Cell-Ed | FAQs
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How does a learner use Cell-Ed?

A learner 1) calls or texts a Cell-Ed number 2) listens to a teacher’s voice lesson with corresponding text and 3) texts back responses, receives additional help or continues with the next lesson. Internet access is not required.

What happens if a learner gets stuck?

Through our dashboard, we can see when a learner is struggling with a lesson. We can then direct a response to that learner, either with a text message or phone call, to help them.

What evidence do you have that Cell-Ed works?

In our pilot, learners leaped two years – in about four months – when they completed our adult literacy course. They also showed high adherence (75%) to the course, a startling jump from classroom settings
(20- 50%).

Why does it work?

Cell-Ed is highly accessible and convenient because it starts with what is already in our learners’ pockets: a basic cell phone. This gives the learner the power to direct the learning, whether it’s the time of day or the pace (e.g., how long they want to spend on a lesson). Learners can return to lessons again and again. Studies show that practice and repetition are critical to lasting literacy.

Why has the traditional classroom approach not worked?

Many classroom programs have been ineffective because the demands of adulthood – work, child rearing and commuting – make it difficult for even the most motivated learner to attend and complete the classes. The nature of these classes can also hinder educational attainment: They are often held infrequently or sporadically, if at all.

Why not use computers instead of phones?

Learners are much more likely to own a basic cell phone than a computer. And if they had to commute to a classroom or center to use a computer, they would face the same transportation and time obstacles that so often stymie classroom-based learning.

Why is Cell-Ed built for use on any type of mobile phone?

We consider Cell-Ed universally accessible and available on any phone – simple to smart. One-third of the population still uses feature phones – a fact Cell-Ed does not forget.

Why does literacy for youth and adults matter?

A lack of literacy and basic education isolates and impoverishes adults and families. To complete a job application, read a prescription bottle, understand a bus schedule or help children with their homework requires basic literacy skills. Adults with limited literacy earn 58-70% less than their better-educated peers, and among those with the lowest levels of education, 43% live in poverty. And research shows it is a mother’s reading skill in her native language that is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, even outweighing other factors such as neighborhood and family income.

What courses do you offer?

We currently offer courses on Spanish literacy and English as a Second Language (ESL), as well as basic health and financial literacy and vocational training. We can also customize content. So whatever your educational need, we can work with you to make customized content available through Cell-Ed.

Where does your curriculum come from?

We use existing, high-quality curriculum as our starting point. But we do not simply translate it to the phone. Instead we craft the curriculum to offer a learning experience with the phone at its heart. This ensures our learners are getting the very best “teachers.”

Who are your partners?

We primarily partner with governments, adult education providers, organizations, and large employers. These partners share our goal to boost knowledge and skills for those adults who lack literacy and basic education. We also access learners through partners such as literacy providers, health clinics, unions, community-based organizations, NGOs and an array of other organizations.

Does Cell-Ed cost the learner anything?

If the learner has an unlimited talk and text cell plan then there is no cost to use Cell-Ed, except for the cost of a course. If the learner doesn’t have this type of plan then the only cost is from the cell phone provider for talking and texting with Cell-Ed.

How much do your partners pay?

For our partners, Cell-Ed is a fraction of the cost of current classroom-based options. We enable governments, adult education providers and employers to reach significantly more learners for significantly less money.

How can I get started with Cell-Ed?

If you’re a government agency, adult education provider, employer or other organization, please contact us today!.

Where are you operating?

We are currently operating where some of the largest populations of non-English speakers reside, such as California, New York and Texas. We plan to pilot Cell-Ed internationally in 2016.

Is Cell-Ed a charity or a for-profit company?

We are a social enterprise. That means we operate like a business, using the power of the marketplace to advance our goals of increasing literacy and basic education. We reinvest any of our surpluses back into Cell-Ed.

 How can I find out more?

For further information please contact us today.