Tuesday, March 21

Google announces $50m in support to EdTech in the developing world

UNESCO estimates that there are over 130 million students around the world who don’t have basic maths or literacy skills. Google take that even further, estimating that 221 million students in schools are being taught in a language that is foreign to them and 32 million primary school-aged children can’t even reach traditional classrooms because of violent conflict and displacement.

Today, during Mobile Learning Week in Paris, Brigitte Hoyer-Gosselin from Google.org announced a massive $50 million donation towards addressing this gap.

These grants are aimed at three main areas:

  1. getting to students in combat zones, 
  2. providing quality learning materials and 
  3. aiding in teacher development. 
The details are still emerging, but it looks like any EdTech projects by not-for-profit organisations that aim to address these would be in scope.

As Brigitte says: "Technology can bypass the geographic and financial boundaries that block educational resources from reaching students, while also making those resources more engaging, interactive and effective"

The announcement was today(21 March 2017), and it looks like 9 projects have already been offered funding, with more to follow.

More info on CNN.

Exciting times! Can you, or your business help? Talk to Google.org!

Monday, March 20

EduApp4Syria - 2 awesome, free apps to teach arabic to kids

Check out these 2 prize winning apps aiming to teach refugee kids stuck in a camp with no access to learning.

Antura and the Letters and Feed the Monster were funded by Norad, the Norwegian Development Agency as part of a competition to encourage innovative mobile learning solutions to support Syrian kids in refugee camps.

They are both great apps. If (like me) you don't know any Arabic, see whether Antura or the Monster can help you remember a few basic letters.

Norad have some great promo videos about the apps in action:

The contest conditions are pretty cool. The apps will be released as open source to encourage wider adoption and adaption. In addition, it looks like their is additional funding to iterate, and improve on the versions that hit the public app stores this week.

Thanks, Norad for funding this! You can find out more by searching for eduapps4syria

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