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A pocket Library For All

10 July 2023, Impact of Our Work

Putting learning technology into the hands of Vietnamese school children

Meet six-year-old Quynh from rural northwest Vietnam. She’s a bright and ambitious little girl. She competes fiercely in her school’s academic contests and loves learning to read and write. 

Six-year-old Quynh tests her maths skills during an academic showcase at her school.
Photo: Katharina Glynne / Save the Children.

As a girl belonging to the Laotian ethnic minority, statistics say Quynh is likely to have far lower educational outcomes compared to her Vietnamese classmates, especially in literacy.   

Unfortunately, Quynh only has one book to read at home. Her parents make a modest living raising pigs and making brooms. But at school, access to learning technology means Quynh has a whole library right at the tips of her finger.   

Learning made fun

These special yellow tablets, developed by Library For All and funded by the Australian Government, are packed full of picture books and interactive activities. The tablets infuse learning with fun and excitement, encouraging Quynh and her classmates to dive into reading. 

Children in rural northwest Vietnam learning with Library For All’s reading app, ‘Elevate.’
Photo: Nayomi Kannangara / Save the Children.

“There’s a story reading app on this tablet. There are games too,” Quynh explains. The six-year-old’s favourite story is about a girl that goes to the market, an e-book she’s revisited countless times.  

Quynh’s parents recognise the benefits the tablets have on their daughter. Song, her mother, says, “when she got home from school, she told us that there are many things to learn and write on the tablet, which helped her understand the lessons.” 

Tram, her father, chimes in. He follows his daughter’s education closely and is enthusiastic about the technology. “Basically, this tablet is perfect for children. The main thing is that it helps them enhance their knowledge.” 

Tram and Song are highly engaged in their daughter’s learning and believe digital technology is helping her thrive at school.
Photo: Katharina Glynne / Save the Children.

“Students love it” 

Hue, a dedicated teacher, has incorporated the tablets in her classroom. She commends the effectiveness of ‘Elevate’, a colourful, interactive app that helps students pick up language skills. She finds it especially helpful for her first graders, who haven’t yet learned to read. 

“On that tablet, there are pictures, audio, and pronunciation examples to help them learn faster,” Hue says. “Students love it, and it's incredibly convenient for teachers.”

Hue reflects on the excellent progress of her students. “When they started learning with Elevate, they couldn’t read all the words yet. And by the end of their trial of the Elevate app, which was also the end of their reading program, they could read well.”  

Hue has enthusiastically incorporated digital technology into her classroom and says the benefits are obvious.
Photo: Katharina Glynne / Save the Children.

21st century skills

Hue says her students have quickly learned how to navigate the technology, even though many of them don’t have digital devices at home. “…after a few lessons where they got to learn with the tablet, they now have no problems using it.” She adds, “I think it allows them to acquire digital skills, thereby facilitating their learning in the future.”

Thanks to the support of our donors, our project in northwest Vietnam has enabled 19 teachers to integrate the tablets into their lessons, benefiting hundreds of students. 

Trialling this innovation has also uncovered valuable lessons about how digital technology can enhance children's learning, in and out of the classroom - and in the face of school closures.

Quynh (6) loves learning with Library For All’s reading apps.
Photo: Katharina Glynne / Save the Children.

Quynh is thrilled to hold the yellow tablet – and her future - in her small hands. With your support, we’ve helped 442 other students like her grasp their futures with newfound skills and confidence.  

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program. 

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