Blog

Learning through television in low-income contexts: mitigating the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Written by Joe Watson, research assistant at the University of Cambridge

One of the many consequences of COVID-19 is that more than a billion caregivers will soon face the stark (and often scary) realisation that they must become their children’s teachers. This will be particularly difficult in low-income contexts where many adults have not had the opportunity to have a formal education themselves. Fortunately, educational television has the potential to facilitate out-of-school learning. This technology has been shown to have real impacts on outcomes, utilises readily available technology and can be implemented at scale.

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Five things to think about for out-of-school learning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

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

Today, over a billion learners are affected by closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19). In these unprecedented times we’re committed to playing our role in supporting countries to provide continued education for all learners. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing insights and resources about how educational technology (EdTech) can support out-of-school learning during these challenging times, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. To stay up to date with our future posts, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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An inclusive approach to searching for evidence on EdTech in low- and middle- income countries

A blog post by Meaghan Brugha and Katy Jordan.

A searchable database

The EdTech Hub has undertaken a large-scale search for publications on technology use in education in low- and middle- income countries. During this process, we created an internal research database. This is searchable through the use of a variety of filters, such as country or intervention of focus. Analysis of the database helps us to ground our wider research, innovation and engagement activities as a Hub within the scope and quality of the evidence base.

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Sandboxes: My experience participating in the sandbox alpha

Written by Pilirani Kumasewera, Padziwe

This is the third in this series about our sandboxes. If you haven’t already, read about our approach to experimentation and how we tested our sandbox strategy out in Malawi.

One of my happiest moments in 2019 was when I received an email with notification that Padziwe, an EdTech startup which I founded, has been selected by the EdTech Hub to test one of our applications in a sandbox. We felt exceptionally lucky considering that out of all the 195 countries in the world the Hub chose Malawi and, more specifically, Padziwe. This sandbox focused on Teachers Desk, an application which Padziwe developed to offer continuous professional development (CPD) for teachers. 

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Sandboxes: Testing the strategy in Malawi

Written by Alice Carter

This is the second in this series about our sandboxes. If you haven’t already, read about our approach to experimentation

Across the Hub, we’re proponents of using our tools and approaches on our own thinking. For innovation, that meant testing the assumptions we were making about how and if the sandboxes would work. Continue reading “Sandboxes: Testing the strategy in Malawi”

Sandboxes: our approach to systemic experimentation

Lea Simpson
Director of Innovation, EdTech Hub

What’s a sandbox you ask? First in the series, this blog explains what you need to know about the Hub’s approach to experimentation and innovation.

A sandbox is a real-life location used for experimentation. As you might have imagined, a sandbox creates a small and contained space to test with a proposed intervention. It allows us to safely learn and adapt in a small space before rolling out promising ideas more widely. The term itself comes from software engineering and was originally used to describe a space that allowed developers to safely test new code before using it across the board.

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15 EdTech research papers that we share all the time

We hope you saw our recent blog post responding to questions we often get about interesting large-scale EdTech initiatives. Another question we are often asked is: “What EdTech research should I know about?” 

As Sara’s blog post explains, one of the Hub’s core spheres of work is research, so we ourselves are very interested in the answer to this question. Katy’s latest blog post explains how the Hub’s research programme is addressing this question through a literature review to create a foundation for further research.  While the literature review is in progress, we thought we would share an initial list of EdTech papers that we often reach for. At the Hub we are fortunate enough to have authors of several papers on this list as members of our team. 

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18 large-scale EdTech initiatives on our radar in 2020

During the EdTech Hub’s inception phase so far, one question we hear a lot is: “What interesting or notable EdTech initiatives are you seeing?” Another question usually follows: “Which ones are reaching scale?”

This week we have joined the global education community in London for the Education World Forum and BETT meetings. This is a chance for education leaders and decision-makers to come together to discuss and share how best to improve and accelerate learning outcomes. In the spirit of sharing ideas, we thought we would put forth some examples of large-scale EdTech initiatives that are on our radar. 

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Reviewing the research literature in educational technology for development: Balancing rigour and inclusivity

Katy Jordan
Research Associate, EdTech Hub

Within the Research Sphere of the EdTech Hub, one of the main activities within the inception phase has been to conduct a literature review. Undertaking a literature review is established practice as a typical first step in any research project, to establish an informed foundation upon which to conduct further research.

The scope of the EdTech Hub is unusually wide for conducting a literature review. EdTech itself is a term which can be applied to a wide range of technologies used in educational settings. Similarly, the focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) encompasses a diverse range of countries, territories and regions.

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Hello, I’m Björn, Director of Research

Björn Haßler
Director of Research, EdTech Hub

Following on from our recent blogs introducing the Hub and our focus on research, innovation and engagement, over the coming weeks the members of the Research Sphere will be writing about their work so far and introducing themselves and what has brought them to join the EdTech Hub. The first of these posts has been written by Björn Haßler. 

I’m Dr Björn Haßler, one of the three Directors of Research for the programme. Research, and particularly at-scale research, is a core focus for the #EdTechHub and that’s why we have three Directors of Research, who will also introduce themselves. I am — we all are — extremely happy that we have been awarded the programme. We, like all our competitors, worked hard for around 1.5 years until the final submission. However, this work paid off! It means we can get going on the important mission.

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