Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies – MILLEE

Place: CMU HCIIPittsburgh, USA, DA-IICTGandhinagar, India & IIITHyderabad, India
Year: May ’09 – Jan ’11
Role: Researcher, Developer & Audio/Graphics Developer
Mentor: Matthew Kam
Technology, Language or Script used: J2ME, PhotoShopIllustratorAudacity

The aim of this research project is to develop immersive, enjoyable, language learning games on cell phones, modelled after the traditional village games that rural children find familiar adopting a human-centred approach. These games enable children in the developing world to acquire language literacy in immersive, game-like environments.

We followed a human-centred design process, in which we consulted experienced local English teachers on our instructional and game designs. By field-testing with multiple communities, we observed user behaviours with the technology that generalize across settings. Through ethnographic studies, we also studied how social factors such as gender and caste affected MILLEE game play in everyday rural environments.

At present, we have developed 13 J2ME games for Nokia 3110 cell phone. These games have been successfully deployed in Andhra Pradesh.

My responsibilities in this project were towards the code/graphics development of two games which majorly focussed upon auditory discrimination among words in English and teaching it as a second language. Other then this I have implemented several screens in the MILLEE framework, created graphics and audio for games and have done the usability testing of a few of these games.

I have also been on the field for this project and have had hands on experience on deployments in local schools in Hyderabad. Based on my experiences on the field, I suggested certain usability and interaction issues which were corrected as the deployment progressed. Overall, through the duration of the time I was involved with this project, I have played different roles in the project.

Screenshots of the games developed by me:


Pictures of deployment at a local school in Hyderabad are below

  • At the deployment area, I am at the top right
  • Children learning english as a second language via cellphone games and one of my fellow researchers helping them out
  • The school in Hyderabad where we initially deployed our games