S. Levy, J.C. Hernández

National Autonomous University of Mexico (MEXICO)
Today, being illiterate, embraces the capacity to read or write and to use Information and Communication technologies (ICT), such as computer or smart phones. Millions of people in our country and all around the world are still deprived of such basic human right and this boosted us to try to imagine how ICT could help accompanying an alphabetization process and along, allow illiterate people to use ICT. Alfabit was born from this idea and aims at the creation of an initial and digital alphabetization methodology for illiterate persons, particularly adults. This proposal is centered on a computer application which structures and organizes the learning objectives, allowing the student to develop reading, writing and using technology strategies. It is planned to structure educator’s class as well as to help users in their exercises of reading and writing.

The software combines narrative and gaming elements, to stimulate user’s experience and is centered on the communication of a divided family between USA and Mexico. The first chapter includes 45 activities with the different documents needed to cook a turkey with a recipe, multiple interactive texts and many tools such as an ABC-book, a simple text editor, a calculator and a cell phone.

We tested the methodology with the first chapter of the software during 4 months in Huauchinango, Puebla, to observe how educators appropriate the software and how students learn. The results were very encouraging: 25 illiterate persons between 5 and 62 years old attended close to 50 hours of classes with 3 young educators from the Technological Institute from Huauchinango. They used the software to structure their own classes and to allow students to exercise in reading, writing and using computer. All the students learnt how to use computer and progresses in reading and writing were very satisfactory. Those results were important incentives for us to develop more chapters and to multiply our field experiments.