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And we need your help! Learning Equality’s Curriculum Operations Specialist, Vahid Masrour, shares more.

If you’re teaching or learning during Covid-19 school closures, you’ve probably encountered many solutions proposed for virtual learning environments relying on digital resources. All over the world, people are turning to digital resources — textbooks, lesson plans, videos, tutorials, learning applications, and libraries — to keep them connected to learning. But many solutions are overwhelmingly oriented towards English, and in the most vulnerable contexts, it’s critical to be able to provide an equivalent learning experience in the languages people speak at home, in social situations, in schools, and in their daily lives. 

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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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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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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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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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By Ernest Ngabonzima, Roberte Isimbi, Marie Merci Mwali, Arnaldo Pellini

 A swift policy response

When COVID-19 reached Rwanda, the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) was quick to shut schools and make use of technology to support and enable distance learning. This includes e-learning platforms and the use of private and public media channels. The first teaching radio programmes were introduced just two weeks after the schools closed, followed quickly by TV programmes. The content of these TV and radio programmes includes learning materials presented as written text, audio, images, animation and streamed video content for pre-primary, primary and secondary level children. Data suggests that these programmes reach 70% of primary school students and 11% of secondary school students. One of the reasons for this low number among secondary school students is that most of the secondary subjects are broadcast via TV, rather than radio, as television ownership is low (10%) in the country.

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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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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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