40% of the world population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand.
Almost five years ago, we started a project where students and professors were working together to create educational materials in their own languages, meeting their own needs. It all started in a small room at Instituto Superior Técnico - Taguspark campus, Portugal.
We started by recording and editing videos, hacked a simple web-platform and launched educational modules about the most relevant topics of the engineering degrees offered at our college. That was our pilot. Later, we understood that we could do more. We were challenged to scale it, bringing that idea to other places around the world. That was the beginning.
Three years ago today, IEEE Academic, the global project, was launched. And this is where our journey brought us: over 500 videos, 7 languages, and almost 30,000 hours with students learning from those videos. That is the equivalent of 1,200 days of continuous learning, in multiple languages.
We couldn't have gotten this far without the efforts of all the volunteers involved and the support of the students who watch our videos and professors who use them for their classes. We believe education is global, and making a change is possible if we start locally.