Scientific Animations Without BordersSM is a University of Illinois-based initiative dedicated to the development and deployment of animated educational materials to better the lives of people in developing nations. Current scientific literature contains many innovative solutions that can help the world's poor. However, much of this vital information lies in scientific journals written in highly technical language.
Thus, it is not accessible to the approximately one billion low-literate learners on the planet. We aim to change that. By using animations, we have created a learning tool that can be voice overlaid in any language, delivered virtually anywhere through the Internet and then viewed and shared on cell phones and other electronic devices on the ground. We develop these animations both at the University of Illinois and through a virtual network of collaborators located in different countries. Thus, our team has the infrastructure to rapidly take concepts from the scientific literature into animated format with numerous different language voiceovers. We have already produced videos in a number of languages and dialects. Topics have included cholera prevention and the use of neem seeds in West Africa for pesticides. We envision a wide range of future issues for our materials: legal education, road safety, nutrition, domestic violence, and any others that local communities identify as priorities. Our goal is to create these materials in response to local needs and share them with groups that can develop innovative deployment strategies.
The highlights of this approach are as follows:
- the animations are based on scientifically supported concepts,
- the animations based on local available materials,
- the animations can be watched on mobile phones or any other video capable device,
- the animations are low cost,
- the animations can be recorded in local languages and dialects,
- the animations can enable learning for those that can't read,
- the animations can be used to transmit indigenous knowledge,
- the animations use local available materials.
- the cell phone ready versions of the animations are made freely available to the world in an open access peer-reviewed journal called the Sustainable Development
Virtual Knowledge Interface (SusDeViKI) - http://susdeviki.illinois.edu/Default.aspx
Video explanations of the project can be found at: