This blog post is a cross-post from EdTech Hub‘s blog https://edtechhub.org/2020/04/09/the-edtech-hubs-helpdesk-and-covid-19-demand-driven-advice/ (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0). The blog post was written by Caitlin Moss on the 9th of April 2020.
This is part of our coronavirus (COVID-19) and EdTech series.
With more than 1.5 billion children now affected by school closures, ministries of education and decision-makers around the world are urgently in need of fast, evidence-based, context-specific advice about out-of-school learning. Teachers, caregivers, parents and policymakers are tirelessly working to ensure that learning doesn’t stop. Faced with one of the biggest global disruptions to schooling in living memory, already overstretched ministries and their advisers are looking for resources and guidance. The EdTech Hub’s Helpdesk will immediately launch to respond to this need.
How will we do this?
Critical to our mission is the translation of evidence into action. One way the Hub does this is through our Helpdesk–a mechanism for providing direct demand-driven support to DFID and World Bank staff who are working hand in hand with ministries of education across low- and middle-income countries. They can request guidance ranging from how EdTech can be used to support basic literacy and numeracy, to what we know about using technology for teacher professional development.
While our support is channelled through staff at DFID and the World Bank – two of the supporters of the EdTech Hub – it is important to us that the Helpdesk ultimately inform a much wider audience. That’s why we will translate the bespoke guidance we provide to individual requesters into general guidance and share it on our website as global public goods in the form of briefs, blogs, webinars, and more.
The Helpdesk responds to requests with evidence, resources, and advice tailored to the particular problems that a country is facing. Support is provided by Hub staff as well as a pool of experts that the Hub manages. We have been running a closed ‘alpha’ version of the Helpdesk for the last six months. Most recently, we received a request to inform decision-making in Tanzania on how to use EdTech to support learners with special educational needs and disabilities. To respond, we developed a brief on the topic with broad relevance to low- and middle-income countries.
Call for experts
With extensive school closures, we are now urgently accelerating the launch of our Helpdesk service. To respond to increased and urgent demand, we are immediately expanding our pool of experts. If you have experience working with low- and middle-income country governments and their partners on the development and implementation of education strategies, policies, and programmes, please get in touch and fill out an application.The Helpdesk is just one part of our strategy to mitigate the global impact of COVID-19 on equitable education access and learning. We are working closely with many global and country-based partners to accelerate evidence-based support of decision-makers. If you are working toward the same goals, we would love to hear from you.