The year was 2012. We were intrigued by the happenings in the education technology space. Dr. Sugata Mitra had presented his famous TED Talk on his “Hole in the Wall Experiments” and Bill Gates had spoken about Khan Academy and how it was helping his children learn. Basically, what Dr. Mitra said was if technology is given in the hands of children, especially the one with least access to it, learning is bound to happen organically. Sal Khan had just embarked on his mission to provide world-class education to anyone who wanted, irrespective of where he or she was located. Fascinated and inspired by both these missions, we wanted to try and apply these in our own journey as a Foundation.

Our pursuit of this started at Sree Karpagavalli Vidyalaya, a government-aided middle school in Mylapore, where Mr. Gopalan, the correspondent, encouraged us to try our pilot project. He was brave enough to stop blackboard teaching of Math and allowed the children to learn Math only from the computers in a lab set up by us. Brick by brick, we built the processes around enabling learning and watched the magic happen as their learning outcomes improved dramatically. Within two years, we had four children acing through government talent exams, which enabled them to get scholarships.

Taking our learnings from this experience, we were eager to implement this solution to as many government schools who will willing to subscribe to the philosophy. In a span of six eventful years, we found 30 schools who embraced the process.   What was heart-warming for us was that fact that  big majority of these schools were  located in some of the remotest villages where any kind of access was difficult .  We branded the program “Karka Math Lab” and all the schools showed big improvement in learning outcomes.   

During this journey of seven years, as processes evolved, we have learnt constantly to make the Karka platform more effective with regard to learning outcomes. We have developed our own content and added skills to the learning journey in order to align with almost all the major Indian school board standards. In doing this, we have a small team of people and volunteers who are passionately into content development. We have seamlessly introduced processes inside the labs that facilitate peer learning and time management and foster a sense of self-discipline.

We also got a big amount of validation during this time from our users on the ground, be it school headmasters, Math teachers or, more importantly, students who were excited to come to school because of Karka. The power of the students taking agency was surely visible at various levels, be it students performing so much better at exams, teachers changing their approach or headmasters seeing a surge of new admissions to the government schools in the villages.

We caught the attention of the government too at various levels from the District Education Officer to the Director of School Education. They were highly intrigued by the work we were doing and wanted to expand the Karka programme to more middle schools. We have in place a plan to implement this in one model school in every block in Tiruvannamalai (a district in Tamil Nadu, India) for starters. Work is on in this regard.

All of this experience and happy learnings enabled us to expand our horizons wider and to make the learning platform reach every learner who wants to learn, though our focus will always be on ensuring access to the students from less privileged backgrounds. To align with this dream, we have changed the name from Karka to I Wanna Learn, and that’s where we are today. We hope you connect to this and be a part of our dream in whatever way you can. As a learner or as a contributor.

Our Contributors

I wanna learn roots go back to 2011 when we began our journey to discover tech based and self paced learning solutions. The quest started with one school in Mylapore and led to the birth of Karka Math Labs which were set up in thirty schools across Tamil Nadu over the nine years.

Needless to say, this journey would not have been possible but for our inspirations and huge support and collaborations along the way.

Khan Academy and Sal Khan for being huge inspiration for our mission and the support in the form of amazing content that is largely responsible for the learning spine of I wanna learn holding strong.

Prof Sugata Mitra and his TED Talk that inspired us to set up our version of a SOLE (Self organised learning environments) in the form of  Math Labs where learning can happen!

Bhoomika Trust, who have been a constant source of support to set up labs in Government schools and run them sustainably.

Palayam Foundation, USA for the generous grants that have funded the development cost of the platform and for supporting running of  Math Lab environments.

Urjita, who have been an amazing source of strength for us to expand the Math labs across schools and to give us the confidence to dream big.

Vetrivel Foundation for providing the vernacular content in Tamil of Khan Academy videos.

Dozens of Volunteers and Interns who have worked on developing and testing the content.

Mr Gopalan, the administrator of Sri Karpagavalli Vidyalaya, Mylapore, who believed in us and let us set up and run our first  Math Lab.

We are all born with extraordinary powers of imagination, intelligence, feeling, intuition, spirituality, and of physical and sensory awareness

-Sir Ken Robinson

Contact Us

Flat No. 3,Saravanalayam,(Old No.19)
New No.33,P.S.Sivaswami Salai,
Mylapore,Chennai – 600004.

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Become a Contributor

I wanna learn, powered by Altius Foundation, is created to provide good quality online learning resources for every kind of learner.  I wanna learn, is a movement and we believe that wider participation is crucial for the movement to expand both in quality and quantity of content and also to reach to more learners. The current content has be put together by contributors along with a small core team at our end, We are looking for people who believe in the ideology of providing quality content to learners.
Here are a few ways you can contribute to I wanna learn:

1. Review the current content.
2. We are looking at expanding the current topic – Math – to higher classes.
3. Add new topics – like Science, English, Social and expand the offering
4. Take up translation of the platform in to other languages.
5. Refer schools and individuals to I wanna learn.
6. Talk about I wanna learn in social media.

There are many more ways to contribute and ifyou are an individual / NGO who is keen about education and want to bring aboutchanges in the sector fill in the form below, we will be in touch with you.

Thank you for the interest. We will reach out to you at the earliest.

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