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Access to the internet is becoming more and more available to the world every day. The worldwide internet user population in 2020 was around 4.57 billion. That is 59% of the people. More people and teenagers are becoming a part of the internet now than ever. With lockdown restrictions encouraging the culture of working (and existing) from home.
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This change in tech use is perhaps most noticeable in developing countries. Such as Bangladesh. Here, entire national educational boards are executing digital learning methods. Students are having digital classes. For the first time in the country’s history. They don’t have a choice. But, this decision needs special care and attention.
To make this end meet, Riseup Labs have worked with UNICEF to create the Digital Platform for Adolescents-
“a digital application with a back-end panel for teenage club members to connect, share knowledge and access information.”
Teenagers are mostly at a tricky part of their childhood. Right guidance at this point will decide their future. Technology can be helpful in this. Because, almost every child is loving it now. So, if parents can use it for their better, both parties will be happy. Parents will be satisfied that their child is learning something. And, on the other hand, kids will get something useful. Kids learn what they see. So, if they get in touch with something useful, it is good for them only.
Here is how the app is helping to achieve these goals:
A center for Knowledge
The “educational materials” section of the app serves as a digital library. In it, some selected well-organized mini-books provide bites of knowledge. They are on essential topics. Such as COVID-19 safety guidelines, life skills-based education, ICT, ethics, etc. The language and presentation is friendly and easy.
Anyone can find this information just as quickly by doing a simple few google searches. But, the idea here is to encourage the person to make those google searches. And go deeper into the topics that they are interested in.
The app is fully usable offline. Also, new updates are available regularly.
Adolescents (aged 11 to 24), also known as teenagers are well-known for not following good manners, usually. Fully mature employees and professionals are trainable to follow web protocol. Even if at least for the sake of their job. But in the case of teenagers, the learning process is mostly more dramatic. In their case, a well-designed web platform can guide them in carrying the right etiquette onto their adult life. In a better case scenario, they might even find themselves a suitable employer for their skills.
Self-learning is the best learning. They must understand that. It is the best form of development. In addition, it is the best form of good manners. Teenagers of this age are more interested in the internet and mobiles. As a result, this might be their choice.
An emphasis on urgent care, specially for teenagers
The app dedicates an entire tab for emergency care hotlines of the country. That is, someone using this app will get all the necessary numbers. Those emergency numbers are important any day.
The listings range from the most basic 999 emergency service to child support, child marriage and women support hotlines. Many people in Bangladesh don’t have proper knowledge regarding these contact numbers. An equally disturbing part of the population is simply unaware that these numbers exist. Or, they lack the trust.
Everyone expects that teenagers and their smartphones will spread awareness. To their people about the effectiveness of these essential services.
This is the main motive. If they don’t have access to significant numbers, it will be challenging to bring the change. In the long run, this basics will be essential. So, proper preparation is necessary. And, if it’s on a mobile app, it’s a cherry on the top.
A polling corner
Many Bangladeshi teenagers often lack a well-reputed platform. To discuss important issues. Facebook has mainly adults in it. So, it is not advisable to let children use Facebook. At least, before the age of 18. To speed up their knowledge of technology, this app will help.
So, for knowing essential issues, they need to discuss them first. Topics such as pandemic safety practices, mental health awareness, etc. need to be discussed. They might not see the bigger picture, but knowing things about them will boost their creativity.
Instead of encouraging conceptual discussions, majority of social media circles only provoke controversial arguments. And hold up older ideas that the members already believe in.
The app’s “U-reports” section offers a different environment. Where the public can systematically participate in polls about a large variety of topics. The Multiple-Choice answering method helps keep responses relevant and less open-ended.
Some questions are almost basic. Such as personal trivia- “At what times do you wash your hands?”, for example. The other questions follow a similar pattern and type. With the same motive. The first question in the World Toilet Day Quiz is:
“Do you know how many people in the world are deprived of safe sanitation facilities?”.
In addition, active participation is usually always the most effective type of learning. Above all, that is the same in the online world. Someone interested will automatically learn more. It is just a matter of attention. And that is the key factor. In today’s world, everything is fast now. Kids are now interested in things that they can consume quickly. Like cartoons, shows, youtube videos. But, if they do the same thing while educating themselves, it will change the game.
The potential for social development and teenagers
The concept of polling has a large potential if developed and maintained well. Frequent polls are good. It will mean that the user always gets a valuable public opinion on important topics. Based on the responses to these polls, the developers can identify difficult behavior. And redesign future polls to address those issues. For example, if a poll asked a question about personal security/privacy. And a large percentage of teenagers showed a disregard for it. A good next move would be to create polls on a more meaningful level.
This will help to spread the word. More children will be able to participate. Also, they will be able to share it as well. This will create a chance to mix with others. Sharing is caring. This will give the kids a chance to speak up. Although they are kids, they must have an opinion. Even if it’s childish, the act of having an idea is important. This will help them to be independent. They will gain maturity.
The potential for research
The app receives responses from 30 to 50 thousand people. Among the hundreds of thousands polled in every question.
These responses include many locations, genders, or age groups. Also, the admin panel comes with a “consolidated database of adolescent clubs’ GIS information, with the option to add more”. Such an organized database is useful as a valuable research tool by socio-economic researchers. More often than not, surveyors have to go out into the field and engage in hands-on data-gathering sessions; but given the lockdown restrictions, this digital approach to data gathering might be a good alternative for those concerned.
This is only adding up to good things. In the future, all these records can set new solutions. People can expect more help around. Because, at that time, they will have proven track records. So, in any way, this is an outstanding initiative.
Research is never easy. But, with constant processes, an excellent record can come out. Moreover, that is practical at the same time. Because the smart movie is learning from experiences. The theory will help up to a certain point. But, in the long run, only experiences matter. If people start learning from other people’s mistakes, the world will change. In fact, it will change the for better.
A platform for evaluation, both for adults and teenagers
Employment/competition can be a powerful motivation to make kids participate in this world. Even on a platform that centers on providing essential general knowledge. To non-professional teenagers. Entry into freelancer recruitment platforms such as Upwork starts with a “readiness test”. That is, a series of questions that evaluate a person’s maturity and competence in the professional online world. A digital platform for adolescents can also serve a similar purpose to some extent.
Everyone should start working at an early age. The corporate sector of our country demands skills. If kids start working at an early age, they will learn a lot of things. For instance, they will also be able to learn about the expectations of the real world. How to earn money. Where to earn money. Many people in our country are still unaware of the opportunities. Even after having a degree, they lack skills. This shouldn’t be the case for the newcomers. Because, they are the future of Bangladesh. Everyone expects a better lot from them.
Humans learn best in their childhood. If they get to know about the skills beforehand, they will apply them in the future. Their lives will be much easier. This is a basic formula. Nothing comes easy in life. And, if kids start learning quickly, they will start earning quickly as well. This might sound over the top now, but that is the trust. Because, things are changing very quickly now. With technology increasing day by day, people are getting near a lot of things.
The Web Systems development team at Riseup Labs are fluent in large-scale distributed systems. In addition, the list includes micro-service architecture, real-time big data processing, and cloud-native application development. They are committed to creating visually appealing and user-friendly websites. Therefore, Contact Riseup Labs to see your business done justice on the internet.