Joining more than 3,600 registrants from 125 countries gathered for the annual Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conference in San Francisco on April 15-19, ACR GCD shared presentations on our innovative solutions for gaming for literacy, digital books in underserved languages, and scaling edtech for literacy.
Centered on the theme, “Education for Sustainability,” ACR GCD gave three presentations. The first presentation, highlighting gaming educational technology on the edge, ACR GCD program officer Shelly Malecki highlighted “Youth-led solutions to improve community literacy: Research from the Evoke Literacy Pilot Program.” Research found the Evoke Literacy project created agency in youth to solve child literacy challenges in their communities.
ACR GCD’s second panel, “Scaling edtech for literacy: Perspectives from researchers, funders, and implementers,” led by ACR GCD project director, Deborah Backus, included our viewpoint as the funder, as well as perspective from our research partner, School-to School International, and monitoring and evaluation firm of our grantee, Little Thinking Minds (LTM), on how LTM scaled their Qysas (Stories): Arabic leveled digital library project across Jordan in partnership with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF (Read LTM’s project evaluation). Presenters offered perspectives on scalability, measurement, and pathways to scale based on lessons learned from 12 project evaluations funded by ACR GCD since 2014.
Finally, ACR GCD’s communications lead, Michelle Oetman, presented on ACR GCD’s achievements in “Sourcing Innovative Solutions that Drive the Creation and Usage of Early Grade Reading Materials for All Children.” Solutions sourced through our past prize competitions were highlighted including Bloom, an easy book-writing software to create books in any language; the “100 Adventures in Science & Life” English & Arabic storybook templates created by Asafeer Education Technologies, winner of our No Lost Generation Tech Summit prize, which are available in the Global Digital Library for translations and on the Asafeer app in the App Store and Google Play. Additionally, our innovative solutions to increase the number of accessible books published as well as access to local sign language resources were also shared.
We enjoyed meeting many of you from our ACR GCD community at our presentations or our booth, where we shared our recently-published research on Technology-Based Innovations to Improve Early Grade Reading and Outcomes in Developing Countries, Supporting Technology-Based Innovations to Improve Early Grade Reading for Students Who Have Low Vision or are Blind, Engaging Families and Communities to Support Student Reading Skills Development, the summary of the technical and impact evaluations of our two EduApp4Syria gaming apps, as well as our Guide to Developing Digital Games for Early Grade Literacy For Developing Countries. We also welcome the 100+ attendees who signed up to join the ACR GCD community at the event.