self-Management such as "How to Calm Anger"; and a Popular Science series that includes items such as "What is Sound?" and "The Magic of Magnets." The Reading Library also has voice-supported audio on every single story and article. This library will continue to grow, as we are always adding new stories and articles.

Our Games section includes Word Bingo with Fry's Words; Word Wheel; and Word-Drop, a 3-D word game. These games are integrated into all levels of the app as well as being separated into their own section on the picture menu.

We will be adding a music button to our app in the future, as our music videos with lyrics continue to be produced. Currently there are 3 music videos on the app, located in the Reading Library.

Amrita Learning app is one of four apps approved for nationwide distribution as part of Barbara Bush's XPRIZE competition, sponsored by Dollar General. These apps will be distributed nationwide through phase 2 of the competition, called the "Communities Competition."