Not many of you would have heard about Jaaga. The web portal Jaaga.in has started a initiative called Jaaga Study which is a community based education programme. The Jaaga Study is based in Bangalore and has a vision to provide students with world class infrastructure. They basically support anybody and everybody who is interested in learning online by organising study groups based around online classes. This way student get to know each other through the superb community that Jaaga provides and also gives the online learners access to study material and screenings of educational videos.
Jaaga also organises meeting between the people interested in a particular subject including providing the needing students with specialised coaching. The Jaaga group of entrepreneurs works on a simple philosophy that is everyone has a right to education and Jaaga will provide them with best possible guidance, care and nurturing.
Jaaga is non-profit organisation in which you as a student support yourself. The basic level entry into the Jaaga ecosystem as a co-workers costs Rs.500.00 per month. If you look at the cost, you will find it very cheap way to indulge in the areas of your interest with like minded groups and study materials. Jaaga describes their project in following words :
Jaaga Study is an intensive one-year program designed to create effective, financially independent computer programmers. The program leverages MOOCs (massive open online courseware) and supplements the online courseware with a vibrant co-working space and a support framework that includes course selection guidance, interaction with technical experts, and active peer learning groups. During the program students also establish personal profiles on internet job boards and spend a portion of their time each week executing paid work online. This provides students with real world context for the concepts they learn in online courses, and helps students develop a portfolio of work to present to potential employers. The flexible and individualized nature of the program allows students to tailor curriculum to their skill level and employment goals. The program will position graduates to obtain jobs in the technology industry and create the next generation of web and mobile applications.
Not surprisingly, Jaaga won prestigious “Reclaim Open Learning Innovation Challenge” conducted by Digital Media and Learning Hub of the MIT Media Lab. The Challenge was supported by non other then the prestigious MacArthur Foundation. The Reclaim Open Learning Innovation Challenge is given in recognition of the innovative efforts done by institutions in field of education. It had nominees from all over the world including the United States and the United Kingdom. With the unique thrust of education through its rather unusual approach, Jaaga went on to win this prestigious challenge. The other contenders who made it with Jaaga are all based in either the US or the UK. DigiLit Leicester, Digital Storytelling 106 (DS106), Fem TechNet and Photography BA Hons and Phonar-Ed were the other winners of the challenge.
The winners receive a $2000.00 honorarium and are invited to speak at the summit on Reclaiming Open Learning to be held at UC Irvine. On behalf of Jaaga, Freeman Murray, co-founder of Jaaga presented the Jaaga Study and its features at the symposium.