22 Oct Some Key Takeaways From The mEducation Alliance Symposium
I had the privilege of attending the 2021 mEducation Alliance Symposium, which featured 145+ presenters representing 38 countries with the goal of accelerating literacy and numeracy in low-resourced contexts. You can see the impressive line-up from this year’s event here.
A key takeaway for me was the focus was on foundational literacy and numeracy as a starting point for a child’s and adult’s education with all other learning built upon that. The more integrated and comprehensive the approach, building on each foundational skill, the more effective. This is the approach we use here at Cell-Ed when supporting immigrants and others with essential life, health, and work skills. If you’re curious and would like to learn more about integrated approaches in action, you can read about it on our blog.
mEducation Alliance shared that even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an estimated 617 million children and adolescents around the world were unable to reach minimum proficiency levels in reading and math – even though two thirds of them were in school. Other data shows that adult literacy is too low with 1 in 3 adults in the United States lacking the literacy, digital, and health skills needed to thrive. The ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 crisis only worsened this situation, particularly for young women and low resourced communities.
Technology solutions such as Cell-Ed’s have helped mitigate aspects of this educational crisis, particularly as we look at post-Covid-19 recovery efforts.
Some additional key take-aways from the event were:
- Numeracy needs are becoming more prominent and required to succeed in jobs and life.
- Covid responses are here to stay. While we all hope to be back in person again, Covid was the spark for a number of organizations that were considering a move to hybrid learning or fully remote with EdTech support.
- Accessibility was often discussed and existing and new EdTech solutions must consider the needs of those with different abilities when building out their work.
- David Barth, the VP of SaveTheChildren.org noted that the ‘Covid, Climate and Conflict’ will be factors in their work for the foreseeable future. I think this will be true for many organizations.
A realization I had during this event is that Covid has permanently changed how we learn. While Cell-Ed has been thinking about learning via mobile for over 10 years, the Covid pandemic pushed many organizations to quickly figure out various remote or mobile learning options. This was clear at the symposium and matches Cell-Ed’s experience over the last 18 months, of helping organizations integrate mobile into their existing work. We’ve only seen the beginning of the changes from the pandemic – it will be interesting to see where we are a year from now, at the next mEducation Alliance Symposium.
Lots of urgent, important and interesting discussions make the mEducation Alliance Symposium a ‘must-attend’ event. Our mission at Cell-Ed — to provide the life, work, and health skills needed for individuals to thrive — aligns with what the mEducation Alliance Symposium identified as most critical. Together we can continue to make an impact.