Modern technology – an enabler for learning With innovative mindsets and the goal to make education more effective and accessible, SCC members Edulution and Humly are challenging the traditional ways of learning. Using bespoke solutions that embrace modern technology, Edulution and Humly create new ways and possibilities for improved learning outcomes. BY: FREDRIKA DE GEER
Born and raised in Africa, the Founder of Edulution Michael Wray, is passionate about the continent and has a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of its people, particularly those living in poverty. It became clear to Michael that education was the key to unlocking the potential of its youthful and rapidly growing population. “It is well documented that the current traditional teaching and learning practices in African schools are ineffective and not yielding the intended outcomes. To achieve Michael’s goal of improving the learning outcomes and thereby the standard of living of the bottom 80% of learners in Africa, he knew he needed to transform the way Africa learns and that technology needed to be the enabler and that without empowered people facilitating the digitised learning, it would count for nothing,” Marie Thelander, Donor Relations and Fundraising at Edulution explains. “And so in 2015, Edulution was born and today its programme is proudly serving 10,500 primary
Marie Thelander, Donor Relations and Fundraising at Edulution. Photo: Edulution.
Edulution wants to improve children’s learning curve and develop the traditional way of teaching with the help of modern technology. Photo: Edulution.
school learners with 125 locally sourced, trained and employed coaches across 48 centres in Zambia and Namibia, and expanding its reach into South Africa in 2021”. Resource of skilled people Swedish edtech business Humly, was launched in 2015 with the purpose of utilising the great potential in supply teaching, but at the same time keep the high quality in education when the regular teacher is absent. With the Humly app, schools can offer work shifts which teachers can book according to their teaching subjects. “We have always seen ourselves as a digital marketplace where we have a resource of skilled people that love their subject and to share their knowledge. And then we have demand – schools that need teachers with very short notice for shorter vacancies. We try to bring inspiring people with good subject competence to each assignment so that we get the right people for the right job,” Kristoffer Persson, CPO and Founder at Humly, explains. Changing traditional ways with technology When Humly was launched, the work required from schools to find a substitute teacher was very inefficient. “Schools were calling in and they were calling out and had very high margins because it required so much labour,” Kristoffer says. Humly offers a more productive way for schools to handle this administrative process through its app. In addition to this, it offers more quality in the education with their supply of teachers and slowly changes existing norms about supply teaching. “In Sweden, at least, people view supply teaching as just a grown adult in the room and don’t really associate it with quality, or high-level teaching. The question that we addressed is how can we do this inspiring and with high quality, even when
the ordinary teacher is not in the classroom?” Kristoffer explains. Puts the learner back on track Edulution is a learning programme that is designed to support the public-school system and improve numeracy, literacy and digital skills. The programme is delivered through a unique combination of technology that can work offline and online and off the electric grid, exciting content, effective coaching, and a comprehensive and continuous performance measurement system. Coaches monitor each learners progress via a live dashboard, enabling him or her to step in and assist the learner when necessary. “Edulution is a solution guided by a vision of an Africa whose people are skilled and empowered. Edulution’s catch up learning programme puts the learner back on track and back into the system,” Marie says. Measuring learning Marie explains how Edulution’s coaches are its “secret sauce”: “Edulution’s coaches are recruited from the local communities where its centres are located and they play the critical role of mentoring, supervising and managing the learning sessions and building advocacy with the teachers, parents, government and the surrounding communities. Being effective in this type of learning environment is made possible by Edulution’s sophisticated datacentric technology platform that enables them to assess and guide their learner’s progress in real-time.” Similar to Humly, technology is crucial for Edulution to operate its business, and to be able to monitor that the students are actually learning. “If learning is not measured, we cannot know if learning has occurred. Today, over 250 million learners are in schools but not learning.”