12:30 - 13:00
Hyper-local Learning: How Technology Helps Communities to become Literate?

Short thesis

For the past 24 months, We have been working with kids in a very remote part of Ethiopia. How they learn tells us what should be the future of learning and how to minimize the digital divide by enabling children and their parents to read using tablets.

Can children learn to read on their own using only tablets? How about the communities surrounding them?


In Ethiopia, the net school enrollment in primary education more than tripled in the last 17 years. In 1996 it was 25% enrollment, in 2013 became 86%.

But enrollment alone doesn’t always show a success. Despite the fact that the boys and girls have attended the school for two or three years, many of them are illiterate and more than 50% of boys and girls in most regions of Ethiopia are not able to answer a single simple comprehension question.

Their ability to read is one of the single most important skills for children to develop, if they are to thrive as individuals and global citizens. Literacy opens the mind of a child to a potential lifetime of learning, personal growth, and critical and creative thinking. The development of such forms of thought in a society fuels discovery, productivity, and innovation, which, in turn, drive economic growth and social development.