Richard E. Buten PhD | President, Chair Education Committee | ShoulderToShoulder
Improving Honduran Schools via digital curriculum and classroom management system
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Many rural Honduran students do not have textbooks. Teachers have few resources. Drop-out rates are very high. We believe that improved presentation by teachers using rich multimedia material, plus interactive exercises can improve education outcomes and retain more students in school for longer. This can give them improved job opportunities.
How does your innovation work in practice?
Our approach is to implement Kolibri an educational ecosystem created by Learning Equality (https://learningequality.org/). Using Kolibri we can bring world-class lessons like Khan Academy to rural students without access to the internet. Additionally, we also deliver official Honduran textbooks under Creative Commons license under an agreement signed by the Minister of Education. Schools implement Kolibri using a combination of equipment we provide plus local contributions. Students access rich lessons and can reinforce learning via interactive exercises.
Students like it, Teachers like it and parents see enough value to help pay for it.
We've been doing this for five years. Under an agreement with the Honduran Ministry of Education, we obtained access to their database of student achievement tests. We can see a five-point improvement in math scores for schools using Kolibri versus equivalent schools without. We are expanding our analytics to more schools and more subjects.
How has it been spreading?
For the last four years, we have piloted a Beta version of Kolibri that runs stand alone on tablets to support the Honduran Math Olympics. We saw good results in that our department was overrepresented in the national competition. Last year with the Covid shutdown, we deployed standalone tablets to 100 regular students and got promising results. On the strength of these, we obtained a grant to further expand to another 250 students. We have been awarded three additional grants for expansions of almost 4500 additional students. We are working with outside academic statistical experts to conduct a random controlled trial and additional observational statistics to measure the effectiveness of Kolibri in improving student performance in math and communications.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Shoulder to Shoulder maintains a general website (shouldertoshoulder.org). Also for education, we also operate an additional site that captures this project in more detail (CREE.HN). This contains blogs and resource material and is updated every couple of weeks. Kolibri can be downloaded here: https://learningequality.org/download/. Kolibri and all the content is completely free.