Blog

BUILDING EFFECTIVE COVID-19 EDUCATION RESPONSE PLANS: INSIGHTS FROM AFRICA AND ASIA

by Jenn Cotter Otieno, Eric Kimenyi and Tom Kaye

As countries around the world rapidly respond to the educational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic many countries have begun to leverage technology to provide educational continuity. We at the EdTech Hub are working with many countries to help them design interventions to support learning during this crisis. The first question we are asked by our counterparts in these countries is: How can we design an effective COVID-19 education sector response plan?

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How India responded: distance learning in the time of COVID-19

As schools began to close earlier in the year, at the EdTech Hub we started to look at how governments pivoted to distance learning, with a number of country case studies exploring this shift. While the full case studies will be released soon, this blog gives an overview of the first of these into India’s response.

The onset of COVID-19 dealt a huge blow to the Indian education system —  one of the largest in the world. In this blog we ask: How has the system responded? What technologies have been put in place to support distance learning?

Over the last months, the Hub has been collaborating with the Central Square Foundation (CSF) to document the Indian governments’ education response to COVID-19, particularly the use of technology to support distance learning at the primary and lower secondary level.  

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Supporting innovation in the time of COVID: What we’ve done and what we’ll do next

When COVID-19 emerged as a clear and present danger, we in the Hub innovation team were forced to rethink our plans for 2020. We previously told you about our work and how it looks to support and scale innovation with real people in real life. Now we had to reassess what this would look like and how it could be most effective in responding to global school closures. 

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Activating local study-groups for children’s learning—an equitable EdTech response?

By Tom Power, Open University

An equitable educational response to the COVID school closures must recognise that, in low and middle-income countries, as shown by UNICEF data most children affected by such closures do not have access to the internet. Policymakers and educators must then find ways to provide learning opportunities offline. Learning does not happen just by giving children educational materials—children also need time, space and support. 

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From the Helpdesk: Observations and guidance on educational response planning during the COVID-19 crisis

Written by Rachel Chuang, Tom Kaye, Caitlin Moss Coflan & Arjun Upadhyay (EdTech Hub Helpdesk Management Team)

Amid one of the biggest global disruptions to schooling in living memory, countries are quickly developing distance education responses for students. The EdTech Hub’s Helpdesk is providing evidence-informed responses to requests for support from governments and their partners as they face this challenge. 

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Why the COVID Crisis Is Not EdTech’s Moment in Africa

This blog was originally posted on the Center for Global Development blog with data used from the EdTech Hub’s database of interventions. Our database, which was initially limited to sub-Saharan Africa, now has a global scope. As the blog suggests, there is a need to increase the database’s representation of interventions in other regions. Please add your EdTech intervention to help us grow it!

With schools closed for hundreds of million students around the world, many have hoped that ‘EdTech’ can help keep children learning via internet, apps, and mobiles. A new database published by the “EdTech Hub” shows that though use of edtech products serving African countries has doubled in the last month, the total number of users is still very low, and most were viewers of one TV show. That, coupled with the fact that most firms come from just a few countries, suggests that edtech in Africa is far from maturity.

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EdTech call for ideas: What have we learned from the applications?

This is part of our coronavirus (COVID-19) and EdTech series.

On 21st April, we launched a call for ideas for EdTech in responses to coronavirus and the lockdown of schools around the world. 

Three weeks later, we’ve taken a slice of the first 100 responses and analysed the data. Combining this with conversations our team is having every day with technologists and innovators around the world, we’ve sought to answer: what do these innovators need right now? In future blogs, we’ll cut the data in different ways to answer other questions.

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Publish, learn, improve

This is part of our coronavirus (COVID-19) and EdTech series.

This week we’ve designed and prototyped a tool to make our website more useful during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We want to enable decision-makers to make informed choices about if, when and how to use EdTech during this crisis. We’re building something to help you find education responses by governments and EdTech tools that support these responses.

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How can governments, schools and teachers support education continuity and good pedagogy under coronavirus (Covid-19)?

This is part of our coronavirus (COVID-19) and EdTech series.

Written by Anna Riggall (Head of Research) and Tony McAleavy (Research Director), Education Development Trust

As the horror of Covid-19 became apparent, governments around the world closed schools in their attempts to control the spread of the virus. According to UNESCO, schools are closed in 191 countries, impacting 90% of the world’s enrolled learners.

This blog reflects on two studies recently commissioned by the EdTech Hub and carried out by our team at Education Development Trust. The reports tackled questions relevant to managing education continuity and quality during school closures. One report examined the evidence about the best pedagogy for remote learning and the other focused on country responses to the provision of educational continuity – looking for what appears to be working. 

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