The privilege of #pivotonline: A South African perspective

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Taskeen Adam,, 2020-04-22, 10.5281/zenodo.3760383

As the global number of COVID-19 cases increase, lockdowns continue across the world. Reports from UNESCO highlight that nationwide closures are impacting over 91% of the world’s student population who can no longer attend school. With schools closed, there has been a mass shift to online education — from primary to tertiary — in what is known on social media as the #pivotonline. As conversations revolve around synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods, video conferencing platform choices, online assessment, and digital pedagogies, the unspoken underlying assumption is that teachers and learners have access to devices and the Internet. Beyond access, there is a further assumption that if internet access and devices are provided to those that need it, then online and remote learning solutions will be effective. 

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Continue or reboot? Overarching options for education responses to COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching consequences for public health, including socio-economic issues. The pandemic also has consequences for education. However, in this blog post, I argue that these educational consequences will be felt more by (high-income populations in) high-income countries than low-income populations in low- and middle-income countries, such as the rural poor, who already had low learning levels prior to the outbreak.

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The Role of Interactive Radio Instruction in the COVID-19 Education Response

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At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced over 1.5 billion students out of school, governments in resource-constrained countries have looked to interactive radio instruction (IRI) to ensure educational continuity. In the past week, we spoke with the Rising Academy Network to consider what an IRI programme could look like and why policymakers have adopted this intervention.

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Educational Response to COVID-19 from Jordan and other Arab Countries

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Author: Nour Awamleh, Research and Program Development Coordinator, Queen Rania Foundation

Update: A later version of this article was published on 13 April 2020 and appears on the Queen Rania Foundation website.

The Activating Edtech project in Jordan aims to develop an agile, iterative and evidence-based approach to the decision-making process within the Jordanian Ministry of Education. Activating Edtech aims to understand problems and assumptions in education, then tests out the possible solutions to those problems while trying to activate technology, where possible. The project started in January 2019 and continues to today. After introducing the team, we turn to the education response to COVID -19 across a number of Arab countries.

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Arabic version of Design Thinking for Educators

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Launched in January 2019, Activating EdTech Jordan is a project that aims to introduce agile development practices to educational technology policymaking. This project is led by the Jordanian Ministry of Education in partnership with the Queen Rania Foundation and Open Development & Education with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This post introduces the Activating EdTech project and our translation of Design Thinking for Educators.

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Activating EdTech Jordan: Sprint 6

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This week sees Sprint 6 for Activating EdTech Jordan. It also marks roughly one year since the start of the programme in January 2019. The programme is run by the Queen Rania Foundation under the EDRIL programme, funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

Some of our outputs are available here:

New report on TVET in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Our new report on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Sub-Saharan is available in German:

Haßler, B., Stock, I., Schaffer, J., Winkler, E., Kagambèga, A., Haseloff, G., Watson, J., Marsden, M., Gordon, R., Damani, K. (2019). Berufsbildung in Subsahara-Afrika: Eine systematische Aufarbeitung des Forschungsstandes. VET Repository, Bundesinstitut für Berufs-bildung, Bonn, Germany. Creative-Commons-Lizenz CC BY 4.0. URN: urn:nbn:de:0035-vetrepository-775510-9 VET Repository:

A Digital Object Identifier is available too

An English-language version will be available in April 2020. Please register here for a PDF copy:

Some links I always share

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I’m at the TeacherFutures workshop (pre-PCF9) organised by the Commonwealth of Learning. Really interesting conversations with colleagues from Cameroon, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa.

In these conversations, I usually refer to a few Open Educational Resources, particularly for teacher professional development. These include the following teacher professional development resources:

These programmes are not the only such programmes, but they are distinct in that they provide concrete resources that are publicly available under Creative Commons.

There are a couple of other programmes I refer to. One is OpenUpResources (, producing an open mathematics curriculum (in the USA) as well as Kolibri (, an innovative hybrid online/offline learning management system (with similar idea to some of the ideas advocated around 10 years ago here).

Publishing only PDF and not your sources is like voluntary entropy

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This post originally appeared here on 10th March 2018 under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Many documents from aid programmes are never published. However, even if they were published, in all my efforts to surface documents, I’ve only come across one word document. In fact, some time ago the Open University of Nigeria was interested in a programme to mass convert PDF back to Word.

Now, of course, there is conversation software (some smarter than others). However, it strikes me that converting, for example, an OpenOffice or Word Document to PDF is like the willful destruction of metadata (i.e. formatting data). Whether done accidentally or deliberately, it makes it  unnecessarily harder to work with the document.

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