Deloitte21 program e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life: Founding dreams through free digital education
By Nick Van Dam - September 21, 2011
What chances does a young person have nowadays without a good education? In a world where quality education is taken for granted in order to have well-being and prosperity we’re not always aware that this is not the case for everyone. Worldwide, there are still millions of youths who will not achieve their dreams of becoming, for example, a nurse, entrepreneur, police officer, or engineer, let alone a Nobel Prize winner simply because of a lack of good education. These young people may not be gaining computer literacy, teamwork skills, and the ability to solve problems, local or global, in a creative and innovative way. Or, they may even work long hours in factories to earn little money, survive in dangerous warzones, or live in remote areas where schooling is unavailable. Because of these circumstances, the goal of a prosperous future seems unattainable.
Who are e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life, and what do we do?
We are here for every child and young adult with a dream. Since the end of 2004, e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life have been developing free, digital, and innovative lessons for underprivileged children and teens, advancing young people’s 21st-century skills-readiness on a global scale. We see ourselves as a foundation that helps young people realize their dreams by preparing them for successful futures. Through our programs, young people enjoy working and playing on the computer. Our digital lessons are designed to inspire learning in a fun way. It is our belief that every young person deserves a chance to reach his or her full potential.
How do we work?
In collaboration with an international team of volunteers, we are developing a digital curriculum that includes subjects such as mathematics, science, language arts, health and computer skills, as well as courses providing more specific career skills such as information, media and technology skills, and global warming. These user-friendly lessons are 20-30 minutes long and can be used on any computer. At present, we are in over 190 countries, and more than 5 million young people are using our programs. The curriculum is mainly in English and, depending on extra available funding, it is translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The lessons have been designed according to the highest levels of academic computer skills. We believe this makes e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life the world’s only non-profit foundation to offer free, digital, and innovative education.
How will we get there?
Our digital curriculum is accessible online through our website, http://www.e-learningforkids.org/, and offline through direct installation on the computer or by applying for a free download link. With these flexible delivery options, we can spread our lessons to many more youth living in areas where internet access is not readily available or is unreliable. We also work with leaders in academia, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and other foundations to distribute the lessons. It is of utmost importance that our curriculum reaches those where the need is the highest and be applied in the best possible way. Sometimes our lessons are used by local schools to supplement an existing curriculum, and sometimes they are the only available computer courseware.
We share our knowledge by working with a network of parents and teachers. With their help, we enhance our views on innovation in education to make the lessons a perfect fit. The feedback and support of parents and teachers assists the students to achieve their goals.
Our greater purpose
Our aspiration is for every young person in the world to fulfill his or her dreams. By navigating through our curriculum, young people get closer to obtaining their goals. “Pixel by pixel,” they learn and develop in a playful and fun way toward an independent, bright future.
What about the Deloitte network and e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life?
The global Deloitte network has been instrumental in supporting the foundation since its inception. Deloitte member firm professionals around the world with a background in human capital, learning, and educational technologies have been involved in the design of storyboards, quality review of lessons, translation of course materials, and education of teachers on how to use the digital curriculum. Deloitte member firms have promoted the courses at local schools and have made financial contributions.
Visit e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life online to learn more about the global Deloitte network’s support.
I invite you to help us enable more young people to achieve their dreams for a better future. Please visit our website, http://www.e-learningforkids.org/, and click on the “Get Involved” button to explore all the different ways to support us. Or, contact DTTL Global Corporate Responsibility.
On behalf of the millions of young people using our courses, we would like to express our gratitude for your interest in our foundation. Thanks a million!
Nick van Dam, PhD, is Director and Chief Learning Officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is the founder and chairman of e-Learning for Kids and e-Learning for Life, a global non-profit foundation that provides free digital learning for children worldwide.