Cell-Ed | About
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Cell-Ed provides low literate and low skilled adults worldwide with the essential training they need to better their lives. Through our mobile-first, learner-centered platform, we enable companies, adult educators, governments and organizations to train, teach and engage their frontline workers and learners more effectively, improving outcomes and increasing impact. We are a social enterprise based in Palo Alto, California.

Our story

Back in 2011, as educators and technologists, we asked, “Can we teach adults to read by text on just a flip phone?”


Lucia, a nanny and housekeeper in Los Angeles not literate in her first language, was our starting point. She couldn’t attend a literacy class because of her 15-hour workday, every day.


So we designed and built Cell-Ed to teach her Spanish on a flip phone by voice and text – without internet, anywhere, anytime. We personalized the content to her goals and priorities. We added a live coach who she could talk and text with 24/7.

Lucia learned more quickly and more comprehensively than in a traditional class. Excited and inspired, we next asked her, “What else do you need to learn?” “English,” she said. We created our program English on the Go!


Today, we’ve grown our content to job skills and our delivery to any mobile device, because that’s what our learners asked for. ‘Learner-centered’ is not a buzzword for us. It’s how we decide what to design and build, and how to operate. It’s what sets us apart. And it’s why our learners – and partners – succeed.

Teach literacy by text message. Really. – The World Bank blog about Cell-Ed

Literacy delivered: Cell-Ed educates anywhere with Twilio – Our partner, TWILIO, shares our story