This is Virgule (Comma, in english), an iOS app which is the product of a partnership with a Marseille-based association called Des Mots (“Words”). As a group of volunteering teachers, educators and social workers, the association is promoting culture in its whole around the city of Marseille, France. Amongst others (organization of events and exhibitions, creation of temporary book stores…), one of their mission is to give evening courses in poor areas of the city for kids and teenagers, including activities such as personal coaching or homework help.
Virgule is a smartphone application that has been created to help the association in its work. The concept is simple and coming from a simple need: making kids from these areas interest themselves in discovering, learning and studying, and thus, finding every way possible to reach this goal.
The application is meant as a learning game and has a simple concept: everyday, a word coming from a hip-hop/rap song is given a definition through the app. Virgule is therefore “splitted” in two parts: on top, the learning part, and at the bottom, a cultural part that the kids love and cherish: rap music. Through this concept, Virgule is hoping to give the kids an interest in learning new pieces of culture (words, expressions, books, famous texts, authors, poets…) using a rich musical genre that they’re already familiar with.
Alternatively, the possibility is given to listen to the song on an external platform (and therefore discovering new artists), as well as looking up all the already published words from the past days. Possibility is also given to the user to interact with the app by suggesting new words or expressions to explain.