Scaling edtech projects: challenges and opportunities

Technology has been seen as the universal remedy to solve the lack of access to education around the world. During the last decade, there has been an explosion in the edtech sector, and very promising projects have started to change things in many communities. 

However, with this rise of new projects, different challenges have emerged as well, and there is one underlying question: could local solutions become global solutions?

This first WISE Hangout Session is intended to create a space where new projects share their experiences about the difficulties of taking one solution to a different problem. We want to discuss the different ways projects can be replicated or rolled out at a large scale across different environments; and come up with recommendations to develop a edtech model suitable for scaling.

Join the Discussion

4 comments
Brenda Erlinger's picture
Brenda Erlinger
Without a doubt, investment in technology is costly at scale, and providing one device per student especially so. At Developments in Literacy we've designed Mobile Taleem as a learning resource so teachers can master the content they teach. In our context of underdeveloped areas of Pakistan providing 24/7 access to concept clarity lessons has resulted in knowledge gains between 30-40% among teachers, and principals report clear evidence of improved teaching and learning in these classrooms.
reply - Sep 17, 2015
Jim Teicher's picture
Jim Teicher
There are tremendous hidden costs will mobile phone delivery. The development of lessons as part of the curriculum, teacher training, assessment, and the need for multimedia (for the sake of equity, if not anything else, ie. virtual science experiments) can make learning with a mobile phone tremendously expensive. At even $40 per smartphone the cost to serve hundreds of students in a school (without even considering content, etc.) is very high -- and the learner must deal with a very small display. This is why CyberSmart Africa has taken a "whole-class" approach using just one device which is shared between classrooms.
reply - Sep 17, 2015
Mike Dawson's picture
Mike Dawson
Hi, Agreed I think economics and costs featured very strongly in the hangout. Our particular model is that we build the platform and charge organizations (e.g. schools, NGOs, etc) a very small fee ($0.08/month/user) to host their learning management system data (eg. student quiz scores etc). -Mike
reply - Sep 17, 2015
Jim Teicher's picture
Jim Teicher
Scaling edtech projects must be grounded in a viable economic model that allows for affordable growth and sustainability of the implementing organization. This economic model must be clearly understood before any project gets off the ground. I would like the speakers to address in detail the economics behind scale, and present several viable business models.
reply - Sep 17, 2015