Reflections from the 9th Annual mEducation Alliance Symposium

10 October 2019

The mEducation Alliance Symposium in Washington, D.C. always provides opportunity to learn from others and to examine how our iMlango programme is working in the wider context of digital innovation in learning.

Reflecting on the opening comments at this year’s symposium, which included contributions from USAID and the African Union Commission, as well as some of the interesting and varied approaches showcased at the forum, it is true that ‘Digital’ really is everywhere, with countless partnerships and innovations being applied across the education spectrum, solving challenges as diverse as attendance monitoring; teacher capacity development; inspiring learners to learn, and; overcoming barriers to inclusion and access. As the USAID keynote speaker Julie Cram said today, innovation makes the impossible possible, and the unsolvable solvable.

Low cost mobile-enabled technologies are improving education outcomes in the developing world and reaching the most marginalised children. Technology is enabling teachers to become facilitators of digital learning, and digital skills are increasingly recognised as being as important as reading, writing, and mathematics.

Photo credit: mEducation Alliance

Much of what we are trying to achieve in iMlango resonates with these exciting developments, and particularly that digital technology can be used to help deliver an agile mindset. Our work with teachers and through them with the children in our iMlango communities encourages new ways of learning, and provides access to wonderful learning resources like reading books and digital encyclopaedia to help enquiring minds. We encourage in-school gender-balanced engagement by young learners through working together to participate in our regular iMlango Junior Debaters competition, creating a forum for reasoned argument and clear thinking. We will keep working to try to create that agile mindset in all the students and teachers that we support.

Adam Smith, Chief Executive, sQuid

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