OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

TV and sms ”classroom” setting

The ideal face-to-face classroom situation is when each student follows the thread of the lecture and can answer the interactive questions posed by the lecturer/trainer/teacher. Implementing this ideal in a distance education context using existing contemporary methods such as the Internet might be expensive for a developing country.

Photo of smriti mehrotra
3 6

Written by

The Concept will use mobile technology’s Short Messaging Service along with perceived live telecast to create an ‘almost’ ideal classroom situation for distance learning using the Question based Participation technique.
It combines live telecast and SMS technology to deliver the content and get student responses
Focus is on using electronic means to provide education as cellphones and television have high penetration power in rural areas. Already some of the NGO's delivers pre-recorded non-interactive TV programs for its lectures. The objective is to test a method that would make these pre-recorded lessons interactive.
SMS technology can be used for replying to multiple choice questions which provides
a feedback mechanism to the teacher about the students understanding of the class. It also monitors attendance and provide feedback to the student.

Who would implement this?

  • A big company
  • A local entrepreneur or small organization
  • A globally-based social entrepreneur
  • NGOs and Foundations


In Developing countries, while using mobiles is still considered relatively costly, the coverage of the mobile telephones is now countrywide. Increased competition among the mobile phone service providers is also decreasing the costs and use is increasing rapidly.

Distribution & Delivery

Concept utilizes existing technological infrastructure already present to promote learning via distance tuition. This means there is no immediate need for Internet and expensive bandwidth to establish interactive distance tuition.


Like the bioscope, Screen and story telling always fascinates kids, so this concept will progress on children's natural curiosity to learn.
The adults could use the television as a source of entertainment in evenings thus making it readily acceptable with adults.
The use of televisions at nights could be further used for revenue generation

Local Need. Enterprising Schools has identified key areas of need for Affordable Private Schools. What local learning need(s) does this concept address?

  • English language learning (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Math learning
  • Professional development


Join the conversation:

Photo of Teresa

I love this idea!

In 2007, i tried a similar idea when I taught in Indonesia since practically all of my students owned a cell phone (i.e. for for their assignment, having them text me a use of a taught Grammar pattern when encountered out of school). But due to the lack of a centralized, organized system, it was difficult for me to efficiently keep track and assess the responses as well as provide feedback for my 30+ students.

I think with the advent of real-time text-based survey technologies, this concept is definitely feasible with multiple-choice questions. The main things I'm curious about revolve around how the progress reports will organized and how they will be delivered to the teacher (text/mail/internet).

View all comments