On the Daily: Ann Arbor company releases educational rap video to explain electoral process

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 6:03pm

On Tuesday, DiagKNOWstics Learning, an educational company in Ann Arbor, posted an educational rap video on YouTube and Facebook called “Let’s Go Out and Vote!” that explains the Electoral College, targeting young voters.

The video received 44,000 views on Facebook in two days, and 58,000 views as of Thursday night. It is also being shown to students in local school districts.

DiagKNOWstics was launched in 2014 and is currently managed by two University of Michigan alumni CEO Rohen Shah and CTO Arshabh Sarda. The company specializes in personal learning, offering in-person and Skype tutoring sessions, as well as customized online learning platforms. According to the website, these platforms are based on the company’s own learning theory, which “ ‘diagnoses’ and ‘treats’ students to help them resolve their learning misconceptions.”

As part of MC S.K.U.L.E. (Spreading Knowledge Using Lyrics & Entertainment) — the company’s initiative to use entertaining raps to educate students on real-world issues — the rap video encourages viewers to vote while also explaining the workings of the Electoral College. It emphasizes that a candidate must earn the majority of the 538 electoral votes, which are divided among the states based on population.  

Shah, the face of MC S.K.U.L.E., is featured in the video, alongside model Marissa Bennett and metro-Detroit-based rapper JSR.

In an interview, Shah said DiagKNOWstics wants to use new techniques to reach students who may be struggling to learn a new concept simply because information is presented in such a complex way.

“We decided to do something more innovative, something that will grab their attention a little bit more and something to get them excited,” he said. “The goal was to make people laugh a little bit, but then at the end say, ‘Oh wait! That’s all it is. I thought it was so complicated. Wikipedia made it seem so complicated, but that’s all the Electoral College is.’ ”

Overall, Shah said, the goal is to educate more people about the electoral process.

“This is the craziest election cycle we’ve had in ages, and so I just wanted to say at the end of the day, we have to unite and have a common enemy, and that is ignorance,” he said. “If everyone at least understands the process, my job is done