September 2018

 A lazy summer? Not really!

Like many of you, 60 million girls’ wonderful team of volunteers takes a well-deserved holiday during July and August. However, our work doesn’t stop completely, especially as our 2017-2018 evaluation project of the Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) in Sierra Leone recently came to a close.

In Kabala in northern Sierra Leone, our partner, CAUSE Canada, was hard at work in June and July gathering data from the 750 students who participated in the evaluation project. These students came from five different communities and had access to the MLL on a self-directed basis for two hours per week between November 2017 to July 2018.

CAUSE staff coordinated the math, literacy and non-cognitive tests administered to all the students. This data will form the basis of our analysis of the MLL’s impact on these students versus students in two control communities without MLLs. The monumental task of gathering all this information included assembling the students, distributing and correcting the tests, and then inscribing the results to assigned ID numbers (to ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the participants). We also gathered socio-demographic data, coordinator reports and attendance records for every student.

A huge shout-out from all of us to CAUSE’s amazing team in Sierra Leone, along with Calgary-based Casey Kennedy, for their professionalism, their painstaking work, their enthusiasm and their initiative in meeting all the challenges.

And now our R&D team has the task of combing through all the quantitative and qualitative data to determine the impact of the MLL – and guide future projects using this innovative tool.

There was much anecdotal evidence from the field showing the MLL’s positive impact, as seen in these photos.


These are the children who lined up outside the MLL in the hopes that some students wouldn’t show up and they could take their place.


Teachers commented on the enthusiasm and initiative in the classroom of those students who had access to the MLL.


Strong peer support developed among the MLL participants that went beyond their time there – helping each other and strengthening bonds in their community activities.

We have our work cut out for us over the next month. Our objective is to have an initial analysis completed in time for our annual conference.

Wanda Bedard
President, 60 million girls

Our annual conference

SAVE THE DATE: Monday, November 12th

From promise to reality: self-directed digital learning – the Mobile Learning Lab around the world

Our keynote speaker, Taylor Thompson, leads partnerships at Curious Learning to develop new products and reach new users. Created as a research project at Tufts and MIT, Curious Learning is a non-profit that builds free mobile software to help kids learn to read. They have shown, through testing in Ethiopia and other countries, that children can teach themselves to read from mobile apps.

In fact, Curious Learning is building a set of open source learning apps that provide a path to literacy in more than 50 languages. We are impressed – and we hope you will be too.

Learning apps, such as Feed the Monster, are not just video games; they are powerful learning tools. During the conference, we will show you how quality content has been developed for educational digital programs available on the RACHEL-Plus server, an integral part of the MLL.

The MLL is a low-cost, highly flexible and customizable tool now in use in Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda, the DRC and, next year, will move into Guatemala and Liberia. During the conference, we will share how our partners are using the MLL in a variety of different ways.

We hope you will join us to learn more about the long-term impact self-directed digital learning can have for the children who need it most.

Take the time now to purchase your ticket and see for yourself just how much impact your investment has in these 60 million girls’ projects.

We look forward to seeing you on November 12th!

Royal West Academy makes a difference

Royal West Academy has a long tradition of awareness and action on social justice issues. Its Social Justice Club is a perfect example of this tradition. The club consists of determined students who wish to effect positive change in the world. Each week, the members select and discuss a social injustice and what can be done to remedy the problem. One week of the year is dedicated to daily seminars where an injustice is presented and guest speakers are invited to discuss the issue. In addition to these initiatives, the club fundraises throughout the year for local charitable organizations. This past school year, it chose three charities: the Mackay Centre, the NDG Food Depot and 60 million girls.

The club’s endeavours amassed an astounding $3,500 for the Foundation! We are tremendously grateful for the students’ hard work. Thank you!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *