Explore Agora: Augmented Reality app for Learning

Explore Agora is part of UNICEF’s Innovation Fund Investments in Skills and Connectivity

Deema Sorri, Agora for Educational Development
Donia, 10 years old, is a student at Sheikh Ali community school in Beni Suef, Upper Egypt.
UNICEF/UNI276770/Younis
13 July 2020

Agora for Educational Development, also known as ‘Explore Agora’, is building an educational mobile application using augmented reality, that allows children to learn from the real world in a way that is interactive and engaging. Our product was inspired by children's desire to learn more about the world around them.

We aim to nurture and grow children's curiosity by equipping them with a tool that answers their abundant questions. The application uses adaptive learning to curate customised learning experiences for children. 

Core subjects such as science, geography and mathematics, are mainly taught  theoretically or with laboratory experiments in schools that have equipment. Meanwhile, the world around us presents tangible real life examples to engage with.

“The challenge isn’t that quality education doesn’t exist, but rather that it is not accessible for everybody.”

Explore Agora

FRONTIER TECHNOLOGY 

The mobile application enables children to learn by using their mobile camera to scan objects around them. The application uses machine learning technology to determine the object that a child is scanning, such as a football. The application then compiles different topics from curricula connected to the object and adds an interactive augmented layer to offer different learning paths. For example, once the football is identified by the application, the child would continue to learn about the topic of their choice. Explore Agora could help the child learn how to calculate the volume and surface area of a sphere, share details about the history of football by  showing historical versions in particular countries, and related physics, such as Newton Law, by interacting with the football.

With augmented reality there are no boundaries or limitations to what children can explore and learn about
Explore Agora
With augmented reality there are no boundaries or limitations to what children can explore and learn about.

OPEN SOURCE 

The reason we decided to utilize augmented reality was to support underserved schools with the resources they need. Many schools lack basic resources needed for teaching, such as science labs and different devices and models. Sustainability is one of the most important limitations for making quality education accessible for all children. By utilizing innovative technologies we can deliver quality educational resources needed for children around the world by simply writing code inside the application. For example, if a teacher wants to explain the anatomy of the human body, but does not have a human body model, we can utilize augmented reality to bring a 3D model of a human body inside the classroom to smoothly deliver the lesson.

Furthermore, for our application to create great impact, we require large amounts of content and our solution adapts to each child’s unique environment. Contributions from the open source community would enable us to develop diverse content for children around the world, and scale faster.


TEAM 

Diversity and a shared vision are among the most important elements in our diverse team of experts. Our academic specialists lead content creation and the concept of the application. Explore Agora’s artists and 3D modelers create suitable visuals for the application in a way that is pleasant for the user and optimized for use. The experience developers put Explore Agora into the hands of children all around the world. Finally, we have our business team which continuously evolves us as a successful sustainable company. The team’s collective experience has helped us turn this vision into reality.


THE WAY AHEAD

The investment from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will accelerate the process of making this application available for as many children as possible. 

In this coming year we will be increasing the learning content inside the application and creating a school version of the application that is fully aligned with the learning standards to be able to support teachers and schools.

We are excited and look forward to working with startups  from the larger cohort who are creating solutions with a similar vision of bridging learning and digital connectivity.