Title of Innovation: Learnable
Organisation Implementing Innovation
Country/Countries of Implementation
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria
Short description of innovation
Teaching assistant that allows teachers to compose and distribute lessons via a dedicated mobile app and WhatsApp
Need which Innovation Targets
Educators have been inundated with the burden of adapting to ICT and transforming their teaching styles into digital delivery formats. There is also a large gap that needs to be bridged in the digital divide in terms of access, inclusion & digital readiness for African teachers excluded from rigid Western LMS platforms. Our innovation thus solves for aiding the teacher instead of replacing the teacher.
It empowers teachers with tech tools that are not complicated or rigid but enables them to embed their teaching pedagogy and customise it for their learners’ needs, with easy access to knowledge bases that aggregate global content sources.
How the Innovation functions
Learnable is a teaching assistant that uses AI & Design Thinking to lessen the edtech learning curve that teachers have to endure in the 4IR. It also opens up multiple distribution channels for teachers to send learning content to students.
Unlike most ed-tech platforms, we started with the teacher in mind. By empowering the educator, we empower them to impart quality knowledge targeted at their students in ways that are catered, more affordable & engaging.
The teacher creates content on Learnable either via the AI bot or manually. They can also do this by engaging our AI bot via WhatsApp. This way the teacher can organise tailor-made lessons by following a few prompts and steps. The platform
can optionally compile learning material based on the teacher’s input. The content can be in the form of literature, audio, quizzes, assessments or even 3D/Augmented Reality (AR).
Students can download the app and login to experience the content in its fullest form or they can opt to preserve data and request the same learning material via WhatsApp. The AI converts literature into PDFs, AR/3D into a video and more. All content can be requested from the platform via WhatsApp.
Research has shown that most learners in Africa have access to a WhatsApp capable device at least once during their academic week. Whether it’s their parent’s, neighbour/family/friend. By utilising the paramount reach that WhatsApp has amassed over traditional Computers or tablets in Africa, we bridge the inclusion gap even more. An Africa where children have the option to use their
academic time for learning, instead of the lengthy rural commute to school.
The business model that will make this solution sustainable is a subscription based business model that is propelled by a freemium business model. Since our solution runs in the cloud, most of our costs per user are in the form of server resources, data storage and bandwidth that provides access to that stored data.
We have free basic usage of the application with a limited amount of space. In order for the educator to increase their available space they can subscribe to one of the packages that will not only increase their resources but it will also unlock other additional features. One of these features is being able to compose a lesson via WhatsApp, as well as being able receive that lesson, as a learner, via
This is engineered using strict design thinking principles, and understanding the African reality in terms of mobile-first, access to data and ease of uptake. The app is also designed such that it can be white-labelled and repurposed for bespoke needs of certain schools.
By securing quality content from premium education providers, as well as the government curriculum aligned content. This will unlock the value for scale as teachers will find the platform as an aid to their annual teaching plan requirements.
Furthermore, we are aggressively approaching our customers at a school or district level, who are able to white label the product for bespoke needs.
Also, the content is agile and can adapt to teachers creating relevant content for the different markets, learning styles and languages across the continent.
Lastly, the back-end data collection will provide insights on education in Africa.
Based on the Success of our previous project, ICT Essentials for teachers in Zimbabwe, which was done one behalf of UNESCO: the impact was as follows.
It provided ICT Essential education to over 5 000 teachers via a simple to use mobile application.
These teachers were able to impact, collectively, approx. 1,000,000 learners who were able to benefit from the essential skills their educator had learnt from our platform. Based on the success of that initiative, we gathered that one of the best ways to educate and bridge the inclusion gap with teachers, is to educate them via a channel that they are familiar with, a mobile application.
As such, we anticipate that the innovation will reach over 50 000 teachers and tutors; over 5 years across the African continent and beyond, due to its ease of use and broad knowledge aggregation base. Each teacher reaches about 50-60 learners which could be 5 000 000 learners lives reached and impacted.
Furthermore, in the next phase of development we will be working on using AI and machine learning to create a Community of Practice where teachers from across the world can collaborate and learn from each other.
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