Around the world, students in low-income communities have to learn with less: fewer books, out-of-date texts, and materials that are culturally irrelevant or even in the wrong language. Technology can bypass the geographic and financial boundaries that can block educational resources from reaching students, while also making those resources more engaging, interactive, and effective.
One of our first grantees in this area is the Foundation for Learning Equality, which is building free open-source software to bring online materials—including books, video tutorials, quizzes—to the 4.3 billion people who lack consistent access to the internet. Their new platform, Kolibri, runs on numerous devices, from repurposed desktop computers to low-cost, off-the-shelf file storage drives, and helps educators access, organize, and customize digital content, even in the most remote locations. So far they’ve brought 7,000 videos and 26,000 interactive exercises offline for students in about 160 countries.
Our funding, along with Google volunteers providing technical support, will help Learning Equality build a bigger content library and scale their reach to hundreds of thousands of new students. This summer, Google engineers and product experts are volunteering to spend four weeks working side-by-side with Learning Equality’s product team in areas such as UX/UI, content integration, and video compression technology.