Skip Navigation

How Kolibri is Disrupting the EdTech Sector

(Photo courtesy of HAF Uganda)

Offline-Squared’ is a 2022 Solve solution that builds on tech-enabled, project-based educational approaches made possible with Kolibri, an open source, offline-first edtech platform that is revamping the education sector by making learning more open, equitable, and accessible. Developed by the nonprofit Learning Equality, Kolibri is especially designed for educators and learners living in areas with limited internet connectivity. Kolibri offers a plethora of quality educational resources such as videos, books, interactive simulations, games, and quizzes, among other content that can be aligned to a country’s local curriculum. Educators can also upload their own resources for use completely offline.

“Learning Equality’s Co-founder started as an intern at Khan Academy where he saw brilliant resources online that people with no access to the Internet couldn't access. He made our first-generation platform, KA Lite, which essentially brought the Khan Academy experience offline,” shares Navya Akkinepally, Head of Training and Impact at Learning Equality. Akkinepally joined the Learning Equality team in the beginning stages of piloting Kolibri in its early development. 

The need for quality digital learning platforms that operate completely offline is critical. Today, 37% of the world’s population does not have internet access, that’s 2.9 billion people. The digital divide has widened even more with the pandemic, and Kolibri is helping to bridge that gap by providing personalized and differentiated learning free of cost, anytime, anywhere. Through the platform, educators are able to create lessons and quizzes, assign them along with exercises to individuals or groups and see, in real-time, how each learner is progressing, through a coach dashboard. All without requiring the Internet. 

“I worked as a teacher in a low-income government school in India. The lack of resources and overcrowded classrooms made it really hard to know the learning needs of each student, many of which were already three or four grade levels behind. There was very limited support to differentiate and personalize education,” says Akkinepally.

Learning Equality recognizes that for education technology to be effective, educators must feel empowered and comfortable using it. In order to prevent any barriers of access and adoption, and to support teachers using the platform so there is effective learning at scale, both a ‘do-it-yourself’ adoption model, as well as a training of trainer model are supported by an EdTech Toolkit of pedagogical guidance materials. The impact of Kolibri has been seen globally, such as in improving academic competency, digital literacy, and teacher and learner confidence in Mexico, increasing student retention in Ethiopia, and enabling social and emotional learning in Greece.

(A learner reads off of a tablet in Cameroon | Photo courtesy of SIL Cameroon)

In addition to providing access to resources, Learning Equality also strives to make tech more inclusive and accessible, a key differentiator between the original KA Lite platform and Kolibri today. Kolibri is currently used in over 220 countries and territories, available in 31 languages, and offers over 159,000 learning materials in over 173 languages in its library. They’re also developing the Kolibri Android App to allow learners to work more independently, and more readily access relevant materials that meet their needs.

Learning Equality is currently partnering with another 2022 Solver team, Lakou Kajou Eksploratoryòm, to pilot the use of Kolibri as a platform for technology-enhanced learning in Haitian classrooms. Kolibri will enable Lakou Kajou to pilot its culturally relevant, high-impact science education program in schools with limited Internet connectivity. The pilot will begin during this upcoming school year.

Learning Equality works hard to ensure the wisdom and voices of local communities are a part of the development and deployment of Kolibri so that it can truly meet their unique needs. Akkinepally shares that the team is also striving to make sure that the organization continuously reflects on their values and the actions they are taking to be in the pursuit of being anti-racist and anti-oppressive, a critical need in order to cultivate meaningful relationships with the organizations that they collaborate with.   

If someone were to ask Akkinepally what differentiates Kolibri from other offline-first learning platforms beyond just providing access to digital resources, she will share that it is a platform that supports meeting the needs of learners and educators through its differentiation and personalized learning tools. “In the post-pandemic world, there has been a big focus on evaluating learning levels and outcomes to re-engage learners and bridging the learning gap, but we want partners to recognize the need for bringing joy and motivation for learning through social-emotional learning, and playful learning experiences.” 

If you’re interested in supporting entrepreneurs who are re-engaging learners and supporting educators worldwide, request your invitation to Solve at MIT this May for the opportunity to learn more about solutions like Kolibri. 

Related Challenge


Related Articles

to Top