This story is from the 2016 Access 25: How Mobility is Reshaping the Globe. Explore more from this issue

High-Tech Teaching Tools

In the developing world, smart innovations are rewriting the textbook for access to schooling.

Kids want to learn. But in many parts of the world, the challenge of simply getting to school can all but crush that desire.

Now, in parts of Africa, digital entities are bringing the school to the kids. One example is Mxit, a South African social media network that’s employing its 10 million-user platform to reach schoolchildren. Mxit connects users with Nokia’s MoMath, a mobile phone-based math teaching tool that can be used in or out of school environments. Mxit has also teamed with UNICEF and the South African Department of Basic Education to create a virtual school called Ukufunda, which gives children access to learning aids and content, counselor support, and even online debate clubs. And since many South Africans don’t have smartphones, Mxit makes Ukufunda available via the 2G (non-smartphone) network.

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