Transforming Education in Kosovo with the Learning Passport: The case of Shkollat.org

Transforming Education in Kosovo with the Learning Passport: The case of Shkollat.org

Published: 2023 Policy Brief
The Kosovo Education Strategy (2022–2026) recognizes the need to scale up digital learning solutions to support individualized learning for children. Shkollat.org, Kosovo’s version of the Learning Passport, combines the largest repository of curriculum-aligned video learning content in Kosovo with communication tools to engage students inside or outside the classroom. This research presents findings from the implementation of Shkollat.org in Kosovo, providing policy takeaways for the scale-up of digital learning solutions for education policymakers in the Western Balkans and beyond. Research findings are organized around six pillars of digital learning embedded within the Kosovo Education Strategy (2022–2026): digital learning platforms, content, teacher upskilling and support, connectivity, devices, and institutional support. 
Integrating Education Technology into Teaching and Learning: Lessons from EDUINO in North Macedonia

Integrating Education Technology into Teaching and Learning: Lessons from EDUINO in North Macedonia

Published: 2023 Innocenti Research Report

How can countries engage teachers, parents, and learners in the successful of scale-up digital learning solutions? 

EDUINO, North Macedonia's platform for digital learning, fostered a community of practice and successfully crowdsourced a large amount of educational content from teachers and educators around the country within weeks of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This research presents factors that enabled the rapid development and scale-up of EDUINO at a systems, school, and classroom level.

Research findings in the brief are organized around four key implementation strategies:

1. Developing and crowdsourcing curriculum-aligned learning content

2. Fostering user engagement through a community of practice

3. Furthering teacher capacity for digital learning, and

4. Reaching students with disabilities and other learning barriers.

Unlocking Learning: The use of education technology to support disadvantaged children’s language learning and social inclusion in Italy

Unlocking Learning: The use of education technology to support disadvantaged children’s language learning and social inclusion in Italy

AUTHOR(S)
Svetlana Poleschuk; Thomas Dreesen; Barbara D’Ippolito; Joaquin Cárceles

Published: 2023 Innocenti Research Report
In Italy, more than 700,000 asylum seekers and migrants arrived in the country between 2014-2020. Newly arrived children including refugees and migrants need to quickly acquire Italian skills to succeed in school and society. To help address this urgent need, the Akelius digital learning application was introduced in Bologna and Rome for Italian and English language learning in the 2021/22 school year. This research presents findings from the first year of implementation of the Akelius digital learning application in Italy. Results show the use of the application supported self-paced learning, boosted students’ motivation and confidence and the use of the tool was especially beneficial for newly arrived children and children with disabilities. The report also explores challenges and good practices to inform improvements in the use of digital learning in classrooms. 
Unlocking Learning: The use of digital learning to support the education and inclusion of refugees and migrant children in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Unlocking Learning: The use of digital learning to support the education and inclusion of refugees and migrant children in Bosnia and Herzegovina

AUTHOR(S)
Svetlana Poleschuk; Andrea Soldo; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2023 Innocenti Research Report

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the number of refugees and migrants arriving in the country has increased from just a few dozen arrivals annually prior to 2017 to 95,000 between 2018 and 2022. This increase has put incredible strain on the country’s education systems.

This research presents critical findings on the implementation and effectiveness of the Akelius digital learning application in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was introduced as a tool to support refugee and migrant children’s English and German language learning.

The findings demonstrate that using the digital application in a blended learning approach in classrooms was especially useful for personalizing learning and supporting children with diverse learning levels and needs.

The report also explores the challenges faced, and good practices to tangibly improve the implementation of digital learning in classrooms. 

Estimates of internet access for children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania

Estimates of internet access for children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed internet connectivity from an important asset to an essential piece of infrastructure. Yet two thirds of the world’s school-aged children still have no fixed internet connection at home. This lack of connectivity limits their ability to go online; prevents them from participating and competing in the modern economy; and risks isolating them from the world.

This research brief presents new data on children’s internet access in five countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides estimates of the frequency with which children use the internet and assesses the most common barriers they face. Finally, it explores the potential consequences of leaving these bottlenecks unaddressed.

How Much Does Universal Digital Learning Cost?

How Much Does Universal Digital Learning Cost?

AUTHOR(S)
Haogen Yao; Mathieu Brossard; Suguru Mizunoya; Bassem Nasir; Patrick Walugembe; Rachel Cooper; Atif Rafique; Nicolas Reuge

Published: 2021 Policy Brief

COVID-19 school closures initially revealed more than 75% of children lacked access to critical digital learning opportunities. Three out of four were living in the poorest 40% of households. Digital learning is impossible without connectivity and electricity. However, in places like Chad, Malawi and Niger, the proportion of people with access to electricity is below 1 in 5. What efforts will ensure these children are not further left behind in future crises if schools are again closed? How much will universal access to digital learning cost? The answer is US$1.4 trillion.

This paper estimates the cost of universalizing digital learning by 2030, in alignment with the conceptual framework of the Reimagine Education initiative. It provides a rationale for cost assumptions; classifies costs into enabling digital learning and delivering digital learning; and, finally, discusses financing achievability by comparing the estimated costs with current spending in education and other sectors.

How much it will cost in your country? For a localized costing, download the National Guide Price Generator from the dropdown menu. 

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – East Asia and the Pacific

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – East Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
Youngkwang Jeon; Akihiro Fushimi; Dominic Koeppl; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 school closures in East Asia and the Pacific threaten to widen existing learning inequities and increase the number of children out of school. During the pandemic, governments rapidly deployed remote learning strategies, ranging from paper-based take-home materials to digital platforms. However, lack of electricity – critical to connectivity – remains a key obstacle for the region, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, while digital learning platforms were offered by most Southeast Asian countries, take-up was low.  

A combination of modalities – including mobile phone-based learning strategies – and collaboration with a range of non-governmental education stakeholders have the potential to enhance the reach of remote learning and to make it more engaging for students. Lessons from the regional implementation of these strategies emphasize the importance of research to understand the needs of students, educators and parents and the impact of remote learning, especially in low-resource contexts. 

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – South Asia

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Radhika Nagesh; Frank van Cappelle; Vidur Chopra; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 school closures in South Asia lasted longer than in any other region. To mitigate subsequent effects, governments and education actors in South Asia provided a range of remote learning modalities.  

This report presents evidence on the reach and effectiveness of these remote learning strategies through a meta-analysis of studies from the region. Large differences in students’ access to connectivity and devices show that high-tech remote learning modalities did not reach all students. Lessons learned indicate that the effectiveness of one-way or low-tech modalities can be enhanced through increased engagement and support from educators. Teachers, parents and caregivers must be supported to help children learn remotely, especially in cases where they must rely on these low-tech remote learning modalities. Formative assessments are needed to understand the scale of lost learning and target responses to remediate this learning loss when schools reopen.   

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – Latin America and the Caribbean

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa; Marco Valenza; Vincenzo Placco; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The implementation of remote learning in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 school closures confirmed that the divide in access to electricity and technology remained a major hurdle for governments across the region to serve all children. School closures risk widening existing learning gaps as private schools were more prepared to use technology for remote learning and children from wealthier households received more support at home while schools were closed. As countries in the region reopen their schools, it is vital that governments incorporate key lessons learned to improve the resilience and equity of the education systems.

This report presents evidence on remote learning during the COVID-19 school closures in Latin America and the Caribbean to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable and resilient education systems for current and future crises.

Unlocking Learning: The implementation and effectiveness of digital learning for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Unlocking Learning: The implementation and effectiveness of digital learning for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Dreesen; Akito Kamei; Despina Karamperidou; Sara Abou Fakher; Lama Marji; Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Digital learning has the potential to offer interactive and personalized learning for children, in and out of school, including the most marginalized. However, depending on programme design, delivery, and use, digital learning can also exacerbate learning inequalities. This report presents tangible findings on the implementation and use of digital learning to improve outcomes for marginalized children in Lebanon. This report focuses on the UNICEF-Akelius Foundation Partnership and its implementation of a digital course used on tablets and mobile phones for language learning of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The report provides findings across three areas: First, the report investigates the digital course’s use in a blended learning environment where it was used on tablets by students as part of traditional face-to-face classroom instruction with teachers. Second, the analysis examines the transition to remote learning where the course was used on devices owned by the household, supported by teachers remotely. Third, the report estimates the effectiveness of the use of the digital course during this period of remote learning from August–November 2020 showing positive results for language and art competencies.


Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems.

Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical.

 To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures around the world, affecting almost 1.6 billion students. The effects of even short disruptions in a child’s schooling on their learning and well-being have been shown to be acute and long lasting. The capacities of education systems to respond to the crisis by delivering remote learning and support to children and families have been diverse yet uneven.

This report reviews the emerging evidence on remote learning throughout the global school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable, and resilient education systems for current and future crises.

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