EdTech Hub: Clear evidence, better decisions, more learning
Don't miss out on the announcements and articles below:
You’re invited to our upcoming learning series: ‘EdTech and Covid-19: Lessons learned, future plans’ and ‘Access to learning: Learning to access’
Coming soon: Our call for expressions of interest for at-scale research studies
Read recent publications on interactive radio instruction and the use of WhatsApp in refugee education in Lebanon, as well as our country case studies.
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You’re invited to the kick-off event of our event series:
A year of EdTech and Covid-19
Speakers include David Sengeh, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education & Ranjitsinh Disale - Global Teacher Prizewinner 2020
Covid-19 has reshaped our world. It has been a year since schools shut their doors and we are running a series of events to reflect on the pandemic, school closures, and how these lessons can prepare us for an uncertain future.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, David Sengeh, and other high-level speakers will share their reflections on what they have learned leading the education response to Covid-19. We will also hear from an expert panel, including Ranjitsinh Disale - Global Teacher Prizewinner 2020 and Albert Nsengiyumva - Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). These panelists have been on the frontlines of their education systems throughout Covid-19.The panel will consider what lessons have been learnt so far and how EdTech can be used in future school closures to address the learning gaps the pandemic has caused. We will then open it up to the audience to get your reflections and questions.
Another upcoming event in the series is a discussion on March 23rd at 2pm (GMT) titled ‘Learning to Access, Access to Learning’. This roundtable is a collaboration with the Cambridge Network for Disability and Education Research (CaNDER) and the University of Glasgow. Presenters will discuss the findings of our systematic literature review focusing on the extent to which EdTech is supporting the learning of children with disabilities in low and middle income countries. Join us and register here.
Watch this space as more events will be announced soon...
At-Scale Research - Call for expressions of interest
We are getting ready to launch our next call for expressions of interest at the Hub. This funding will focus on a series of at-scale research projects to investigate EdTech’s role in high-potential but low-evidence areas in low- and middle-income countries. Research projects will increase the amount of high-quality research evidence available regarding the impact of technology-based solutions to improve learning and education. We will soon be sending out more detail on how to apply!
Exploring the use of WhatsApp for refugee children in Lebanon Asad Rahman
Over the last two months, EdTech Hub and Jusoor have been experimenting with the use of WhatsApp for out-of-school refugee children in Lebanon using EdTech Hub’s Sandbox method.
We have just completed Sprint 1 of the Sandbox. Activities included:
We conducted a survey of 196 parents and children to test the user feasibility of WhatsApp. 68% reported that there was only one smartphone in the family - the biggest perceived barrier to using Whatsapp.
To test financial feasibility, we built a cost model of the intervention. For example, providing data cards to families would cost US$23 per month per family - the highest cost component of the intervention at 39% of the total.
To inform our upcoming in-depth research in six focus countries, we have begun a series of country scoping reviews, which provide a rapid and rigorous synthesis of evidence on EdTech literature in each country in order to identify the most salient:
Evidence gaps in the research landscape
Research opportunities that are most likely to inform policy and practice
Priorities of the local research ecosystem
We completed our first country-scoping review in December, on Sierra Leone. Our contextual analysis required us to contact key research and policy stakeholders to understand the environment within which EdTech innovation is occurring in Sierra Leone, and what evidence gaps in the research landscape have the highest potential for impact.
We identified three promising high-potential evidence gaps in Sierra Leone, showing that the framework helps us complement the existing research and EdTech ecosystems:
Use of data systems technology for education management
Use of radio technology for learning in appropriate languages
Use of multi-modal technology to support under-qualified educators.
Forthcoming reviews on Pakistan, Tanzania, Ghana, Bangladesh and Kenya will further illuminate the research priorities we will collaborate on in our focus countries.
In 2020, we began collaborating with Learning Equality, a nonprofit organisation supporting the creation, adaptation, and distribution of Open Educational Resources (OER) in disconnected environments. We’ve been working with Learning Equality to develop the idea of a curriculum alignment hub where individual efforts to address some of the challenges in adopting OER could become more powerful, receive recognition, and build upon one another.
Houses a database of consultants who can support projects
Contains a venue for discussion
Makes training materials for alignment efforts accessible
And in the spirit of openness, we’ve left the note as a Google Doc so you can leave your comments! Please take a read and share your feedback if you’re interested in helping us unpack what this hub may look like.
Our work with Rising Academies was focused on how to use radio to keep marginalised children learning during school closures. As part of this work, the team from Rising adapted their curriculum to create the Rising on Air initiative: a 20-week programme of radio scripts and SMS content made freely available to organisations around the world. Since then, the initiative has reached over 12 million children in 26 countries at a cost of less than $0.05 per student.
A blog from Oxfam: Right now, it feels like anything can derail everything, so are theories of change still useful? which discusses the importance of the process of creating a theory of change, and how to do that in a virtual world.
RISE paper: Data Visualisations: Estimating COVID-19 related learning losses and effects of mitigation, suggests that “modelling projected learning losses and the learning effects of different mitigation strategies can help education leaders plan for school reopening that prioritises learning”
New World Bank evidence: Texting Parents about Early Child Development: Behavioral Changes and Unintended Social Effects. A paper outlining an intervention in Nicaragua that “led to significant changes in self-reported parenting practices [but] it did not translate into improvements in children's cognitive development.”