Blog

Africa’s Covid-19 opportunity

Educators in Africa are optimistic about the opportunities that Covid-19 brings for reform and innovation in education. 

That’s the headline from a survey eLearning Africa recently conducted, in which 1,600 education and technology professionals from 52 countries in Africa were asked for their thoughts on the longer-term effects of the pandemic.

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How the Government of Sierra Leone is improving its Education Data Hub

Sierra Leone’s Education Data Hub is designed to make school-level data more useful in decision making. Nine months into its launch, MBSSE and DSTI were keen to understand who was using the Data Hub, the kinds of decisions it informed, and where improvements were needed to ensure that non-technical users, including policymakers, teachers, parents, and students could access and use the data. These are critical questions for MBSSE and DSTI to be asking, not only to inform the continuous development of the Data Hub but to achieve the goal of data actually being used to inform decisions that have an impact on learning outcomes. 

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Our new partnerships with eKitabu, Rising Academies, and Learning Equality

We are thrilled to announce our new partnerships with three amazing organizations – eKitabu, Rising Academies, and Learning Equality. We’ll be working alongside them in the months ahead to advance equitable educational solutions for the most marginalized learners. We’re excited to offer the Hub as a platform for amplifying their work – making new connections and fostering collaboration across thinkers and doers in education and edtech. After all, this is our sweet spot as a Hub, helping partners achieve exponential impact in improving learning outcomes for every student. (Speaking of our exponential ambitions, did you notice our new logo?)

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How to re-imagine learning in the wake of Covid-19

Last week the EdTech Hub, #NextGenEdu, and Education Development Trust convened experts, policymakers, and implementers to discuss their visions for a reimagined approach to learning in the wake of coronavirus. 

The invited speakers were:

During a lively online discussion, we asked panellists and audience members “What must any government response to reopening schools include?” The answers were enlightening and sparked plenty of debate. 

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Nine takeaways from our reviews of COVID-19 education responses

by Rachel Chuang, Tom Kaye, Saalim Koomar, Chris McBurnie, and Caitlin Moss Coflan

Regular readers will know about our Helpdesk, the on-demand support service we provide for DFID advisers and World Bank staff to help them make evidence-informed decisions.

Since the onset of coronavirus, the Helpdesk team has responded to requests from 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to review and provide input on various COVID-19 response documents. Below we share a list of nine takeaways.

Most of these takeaways came out of the coronavirus-specific context, but they have wider relevance than just pandemic response. They’re good ideas for any education decision-makers to consider, at any time.

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The potential of using technology to support personalised learning in low- and middle-income countries

By Louis Major & Gill A. Francis

With schools around the world closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been undertaking a series of ‘rapid evidence reviews’ to help education decision-makers respond effectively. These reviews aim to provide evidence-based summaries on specific areas of EdTech. In this post, we look at the role of technology in supporting personalised learning.

What do we mean by personalised learning? 

As with so many concepts in education, there is no universal definition of ‘personalised learning’. In our rapid evidence review we define this as “the ways in which technology enables or supports learning based upon particular characteristics of relevance or importance to learners”.

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A rapid scan of the EdTech landscape in 11 countries

By Abeba Taddese

We have just produced rapid scans of the EdTech landscape in 11 countries: Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The scans are based primarily on desk research and offer a glimpse into the countries’ EdTech ecosystems. They examine enabling factors for EdTech from a holistic systems perspective but are by no means exhaustive. Given how rapidly the use of educational technology is evolving, we expect we’ll be updating these scans periodically.

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What we have learnt from designing and implementing tablet-based learning across the world

Written by Susan Colby (Imagine Worldwide) and Nicola Pitchford (University of Nottingham)

As COVID-19 has disrupted education worldwide, more organizations and governments are exploring using tablet-based learning models to provide children with flexible access to learning that can take place anywhere. When implemented well, tablet-based learning can empower learners to build skills and knowledge through the use of technology. Children are able to direct their own learning, using high-quality, research-based software curriculum on a tablet. 

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What you can expect from the future EdTech Hub website

The EdTech Hub had just finished a seven-month planning phase when COVID-19 hit. A profound sense of urgency swept over us. We realized that the planning we had done for a gradual ramp-up was now feeling insufficient to fulfill our mission, given the new global reality of kids being away from school, and the potential for EdTech to help.

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Afghanistan: Covid-19 brings uncertainty to learning

By Asma Rabi

COVID-19 presents a significant challenge to the education system in Afghanistan. School closures have turned a spotlight on access to education and inequalities across the country. As in countries around the world, the speed of these closures and the rapid move to distance learning has allowed little time for policy-makers to come up with quick solutions to the problem. Studies are already suggesting that school closures may have a negative impact on the country’s educational system.

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