CyberSmart Africa

Project Representative
James Teicher
Creation Date: 2005
Headquarters: USA and Senegal
Nature and number of beneficiaries: 4,250 students to date. 2016: 12,500 students
Contact

CyberSmart Africa

About the Project

The world’s fastest growing youth population is in Sub-Saharan Africa with five hundred million people under the age of eighteen. It will be impossible to provide these millions of young people with up-to-date learning and teaching resources without the use of technology.

But while 80% of all schools do not have access to electricity, UN Sustainable Development goals make educating these young people a high priority.

The CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform directly addresses this challenge with the world's first classroom learning platform designed for massive scale and specifically to meet the unique needs of these developing regions.

It is an all-in-one mobile device offering the world’s most advanced learning technologies, a package of quality open source content, the tools to easily generate custom content and training.

Now, previously unavailable instructional materials — maps, photos, videos and up-to-date quality content—can directly support student classroom learning in schools no matter where they are.
 
PARTNERS
Partners include The Earth Institute at Columbia University (USA), the Senegalese Ministry of Education. USAID, and Orange, S.A.

 

 

Context and Issue

MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE FASTEST GROWING YOUTH POPULATION IN THE WORLD

Sub-Saharan Africa and developing regions have the fastest growing youth population on earth. Hundreds of millions of children need to be educated. Until now there was no way to affordably reach these children with up-to-date quality instruction materials.

Conventional ed-tech programs in developing countries have dramatically failed because of 80% of these classrooms lack of electricity and basic infrastructure. These classrooms cannot be reached by the computer lab and lap-top programs. In the handful schools where computers and tablets are currently used —too few devices serve large numbers of students. Continual power outages prohibit reliable use. Ongoing and costly maintenance issues impede timely repairs. The result?  The technology sits unused.

A GRASSROOTS DEVELOPED STRATEGY

CyberSmart's strategy is based on insights from an 8-year grassroots collaboration with teachers across rural Senegal. The reality is that existing commercially available technologies were not designed for use in developing countries.

That is why the CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform was created -- to offer an  innovative, but also highly practical solution designed for massive scale.

The CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform packages the world’s most advanced learning technologies, a package of quality open
source content, the tools to easily generate custom content and training into a single mobile device specifically designed to
meet the dire educational needs of today's fastest growing youth populations.

As one teacher in rural Senegal said “Now we can compare ourselves to all the other schools in the world.. even though we are
a rural school we have the tools to compete in the 21st century."

Solution and Impact

A USAID Proof-of-Concept demonstrated how the CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform effectively delivers previously unavailable instructional materials — maps, photos, videos and up-to-date quality content—to directly support classroom learning.

Students’ engagement dramatically increases with previously unavailable instructional materials that directly supports active, learner-centered classroom instructional strategies. Teachers gain precious classroom instructional time.  

CyberSmart's tech-lite strategy cuts out cumbersome equipment, eliminates costly structural requirements and focuses on providing 50% more teacher training than conventional educational technology.

Using a a whole-class learning model CyberSmart immediately impacts the greatest number of students for scale and sustainability.

Most importantly, the CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform addresses the needs of the 80% of schools in sub-Saharan Africa without electricity and the millions of children that need to be educated.


IMPACT
One single unit  currently reaches 250 students per school each day.

In 2015 2,250 students were impacted.

The 2016 pilot will impact 12,500 students.






Future Developments

2018 target: 1,250,000 students

2020 target : 10,000,000 students

Both primary school students and secondary schools students are served.

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