Reflecting on epistemic injustices in open and online education

In memory of Hector Pieterson and the hundreds of student protesters that were brutally murdered by police on the 16 June 1976 in the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. The Soweto Uprising refers to the protests by black South African high school students during apartheid against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

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Why the COVID Crisis Is Not EdTech’s Moment in Africa

Author: Lee CrawFurd, Centre for Global Development

This blog was originally posted on the Center for Global Development blog on the 18th May 2020. Open Development & Education is part of The EdTech Hub and the data used here was from the EdTech Hub’s database of interventions. This database, which was initially limited to sub-Saharan Africa, now has a global scope. While the data is still partial (e.g. doesn’t include broader lists of edtech startups from South Africa or Ikeja, Abuja, and Lagos in Nigeria) the insights made in this article are extremely valuable. Even if the estimates were off by a factor of 2 or 3, points about the optimal use of digital learning still hold true. As the blog suggests, there is a need to increase the database’s representation of interventions in other regions. Please add your EdTech intervention to help us grow it!

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Who has what? Assessing who has access to what devices in the education response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors: Björn Haßler, Abdullah Khalayleh, Chris McBurnie, Taskeen Adam and Zoé Allier-Gagneur

As with education in general, our ability to respond to COVID-19  in education depends significantly on access to resources by students and teachers. Even in this moment of crisis, governments should inform their decisions regarding education and educational resources on the available data whenever possible. However, we realise that accessing relevant data is not necessarily straightforward and this should not block other elements of system response-recovery-reform. 

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

Written by Joe Watson, research assistant at the University of Cambridge. This blog was first published as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EdTech series on The EdTech Hub website under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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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The privilege of #pivotonline: A South African perspective

Taskeen Adam, https://opendeved.net/2020/04/22/the-privilege-of-#pivotonline/, 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

Björn Haßler, https://opendeved.net/2020/04/15/continue-or-reboot/, 2020-04-15, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3753513  

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 the Konnect student portal in Bangladesh’s COVID-19 education response

Last month, the Bangladeshi government announced their decision to suspend all schools to limit the spread of COVID-19. Since the outbreak, the Ministry of Education has sought to leverage multiple modalities such as television, radio and the internet to offer remote learning to a broad range of students. Over the past week, policymakers have looked to incorporate the virtual Konnect platform into their pandemic response strategy.

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

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

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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