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PAKISTAN

EDTECH LANDSCAPE
Using Technology as a Force Multiplier to address the Education Emergency

The Pakistan Edtech Landscape Report has been completed in collaboration with

Ilm Ideas is a four-year, DFID funded programme that awards grants


nationwide for increasing access to quality education in Pakistan for
children in Classes 1 through 10.

TECHNOMICS INTERNATIONAL is a boutique strategy and policy


research, management consulting, and knowledge outsourcing firm
designed to help individuals, businesses, and governments make sense
of and excel in the tremendous changes taking place at the intersection
of technology, economics and society.

Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF) is an apolitical and non-partisan


private-sector driven non-profit charged with developing and executing
an analytically rigorous, evidence-based, and deeply passionate agenda
to promote science, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Pakistani
society.

The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily
reflect the views and policies of Ilm Ideas or the donors who have funded this study.
Copyright 2015 Ilm Ideas

PAKISTAN EDTECH LANDSCAPE


Using Technology as a Force Multiplier to address the Educational Emergency

Authors: Athar Osama, Zia Imran, and Walia Jamshan


With support from Nida Athar, Areej Mehdi, Zohra Fatima,
Sarah Khan, Ahmed Azfaar, Moiz Khan, and Aban Haq

Design and Layout by: Hifza Sajjad and Rimsha Ali Shah

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
1. Introduction

1.1 The Challenge of Learning

1.2 Edtech and ICT4E Defined

1.3

11

Specific Drivers of Edtech in Pakistan

2. Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

13

2.1 e-Learning

15

2.2 m-Learning

19

2.3 Technology for Teachers and Teacher Education

22

2.4 Learning Management Systems

26

2.5 Gamified Education

28

2.6 Local Content

32

3. Pakistans Edtech Landscape

34

3.1 Historical Evolution of Edtech in Pakistan

35

3.2 Pakistans Edtech Eco-System

37

3.3 Pakistans Edtech Landscape

39

3.4 Sectoral Edtech Profiles of Pakistan

47

4. Conclusions and Recommendations

53

4.1 Conclusions: Gaps in Pakistans existing Edtech Eco-System

54

4.2 Policy Recommendations

56

5. Appendices

59

A: Edtech Initiatives - International

60

B: Edtech Initiatives - Pakistan

66

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


3G/4G
AET
AIOU
AKU IED
BBC
BYOD
CADD
CLE
CMS
COW
DCO
DFID
DIL
DSD
EDO
Edtech
ELE
EPM
ESR
ETV
GIZ
HEC
i2i
iOS
ICT
ICT4E
ITE
K@PI

Third Generation / Fourth Generation (Networks)


Africa Educational Trust
Allama Iqbal Open University
The Aga Khan University Institute of Educational Development
British Broadcasting Corporation
Bring Your Own Device
Federal Department of Capital Administration & Development
Collaborative Learning Environment
Course Management System
Computer on Wheels
District Coordination Officer
Department for International Development (UK Government)
Developments in Literacy
Department of Staff Development (Government of Punjab)
Executive District Officer
Educational Technology
Early Learning Environment
Educational Planning and Management
Educational Sector Reforms
Educational Television
Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale(German International Development Agency)
Higher Education Commission
Invest to Innovate
Apples Operating System
Information and Communications Technology
Information and Communications Technology for Education
Innovative Technologies in Education
Kids at Play Initiative

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

KG
K12
KPK
LACAS
LMS
LUMS
MDEC
MDGs
MELT
MIT
MOIT
MOOC
MSC
NAPPA
NEP
NESTA
NUST
NVCA
OER
OLPC
OS
P@SHA
PEARL
PIF
PITB
PSI
PTA
SMILE
SSIS
T2T
TCF
TPI
TRC
TSS
TSS
UNDP
UNICEF
UNESCO
USAID
USD
VLE
VU

Kindergarten
Kindergarten through Grade 12
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Province)
Lahore College of Arts and Sciences
Learning Management System
Lahore University of Management Sciences
Multimedia Development Corporation
Millennium Development Goals
Millennial Enhanced Learning and Teaching
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ministry of Information Technology (Government of Pakistan)
Massively Open Online Courses
Multimedia Super Corridor
National Parenting Publications Association
National Education Policy
National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts
National University of Sciences and Technology
National Venture Capital Association
Open Educational Resources
One Laptop Per Child
Operating System
Pakistan Software Houses Association of IT and ITES Companies
Project on Radio Education for Adult Learners
Pakistan Innovation Foundation
Punjab Information Technology Board
Preparatory School Islamabad
Pakistan Telecommunications Authority
Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based m-Learning Environment
Smart Schools Integration Solution
Text2Teach
The Citizens Foundation
Technology for People Initiative
Teachers Resource Center
Telekom Smart School
The Smart School
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Childrens Fund
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation
US Agency for International Development
US Dollar
Virtual Learning Environment
Virtual University

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY

The Pakistan Edtech Landscape report was funded by Ilm Ideas through its Education Innovation Fund in
2014. Carried out over the course of several months, the Pakistan Edtech Landscape study is not only a
standalone reference to better understanding the emerging Edtech eco-system in Pakistan. It was also a
preparatory activity for a national education innovation challenge The Ilm Apps Challenge aimed at
encouraging professionals, entrepreneurs, and innovators as well as educationists, developers, designers,
content creators, non-profits and social-sector activists to create Edtech platforms and content to address
Pakistans educational emergency through solutions that address quality, access and governance of K-12
education in Pakistan.
Although the Ilm Apps Challenge was open to all innovative ideas seeking to address the educational emergency, those especially interested in exploring ideas that require use of technology in early grade learning;
Math, Science, Civics, English and Urdu; children with special learning needs; tracking student and teacher
attendance; assessing learning outcomes; teacher training and support; and critical thinking, cognitive, and
holistic learning skills were given priority.
The underlying purpose of the IlmAppsChallenge was twofold:
First, it sought to bring to the education space the developer and designer community, including mobile
apps and game designers, that traditionally do not engage with education, in general, and Pakistans
education space, in particular. By providing follow-on funding as an incentive, the IlmAppsChallenge sought
to lower the barriers to entry for some of these players to encourage new entrants into the market.
Second, it provided an opportunity to create the evidence-base that is necessary to scale educational
technology ventures. The follow-on (Phase 2) funding for the IlmAppsChallenge promised successful entries
and teams with funding to fully develop and pilot test their proposed solutions in real-life settings within
schools.
The IlmApps Challenge ran from April 2014 to September 2014. More than 175 entries and ideas were
received and these were short-listed to 50+ entries that participated in the three Hackathons across the
country in June 2014. Then, the twenty winners of the Hackathons participated in a 1.5 month long product
development bootcamp where they received mentoring and training on specific problem areas. Eight teams
were declared finalists of the IlmAppsChallenge and were requested to submit a proposal to Ilm Ideas for
funding. Finally, three were deemed successful. These teams received funding to fully develop and pilot their
ideas during the first half of 2015 and, in doing so, demonstrate how their proposed interventions can make a
positive and concrete impact on learning in Pakistan.

Preface

This Edtech report has been a work in process through the course of the IlmApps Challenge. Besides its
immediate use as a guide for the IlmAppsChallenge process, we also believe this report will serve as an
important document for other policy and implementation actors within the education space as well as
professionals and entrepreneurs within the development and design community as they plan to embrace
educational technology as one of the potential solutions to Pakistans educational emergency.
Research for the report was conducted through two months of fieldwork, interviewing key stakeholders and
actors, both face-to-face and on the telephone. These stakeholders were identified through a nation-wide
solicitation of expressions of interest and capability through prominent English newpapers, desk research,
and word-of-mouth snowball sampling. Even though impact data is hard to come by an attempt was made,
usually through an interview or a demonstration, to understand and assess the claims being made by edtech
developers or implementation entities. To this effect, the report does not take any responsibilty or make
representation as to the veracity of individual claims.
This report is organized in five sections. After briefly introducing the terminology and basic motivations for
the use of educational technology, it then focuses on describing the edtech landscape into several sub-categories (such as e-learning, m-learning, content, etc.) and delves into the current state of play and challenges
of educational technologies globally. It presents a high-level historical overview of the use of educational
technologies in Pakistan detailing key stakeholder categories and identifying more prominent actors within
those categories and the key technical and marketing challenges within each.
Some conclusions and recommendations follow. Finally, a number of prominent case studies global and
Pakistan-specific are presented.
Briefly, the landscape report makes several recommendations including
Recommendation 1: Create programmes and opportunities that encourage rapid prototyping and
experimentation with new platforms and content;
Recommendation 2: Focus on investing in low-cost scalabe solutions customized to the state of Pakistans
education sector;
Recommendation 3: Generate evidence of impact and rapidly learn through implementation
within variety of deployment contexts;
Recommendation 4: Document, disseminate, and adopt best practices and lessons learnt from
implemented programs;
Recommendation 5: Create master trainer programmes for Edtech and IT integration in the curriculum;
Recommendation 6: Take a proactive approach to creating culturally aware, socially economical,
appropriate and cutting edge educational content;
Recommendation 7: (For the State to) Take a strategic view towards making proactive policies and
strategies for enhancing use of ICT in education.
In short, with the supply of content rapidly increasing and hardware costs declining, the educational
technology in Pakistan does have the potential to become a serious force multiplier for the education
sector in Pakistan, provided the key sectors - most notably government, come together to resolve the
various challenges outlined in this report.
Evidence of impact and experience on ground is required for the potential of this incredible opportunity to
be realized. We also believe there is dire need to encourage experimentation to fullfill the requirement of
creativity within the sector to enable rapid learning and the emergence of the dominant design (or designs)
that works best within the Pakistani context. Once such a model emerges, it could then be deployed, at scale,
to address the educational emergency in Pakistan. While the international donor community and entrepreneurship platforms may play a role in the experimentation phase, scale would require a mix of private initiative and public support.

INTRODUCTION
The Challenge of Learning
Edtech and ICT4E Defined
Specific Drivers of Edtech in Pakistan

Asking whether technology can improve education is asking whether experiments can improve
science education.
- UNESCO, 2012

Introduction

1 INTRODUCTION

The extent to which technology in general, and ICT


and new media in particular, can enrich and
enhance the learning process or experience is one
of the primary motivations of Edtech or Information
and Communications Technology for Education(ICT4E) interventions. Learning is also
increasingly a moving target, in that what

was considered normal years ago, is not considered


enough anymore. The nature of life and work is
changing with increasing speed and this redefines
what is considered skill in society and what
expectations people including parents, children,
employers, and the society at large have from the
school and the classroom.

1.1 The Challenge of Learning


The challenge of learning can be addressed at
multiple levels. At the most fundamental level, for
instance, the challenge is to provide adequate
instruction in all schools so that all children
between the ages of 5-16 can receive a basic
education, which has been acknowledged by the
Constitution as their fundamental right. Yet while
many children are deprived of this right altogether,
a large number of those who do go to school fail to
get quality education. The returns to poor quality
education remain unclear. Is there something more
tragic, says Professor Faisal Bari of Lahore University
of Management Sciences (LUMS), than a child
sitting in classes for 10 years and parents sending
their children to schools for 10 years and at the end
of 10 years, children are illiterate or barely literate? 1
Ensuring that quality education is imparted to
everyone who seeks it so that (s)he may gain the
knowledge and the capacity to benefit from this
investment whether in the form of gainful
employment or the ability to think critically and be a
useful citizen of the society thus becomes another
objective. Providing basic education to all children
goes beyond just pushing through various grades
over several years. Instead, it requires ensuring that
a certain quality of learning is maintained and these
ultimately materialise into public returns to society
and private returns to the individuals concerned.
This is the first and foremost challenge of learning.

At a somewhat higher level, the challenge of learning is to accommodate the transformation of life, in
general, and the workplace, in particular. There is
widespread recognition now that the expectations
for what it means to be a literate and participating
member of society have also changed and education must respond accordingly.2

c
H
A
L
L

E
N
G

A R N

I
N
G

1
2

Bari. F. (2013). Presentation at Ilm Ideas Evidence Incubator


Kala, Bannayan et al., (2012), ICT in Primary Education: Analytical Survey - Volume 1: Exploring the Origins, Settings, and
Initiatives. Moscow, UNESCO

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

1.2 Edtech and ICT4E Defined


Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
is an all-encompassing term that includes the full
gamut of electronic tools by means of which we
gather, record, and store information, and by means
of which we exchange and distribute information to
others.3 ICT for Education (ICT4E) or Edtech is the
application of technology and ICT to support the
practice of teaching and learning either directly or
indirectly. Although ICT4E is, by definition, a special
case (sub-set) of Edtech, we use the two terms
interchangeably in this report.
Edtech or ICT4E is not a new phenomenon. It has
been in existence since the advent of television and
the radio but has undergone shifts as the available
technology has evolved. Definitions of educational
technology (Edtech), or the use of technology for
educational purposes, are contested, and have
changed frequently over the last 40 years.4 Figure 1.
1 presents the evolution of the main Edtech models
over time. Edtech or ICT4E in its various forms and
manifestations such as m-learning, smart classrooms, real-time or asynchronous web-based
instruction, one-laptop-per-child

(OLPC), and massive online open courses (MOOC),


etc. represent a fundamental shift in the medium
of educational delivery. In older days the use of
television and radios provided a pervasive, but
somewhat limiting learning experience. As
computers became ubiquitous, ICT4E entered the
era of computer labs and smart schools, which
offered a lot of promise for individualized
education. But it seemed to deliver little. Then came
tablets and mobile phones single devices that
suddenly made individualized student-centric
learning possible. In addition, internet and satellite
enabled learning and MOOCs that have made way
for massively large classes.
Beyond the use of information and communications
technologies (computers and mobile phones) to
merely influence how education is delivered, it may
also represent quite a fundamental transformation
in what is being taught in the classrooms. Today, for
the first time, there is enough technology and
computer power available to realize the dream of
student-centric learning.

Figure 1.1: The Evolution of Dominant Edtech Models over Time


3

Anderson, J. (2010), ICT Transforming Education: A Regional Guide. Bangkok, UNESCO.

4 HEART, (2014), Educational Technology Topic Guide, Health and Education Advice and Resource Team, Department

for International Development (DfiD), United Kingdom.

Introduction

ICT has the potential to be the transforming agent


in bringing about a shift towards a new learning
paradigm for the education needs of the 21st
century.5
Nevertheless, a number of questions regarding the
6
appropriate use of ICT in education
emerge:
Which opportunities are provided by ICT for
teaching and learning in primary schools in literacy,
numeracy, science, and 21st century competencies?
What are the limitations of ICT and associated
concerns in primary schools?
What are the roles of teachers in ICT-enhanced
teaching and learning in primary schools?
What are necessary and sufficient conditions to
support the ICT-enhanced teaching and learning
practices in primary schools?
There have been a number of pilots around the
world including some large-scale national
programmes for introducing ICT within school
systems. Owing to the various sizes, timeframes, and
nature of interventions, it is often hard to assess
which of these strategies have borne fruit.
Part of the challenge is that technologies are
proliferating with such speed that is hard to even
define a proper taxonomy of all kinds of ICT4E

interventions not to speak of actually measuring


the impact of every type of intervention. For
instance, educational interventions can be focused
on learning (such as test scores) or non-learning
(such as attendance) outcomes. Within learning, one
could focus on in-school and out-of-school interventions. In-school interventions may focus on
core-curriculum or non-curricular. Similarly,
out-of-school interventions could be assisted or
un-assisted (by human interventions). Of each of
these, and more, can be done through a range of
technology options from radio/TV all the way to
inexpensive microprocessors such as
Auduino and Raspberry Pi and expensive robotics
kits such as Mindstorms and NXT. The options and
possibilities multiply rapidly and continue to grow.
Figure 1.2 presents an attempt at developing such a
taxonomy and illustrates the complexity that makes
this a seemingly intractable problem.
Historically, programmes that incorporate Edtech
have focused on the distribution of hardware and
programme evaluations have measured the number
of devices in the hands of teachers or students. This
approach is very limited since it does not measure
the impact on quality or the teaching itself. More
7
recently,
there has been some focus on measuring
the impact on teaching styles and outcomes. There
is some evidence that Edtech used by teachers
contributes to changes in classroom practice or
improves learning outcomes.8

Figure 1.2: A Working Taxonomy of ICT4E Interventions


5

Anderson, J. (2010), ICT Transforming Education: A Regional Guide. Bangkok, UNESCO.

6 Kala, Bannayan et al., (2012), ICT in Primary Education: Analytical Survey - Volume 1: Exploring the Origins,

Settings, and Initiatives. Moscow, UNESCO.

7
HEART, 2014
8

Ibid.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

There is much less evidence of the impact of


student use of technology on learning outcomes.
A comprehensive survey of literature and evidence
commissioned by Department for International
Development (DfiD), for instance, talks about the
dearth of evidence on learning outcomes for
classroom use of technology noting that most of
what we know is related to interative radio instruction (IRI). Where IRI has been assessed, students in
IRI classes outperform students in control groups
with an average effect size of 0.5 standard
deviations. It further notes that the deployment of
one laptop per child programmes continue despite
lack of evidence of large-scale impact on learning
practices or outcomes.
Similarly, it notes that analysis conducted in Jordan,

Oman, Palestine and Qatar of evidence of improvement in learning outcomes associated with use of
computers was weak and mixed and could be
attributed to variations in socio-economic status.
Similarly, a randomized control trial of computer
assisted learning programme in India revealed that
while it could lead to positive learning gains
(0.4-0.69 standard deviations) amongst the weakest
of the students when used as a replacement to
in-school learning for out-of-school children, it
actually was found to be detrimental to learning
9
when used within the school.
Regardless, there is often a clear intention by a wide
range of governments to establish ICT as a critical
part of their programme to improve and update
primary education.10

1.3 Specific Drivers of e-learning in Pakistan


In Pakistan, there are likely to be two key drivers for
e-learning. The first driver, primarily applicable to
rural areas and low-cost schools in urban areas, is
access.
In Pakistan estimates suggest that between 6.5
million to nine million children of primary
school-going age (5-10) are out of school11,12
. Pakistan ranks second highest (after Nigeria) in the
world in the number of children out of school and
fares poorly in terms of literacy with comparable
countries.
Pakistans demographic and economic trends
coupled with lukewarm political will make it
increasingly unlikely that the country will be able to
build and maintain enough schools in the near
future to educate 100% of its rapidly growing young
population. While the private sector has jumped in
to compensate for the public sectors failure, it too is
grossly inadequate to meet current and future
challenges. E-learning could play an imoprtant role
in helping the state in private sector in meeting
national education targets and provincial

Education Sector Plans. E-learning could provide


several distinct advantages here:
First, e-learning could allow rapid training of new
teachers, strengthen in-service training, and
support the work of existing teachers by lessening
their administrative burden and being a valuable
learning aid. This could help enhance the capacity
of existing school systems to take in more children
and train them better.
Second, by making learning more fun and
meaningful, e-learning could also make it more
likely that children (girls and boys) will stay in
school. Review of secondary data suggests that in a
significant minority of cases (not always), the
reasons for leaving school come from the children
themselves rather than their parents and this may
be largely attributed to a low quality and boring
learning experience.13 14

9 Ibid.
10 Kala, Bannayan et al., (2012)

11 8.9 million children are out of school at the primary level according to PSLM survey. Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards

Measurement Survey 2012-13, Statistics Div. GoP, June 2014


Alif Ailaan statistics. www.alifailaan.pk
13 Khan, A. M. and M. S. Mirza, (2011), "Implementation of Decentralization in Education in Pakistan: Framework,
Status and the Way forward." Journal of Research and Reflections in Education 5(2): 146-169.
14 CREB, (2012), Determinants of School Choice: Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan, PERI / OSI.
12

Third, e-learning could significantly enhance the


pool of children within the education system by a)
encouraging young girls who may have opted out
of the system due to security (or other cultural
concerns) and b) bringing learning to millions of
out-of-school children through mobile vans, and
the like.
The second driver, perhaps applicable to medium
and high-end urban schools in the short-to-medium
term, is quality of the learning experience.
The demands of the education consumer of the
twenty-first century the child are far more
sophisticated than in the past. Todays children are
citizens of the digital age and both consume and
demand technology (mostly ICT) at home and
increasingly at school. School systems that are
unable to meet these demands are likely to lose out
to those that do.
Four powerful forces are converging to lead us
towards new ways of learning for life in the
twenty-first century: 15
Knowledge work knowledge work as against
clerical and factory work, requires higher levels of
communications and thinking skills. Increasing
demand for knowledge workers and innovators will
require curriculum to be refined to enable learners
to carry out their roles,
Thinking tools new technology, devices and
services that comprise a knowledge workers
equipment, include new tools to aid thinking,
Digital lifestyles different ways of
delivering, watching, hearing, entertaining,
communicating or solving everyday problems. Thus,
new ways to make learning interactive, personalized, collaborative, creative, and innovative are
needed to engage a new generation children to be
actively learning in schools,
Learning research a better understanding of
how people learn will put demands will put
demands on the educational establishment to do
better with learning in the classrooms.
15

Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel, (2009), 21st Century Skills, Jossey-Bass

These four forces are simultaneously creating the


need for new forms of learning and also supplying
the tools, environments, and learning practices.
Somewhat related to these developments but also
somewhat distinct, is the notion of learner-centric
education versus teacher-centric education.
Increasingly, there is demand for students to
become active players in learning activities rather
than be merely passive recievers of information.
The model of student - rather than teacher-centric
education has been a challenge to implement so far
primarily because the tradional model of the
classroom learning was geared towards producing
factory workers rather than thinkers, exceptions
notwithstanding, and the teacher - with his or her
limitations - simply did not have ability to teach
students any differently. Modern educational
technologies may now be able to provide the right
tools and equipment to flip the classroom (and the
current education system) on its head!
These drivers then must make a compelling case for
understading how tecnology can be brought to the
service of Pakistans Educational Emergency.

Edtech Around the Globe:


Types and Examples of Practice
e-Learning
m-Learning
Technology for Teachers and Teacher Education
Learning Management Systems
Gamified Education
Local Content

Our schools need to be places that set our kids hearts on fire that they can
figure out what they are passionate about, where we can give them opportunities to pursue it, and that we can give them a place to make a difference
now. One of the things Ive learnt over and over from doing this kind of thing
with my students is that our students will often exceed our expectations of
them if we only give them the opportunity.

Shelley Wright, Teacher, Educator, Blogger, in The Power of Student Driven


Learning

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Edtech Around the Globe: Types and


Examples of Practice
This section describes the state of play and examples of successful and innovative deployments and
initiatives from around the globe. This is done by
dividing the Edtech landscape into various sub-categories to fully capture the most important types of
technology platforms (mobile vs. web vs. computer-based vs. radio/TV-based), who uses it (student
vs. teacher), type of activity for which it is being
used (learning management vs. content development), and type of intervention (traditional learning
vs. gamification). This is, at best, an informal classification created for convenience sake rather than an
exhaustive and rigorous one.

Learning Management Systems (as against the


learning itself covered in a, b, and c)

Gamified Education (as against traditional


learning covered in a, b, and c)

Content Creation (as against content management


covered in d, or content delivery in a, b, c, and d)

Although we draw lines between categories in a


somewhat ad-hoc manner, the classification is
meant to create clear distinctions and boundaries
between various categories. For instance, we
consolidate all types of student-focused and technology-enabled traditional learning (except mobile
learning) into one single category called e-learning.
But we allow for mobile learning (or m-Learning) as
a separate category because of the different nature
and novelty of the platform. We also allow gamification on mobile or web or computer as a separate
category because of the very different type of
intervention as compared to traditional learning.
With that, this chapter divides the Edtech Landscape into six broad classes of interventions,
namely:
a

Student-focused learning using all plat-forms except mobile devices (e-learning)

Student-focused learning using mobile


devices (m-learning)

Teacher-focused technology and technolo-gy in teacher education (technology for


teachers and teacher education)

Figure 2.1: Classification of Edtech Interventions

Put together, these six broad categories describe a


vast quantum of what happens within the Edtech
domain. Taken separately, they allow for a
discussion on the unique features, circumstances,
and drivers affecting the deployment of
educational technology within each category.
Each of these sub-categories is described in some
detail below.

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

2.1

e-Learning
Broadly defined, the e-learning category here
includes all forms of student-focused learning
interventions (except those using mobile devices)
which in its simplest form, could be anything from
old-fashioned TV or radio to a computer or the
internet. In modern times, new terminologies have
emerged to focus on both platform and
pedagogical differences to include web-based
learning,19 online learning, blended learning,
networked learning, distributed learning, or flexible
learning.
E-learning may not necessarily substitute
classroom-based learning and can be self-paced, or
20
instructor-led. It may either alter the structure,
nature, and presentation of information (i.e. be
expository) or the nature of dialogue and
conversation (i.e. be tutorial) in the classroom. It
may also impact learning in several ways such as
21
enabling individual tutoring or freeing up teachers
time often spent in one-way delivery to pay
more emphasis on creating insights and inculcating
critical thinking.22

2.1.1 The Demand for e-Learning


Although a market for e-learning, broadly defined,
has been around for decades through radio and
television programming, virtual universities, and
computers in schools, it has had limited growth.
The e-learning phenomenon has gained considerable recognition as people have begun to embrace
new technology and the internet as a medium for
delivering academic content. More importantly,
learners, content developers, training providers, and
delivery organizations such as schools and colleges
now appreciate the need for options to enhance
learning and interactivity in the educational
process.
19

Textbox 2.1: Types of E-learning


Radio and television have been around for
decades and are considered one-way communication where learners are generally not expected to
respond, thus making it difficult to assess impact.
Recently, interactive radio and television is seeing
something of a revival;
Audio Visual (AV) aids such as tapes and CDs
provide permanent storage for large amounts of
information, lesson can be played, stopped,
stopped and replayed to allow for classroom discussion;
Smart boards and interactive whiteboards use
touch detection for user input enabling students to
participate fully in hands-on learning in the classroom;
Computer labs and smart schools are designed
to provide learners with campus wide access to
academic resources in an ICT enabled learning
environment;
Individualised computers and tablets that are
internet enabled and mobile computers that allow
individual users to fully use technology to access
curriculum and content;
Internet and satellite-enabled internet provides
an environment where students access and study
course materials online and through wireless
(satellite enabled) technology.
The worldwide e-learning market is expected to
grow significantly over the next years. The annual
worldwide growth rate over the period 2012-2016 is
estimated to be around 7.9% with revenues
reaching $51.5 billion by 2016.

Pulist, S. K., (2013), E learning in Commonwealth Asia http://cemca.org.in/ckfinder/userfiles/files/eLCA2013_Report_lowres.pdf


Qureshi, I. A et al., (2012), Challenges of implementing e-learning in a Pakistani university, Knowledge Management & E-Learning:
An International Journal, Vol.4, No.3. 310 http://kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/online-publication/article/viewFile/174/145
21
Benjamin, P., (2001). The Gaseleka Telecentre, Northern Province, South Africa
22 Luckin et al., (2012). Decoding Learning: The Proof, Promise and Potential of Digital Education, National Endowment of Science,
Technology and the Arts, NESTA, London, United Kingdom.
20

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

The Asian e-Learning market is estimated to grow at


17.3%, which is the highest compound annual
growth rate of any global region, followed by Eastern
Europe at 16.9%, Africa at 15.2%, and Latin America
23
at 14.6%.
The oldest e-learning platform was perhaps the radio
or the television which is still widely used in many
places. Examples include Project on Radio Education
for Adult Learners (PEARL) in 16 selected districts of
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan;
Chahura Television Programme for Learning the
Alphabet in India; and the Adult Functional Literacy
Programme, an Education Television (ETV) project by
Pakistan Television Corporation. Over the years,
e-learning platforms and tools have undergone
several phases of evolution and development across
a range of dimensions from computer labs to smart
schools, from one-laptop-per-child to tablet
programmes, and from radio and TV-based delivery
to internet and satellite-based education.
An interesting case is the Malaysian Smart Schools
Project (described in detail in Appendix A). What is
most striking about this particular programme is the
care taken to create content alongside the platform
and methodology of the Malaysian Smart Schools
Project. Content development is often critical to
success of e-learning programmes and this is
covered separately. In addition to the Malaysian
Smart Schools, there are a number of other notable
examples of e-learning initiatives, including, but not
limited to:
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is an offshoot of MIT
Media Lab that seeks to give a cheap ($100) laptop
to every child in the developing world to learn,
share, create, and collaborate. 24 So far, 2 million+
laptops have been distributed in Latin America with
25
smaller deployments in Africa and Middle East,
albeit with mixed results. 26
Chauraha Television Programme for Learning
the Alphabet is one of the Indias recent attempts at
using ICT to promote basic literacy.

The intervention centers around a television


programme that uses puppets and drama narrative
to teach Hindi script to learners.27, 28
Learning to Read via Radio in Somalia aimed at
improving reading, writing, and numeracy skills ran
through a partnership between BBC Media Action,
the Africa Educational Trust (AET) and the BBC
Somali Service. Fifty episodes of 30-minute each
broadcasted weekly were supplemented by classes
run by volunteer teachers. These reached at least
250,000 Somalis and graduated 30,000 youths and
adults with no other access to formal education. 29
The Jamaica 2000 Project was launched in 1992 as
a partnership between the Government, the private
sector and the secondary school community to
improve the quality of secondary education, especially in English and Mathematics through setting
up of computer labs. Over 8 years, the Jamaica 2000
Project trained 400 secondary teachers to teach
computer science, 200 teachers to use ICT in the
delivery of instruction, 90 teachers as specialists in
computer science, and 12 teacher trainers. 30
According to a Commonwealth study, internet
usage in Pakistan stands at 16.8 per 100
inhabitants.31Furthermore, around 43% of the
people use internet on a daily basis to build up
social connections whereas almost 53% people
access internet to acquire global knowledge. 32
While the usage is pervasive in large cities such
as Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad,
etc., it is far more limited in the rest of the
country where the challenges to traditional
learning are also most acute. 33
The key drivers and challenges of e-Learning are
laid out in Table 2.1.

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

Table 2.1: Key Drivers and Challenges of e-Learning


Key Drivers

Challenges

Reduced cost: E-learning reduces the overall cost of


education delivery, particularly replication and travel
costs.

Teacher training: Limited pedagogical training on


class-room integration of ICT produce sub-optimal
results.35

Flexibility: Students can access material flexibly from


home or classroom over a range of different media.

Quality of Educational Content: Developing local


content and curriculum is enormously expensive.36

Self paced: Learners can learn independently at their


pace.
Interactive: Rich media content encourages
interactivity and engagement making learning fun.

Inadequate technology infrastructure: E learning


places additional requirements of hardware, software,
training, and maintenance that are beyond those
required in conventional educational settings like
pakistan.37

Immediate feedback: Instant feedback creates the


right incentives to improve.

Connectivity and Power: Internet connectivityand


power remains a challenge in developing countries.

Information retention: E-learning can increase


34
information retention by 60%.

Cost of Equipment: Though cheaper solutions are


becoming available, high cost of computing and smart
41
equipment has hindered deployment and adoption.

38, 39

40

Trackable: Trackability and analytics help identify risk


learners who can get personalized attention.

Docebo, (2014), E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014 2016, available at: http://www.docebo.com/landing/contactform/
elearning-market-trends-and-forecast-2014-2016-docebo-report.pdf.
24 One Laptop per Child, (2014) http://www.olpc.asia/en/vision/our-mission.html
25 One Laptop per Child, (2014) http://one.laptop.org/about/countries
26 HEART, (2015)
27 UNESCO, (2006), Using ICT to Develop Literacy, Paris, France
28 Dighe. A, Use of ICTs in Literacy and Lifelong Learning http://www.unesco.org/education/aladin/paldin/pdf/course01/unit_14.pdf
29 BBC.com, (2014), available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/where_we_work/africa/somalia/literacy.html (accessed: August 2014)
30 UNESCO, (2004), Adapting Technology for School Improvement, a Global Perspective, Paris, France
Docebo, (2014), E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014 2016, available at: http://www.docebo.com/landing/contactform/
elearning-market-trends-and-forecast-2014-2016-docebo-report.pdf.
31 Pulist, S. K., (2013), E learning in Commonwealth Asia, available at:http://cemca.org.in/ckfinder/userfiles/files/eLCA2013_Report_l
owres.pdf
32 Javed, M. A., Pasha, S. A., Khan, R. A. G., & Khan, M. A., (2012). E-learning; Development, Advantages and disadvantages in the capital
of Pakistan, European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences
33 Shaikh, Z. A & Khoja, S. A., (2011) Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology; Jan2011, Vol. 10 Issue 1, available at:
http://www.academia.edu/2525729/Role_of_ICT_in_shaping_the_future_of_Pakistani_higher_education_system
34 Pappas, C., (2014), Top-10 e-Learning Statistics for 2014 You Need to Know on eLearningIndustry.com available at:
http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-e-learning-statistics-for-2014-you-need-to-know
35 Case Study Pakistan Intel Teach Program, available at: http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/44/15/441553_441553.pdf
36 UNESCO, (2012), ICT in Primary Education, Paris, France
37 Commonwealth of leaning (2006), E-Learning- A Guidebook of Principles, Procedures and Practices
38 Pakistan, (2012), Country Report on ICT in Education. Islamabad: NEMIS-AEPAM Ministry of Education
39 UNESCO, (2014), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) In Education in Asia:A comparative analysis of ICT integration
and e-readiness in schools across Asia, Paris, France, available at:http://www.uis.unesco.org/Communication/
Documents/ICT-asia-en.pdf
40 Watters, A., (2012), The Failure of One Laptop Per Child, available at: http://www.hackeducation.com/2012/04/09/the-failure-of-olpc/
41 Cox, M., Preston, C & Cox, K., (1999), What Factors Support or Prevent Teachers from Using ICT in their Classrooms? available at:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00001304.htm
23

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Appendix A describes the Stanford Mobile


Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE)
which aims to help students in developing
critical
thinking, creativity, and reading and writing
skills through interactive learning.
Although impact data on outcomes is hard to
come by, SMILE claims to have encouraged
teamwork and access to a mobile phone and
a SIM card and a significant percentage owns
more than one of both. Even though disparities still exist (for example a woman living in
urban areas is 23% more likely to own a
mobile phone than one living in rural areas)
the mobile phone is critical thinking among
students by asking them to work in groups as
they create multimedia multiple-choice
questions.

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

2.2 Mobile Learning (m-Learning)


Mobile learning entails the use of mobile technology to facilitate learning. Nowadays, mobile technology includes a diverse set of devices including
mobile phones, smart phones, netbooks, and
tablets to support teaching and learning anywhere
and at anytime. Mobile learning can extend educational experiences beyond classrooms and enable
informal learning which can be more personalized
and relevant. The most promising aspect of the
mobile platform is its ubiquity not just of the
device but also the learning process as mobile
devices enable learning at any time and at any place
regardless of any physical constraints. 42
Accordingly to an estimate by GSMA the
Association of Mobile Operators Worldwide there

are over six billion mobile phones and over 3.2


billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide and the
number is expected to grow further by 700 million
subscribers by 2017 and reach above four billion in
2018. Mobile connections are expected to grow at
43
7.6% per annum between 2012 and 2017. Research
suggests that four out of five people own and use a
mobile phone in the developed countries, though
this ratio is much lower for the developing world.
However, ownership and subscriber base shall
continue to experience phenomenal growth in the
foreseeable future. It is estimated that by 2017
approximately half of the people living in the
developing world will have at least one active
mobile phone subscription.44

2.2.1 The Demand for Mobile Learning


The mobile phone has far surpassed radio and
television as an ubiquitous technology, making it a
very attractive platform for learning. The numbers
are even better in Pakistan where 9 in 10 households, including the poor and those belonging to
rural areas, find mobiles still much more accessible
and affordable than anything that came earlier. 45
Growing use of internet, the advent of 3G/4G
licensing and mobile broadband,46 and the dramatic
reduction in the price of the smart phones,
netbooks, and tablets further enhance the attractiveness of mobile learning as a one-to-one learning
platform of the future. A number of initiatives have
leveraged mobile technologies as a medium to
disseminate content thus providing educational
opportunities to learners around the world. A recent
series of reports by UNESCO identify trends and
models of mobile learning across a range of regions
that demonstrate a diverse set of good practices in
mobile learning around the world for both students
and teachers. Textbox 2.2 provides common types

42

of m-Learning while Table 2.2 provides a synopsis of


the opportunities and challenges of m-Learning.
Appendix A describes the Stanford Mobile
Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE) which
aims to help students in developing critical
thinking, creativity, and reading and writing skills
through interactive learning. Although impact data is
hard to come by, SMILE claims to have encouraged
teamwork and access to a mobile phone and a SIM
card and a significant percentage owns more than one
47
of both. Even though disparities still exist (for example
a woman living in urban areas is 23% more likely to
own a mobile phone than one living in rural areas) the
mobile phone is critical thinking among students by
asking them to work in groups as they create multimedia multiple-choice questions.
In addition to SMILE, which is discussed in detail in the
appendices, several examples of mobile learning have
been documented around the world. These include:

UNESCO, (2012)
GSMA, (2013), The Mobile Economy 2013, London, United Kingdom, available at: http://www.gsmamobileeconomy.com
/GSMA%20Mobile%20Economy%202013.pdf
44
GSMA, (2012), quoted in UNESCO (2013) p 7, available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002196/219641e.pdf
45
Gallup Pakistan, (2013), Use of Mobile Money in Pakistan: Findings from FITS Study, Islamabad, Pakistan, available at:
http://gallup.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mobile-Money-Cyberletter.pdf. FITS Study is also reported
at: www.intermedia.org/wp.../FITS_Pakistan_FullReport_final_REV1.pdf
43

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Textbox 2.2: Types of Mobile Learning (m-Learning)


There are a number of examples of m-learning models around the word. These include:
Mobile Phones provide basic learning capabilities through Short Message Services (or text messaging)
or more high tech uses such as sound, images, and video.
Smart Phones allow learners to learn more interactively using computer-like capabilities such as
graphics (video, etc.) but also applications, emailing, internet access, as well as office functions.
Netbooks and Tablets allow users to experience full graphics functionality on a portable, easy to use
device that possess the same processing power as a laptop computer but at a lower cost. These are
sometimes suited to remote areas with intermittent power availability but access to wireless internet.
Mobile Projectors and Holograms are relatively new technologies that allow a projector on a mobile
phone to project high-resolution image, video, or a hologram on a screen thus enabling its use as a
one-to-many device operated by the teacher rather than a student.

Nokia Life is an SMS-based information service that


has successfully brought educational opportunities
to over 90 million people in India, China, Indonesia
and Nigeria. Users can choose the information they
receive on their mobile phone from a wide range of
content channels, with topics that include agriculture, health, and education. Content is available in
eighteen languages and is customized to the needs
of people living in different communities. Usability
and affordability (less than $1 per month) have
48
added to the success of the initiative.

47

Edumvil is a long-term research programme at the


Technological University of Mixteca in Mexico that
began in 2003. The programme aims at improving
teaching and learning at the primary-school level
through the use of mobile technologies. So far
Edumvil has developed mobile learning applications for Spanish, Mathematics, History and Natural
Sciences. Edumvil facilitates collaborative learning
by fostering interaction among students and
promotes students engagement and motivation
through the designed application range from video
games and simulations to collaboration platforms. 49

ITU, (2012b), Statistics available at: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/publications/mis2012/MIS2012_without


_Annex_4.pdf
46
GSMA, (2013), Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity, London, United Kingdom, available at: http://www.gsma.com/mobilefor
development/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/GSMA_Women_and_Mobile-A_Global_Opportunity.pdf
48
UNESCO, (2013), Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning, Paris, France
49
UNESCO, (2012), Mobile Learning for Teachers in Latin America, Paris, France

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

Table 2.2: Key Drivers and Challenges of Mobile Learning


Key Drivers

Challenges

Ubiquity of Technology: The high penetration of


mobile devices (over 6 billion devices and 3.2 billion
users) makes it a platform of choice to access hard to
reach populations.

Teacher training: Teachers have limited opportunities


to learn how to incorporate ICT into their classroom
learning as very little or no emphasis is placed in
mobile learning programmes for the intermediary
teacher. 53

Reduction in Costs: Smartphone prices are rapidly


declining with newer, more capable, and cheaper
devices now in the market making them affordable to
ordinary consumers.50Cost of high speed internet is
also declining.

Perception: Mobile devices are normally perceived as


portals of entertainment instead of education and
there is a negative perception among parents towards
childrens ownership of mobile phones. 54

Many implementation models: Mobile learning


allows for many implementation models ranging from
one-to-one (i.e. every student owns one) to
one-to-many (i.e. teacher projects on a screen) and
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).51
Anytime Anywhere: Mobile learning enables anytime
anywhere learning which provides flexibility to
classroom learners but also enables access to
out-of-school-populations. 52

50

Quality of Educational Content: The quality of


material available and usable on the mobile device
(particularly an ordinary mobile) is limited.
Access and Costs: Internet i.e. mobile broadband
connectivity remains a challenge in developing
countries and the costs of access and devices are still
high.55

UNESCO, (2012), Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning: Global Themes, Paris, France
UNESCO, (2013), Future of Mobile Learning: Implications for Policymakers and Planners, Paris, France
52
Ibid.
53
UNESCO, (2012), Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning, Mobile Learning for Teachers, Paris, France
54
UNESCO, (2012), Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning: Global Themes, Paris, France
55
UNESCO, (2013), Technology, broadband and education, Paris, France
51

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

2.3

Technology for Teachers and Teacher Education


A 2012 UNESCO report summarized the challenge
of teacher education with the following prognosis:
To achieve UN Millennium Development Goal of
providing primary education by 2015, the world
would require around 8.2 million new teachers of
which 6.1 million would merely replace those who
will change their professions within the next three
years. The developing countries, the report says,

face huge deficits of qualified teachers not only in


terms of quantity but also in terms of quality meaning that they are unqualified or unprepared to meet
the educational demands of the twenty-first
56
century.

2.3.1 The Demand for Technology for


Teachers and Teacher Education
The purpose of teacher training is to develop
teachers educational skills and produce
professional teachers who have the right theoretical
knowledge, competence, and practical skills that are
compatible with the increasing demands of
education today. It is also important that teachers
are able to assimilate the training they receive and
adapt according to the needs of the person(s) and

the situation as an effective teaching strategy may


vary depending upon students age group, personality, learning ability, and social background.57 There
are several possible roles technology can play for
teacher education and teacher training.
Textbox 2.3 provides an overview of potential uses
of technology in the hands of teachers and teacher
educators.

Textbox 2.3: Use of Technology for Teachers and Teacher Education


Teacher training Training for pre-service and in-service teachers can be delivered through technology
by relying on a remote master trainer who delivers lectures and monitors progress.
Professional development portals and communities Technology can support professional
development portals, discussion groups and forums, and communities of practice where best practices,
lesson plans, videos, educational resources, and advice can be shared.
In-Class delivery ICT4E can support classroom instruction with educational content and lesson plans as
well as access to high quality and livelier content that enables students to engage with the material in a
deeper, more intuitive, and insightful way.
In-Class facilitation Technology can serve the teacher as a classroom aid by reducing the administrative
and logistical burden on her (e.g. in distributing content, marking papers, reporting results, etc.) thus
freeing up time that the teacher can spend engaging more meaningfully with the content.

56

UNESCO, (2012), Mobile Learning for Teachers, p.6, Paris, France

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

A lot more goes into the development of a quality


teacher than is captured in indicators such as
teacher qualifications, years of experience, or
58
student test score. Other quantifiable factors like
teachers professional development, knowledge of
the subject, and their ability to communicate that
knowledge are as important as are non-quantifiable and unobservable factors such as helpfulness,
passion, and the ability to inspire students with
59
transformational influence.

Training quality teachers remains a challenge across


most developing countries where both the quality
and delivery of training imparted require considerable attention. Simply put, there are not enough
teacher training academies in the developing world
to meet the demands of several million educators
that will enter the market in coming years.

57 Gustafsson, J, (2003), What do we know about the effects of school resources on educational results, In Swedish Economic Policy

Review, V.10, Pp.22


Hedges, I. and Greenwald, M. (1996). The Social Heritage. The Impact of Family, Ability, and School Resources: Available at
http://www.grad-responsive.dk/Eurovision/kep6-socio-heritage.html
59
Andrea Karpati, (undated), Teacher Training and Professional Development, C,hapter8, Greenbook the Renewal of Public
Education: Available at http://www.econ.core.hu/file/download/greenbook/Chapter8.pdf

58

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Technology can be used to train new teachers, build


the capacities of working teachers, and support the
work of educators both in and outside of classrooms. Teachers must also be properly trained to
take advantage of the technology in the classroom.
Without dedicated interventions, teachers will often
use technology to do old things in new ways, rather

than substantively and sustainably changing their


60
pedagogical approaches. While previously teachers
had very limited access to information and communications technology (ICT) in schools, with ever
evolving technology and its declining costs, the
situation is changing and teachers particularly
younger cohorts are much more open to the use
of technology.

Table 2.3: Key Drivers and Challenges of Technology for Teachers and Teacher Education
Key Drivers
Demand far outstripping supply: The demand for
teachers particularly in the developing world is far
outstripping supply, forcing teacher trainers to look at
technology.
Ubiquity of Technology: The use of computers,
tablets, and mobile phones is making ICT4E a more
viable and acceptable concept today.
Reduction in Costs: Technology is becoming cheaper
and more affordable and hence more available in the
classrooms and computer labs.
Content and Learning Management Systems: There
is a plethora these days of content and learning
management systems that are far more capable than
in the past. Also there is a proliferation of decent
quality content videos, in particular on the internet
to pick and choose from.

Often, it was (wrongly) assumed that ICT4E is about


rolling out technology into the classroom and
planners paid little emphasis towards teacher
education. There were attempts, in some instances,
to replace the teacher altogether. Today, there has
been a realization that teachers remain central to
the process and teacher training on or through
technology is central to the success of the venture.
Bridge IT in the Philippines is a well-known teacher
support technology initiative that has gained some

60

UNESCO, (2012), Mobile Learning for Teachers, Paris, France. p.13

Challenges
Lack of proper methodology: Most teacher training
programmes suffer from a lack of proper methodology
for teaching through technology or helping teachers
integrate technology in the classrooms. Sometimes
delivery of the ICT Syllabi is itself a challenge due to
lack of qualified teachers, infrastructure, or technology.
Lack of quality teacher training institutions: There is
a dearth of good quality teacher training institutions in
the developing world where technology can be
deployed.
Quality of Educational Content: There is a need for
proper quality assurance and credentialing of educational content on the web so teachers can easily
incorporate it in lessons.
Not enough relevant content: While the quantum of
content available on the web is growing fast, there is
still very little content available that perfectly fits the
national curriculum and is localized.

traction.61The project has had considerable impact


on education. It helped students achieve learning
gains in English and Science, improved teachers ICT
using skills, and reduced absenteeism and dropout
rates. The M&E team at T2T also concluded that T2T
increases students attentiveness. Children are more
interested in watching interesting videos that
enable a longer retention of the concepts.62

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

There have been a number of fairly effective teacher


education initiatives that have made use of a range
of technologies not only in the training of teachers
but also teachers use of technology in the classrooms. For instance:
Puentes Educativos (Educational Bridges) is a
BridgeIT project in Chile that seeks to improve
learning by offering digitized education resources
for Science, Mathematics and English for students of
Grades 5 and 6 in public and underprivileged
schools. It creates a participatory learning environment in the classroom and improves teaching
practices by supplementing classroom resources

61

through digital technology. Puentes Educativos has


been implemented across over 200 schools and
reached more than 20,000 primary students
between 2010 and 2012.63
An SMS for Language Learning in Hong Kong
allows English language teachers to send SMS
messages to students to refresh and revise what is
taught in the classrooms. A built-in measurement
and evaluation system monitors progress.64

UNESO, (2012), Implications for Policy Makers and Planners, Paris, France
Ayala Foundation,(2011)
63 UNESCO, (2012), Turning on Mobile Learning in Latin America, Paris, France
64
UNESCO, (2012), Mobile Learning for Teachers in Asia, Paris, France
62

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

2.4 Learning Management Systems


Simply speaking, a learning management system
(LMS) is an application that provides a
comprehensive set of tools for educators to manage
learning resources, administrative functions,
68
assessments, and grading. In modern days, LMS
usually refer to systems that manage online learning
services that may include additional features such
as access control, provision of learning content,
communication
tools, and administration of user
69
groups. LMS can come in many shapes and forms
ranging from very formal to highly informal.

an LMS including learners, instructors, administra70


tors and even content developers and aggregators.
Over the course of their development, these
systems have been called Course Management
Systems (CMS), Virtual Learning Environments (VLE),
Collaborative Learning Environments (CLE), and
various other names. However, the basic
functionality of providing convenient functions and
innovative course management approaches to
manage users role, course information, online
communication, grading, and delivery of content
71
remains the same.

At any given time a host of users may interact with

2.4.1 The Demand for Learning


Management Systems
Digital technologies continue to influence the way we 72 the type of media involved has increased, the need
find, create, share, and negotiate information and ideas. for an organizing framework has become critical. Table
As the complexity of the learning enviroment and
2.4 lays out types of learning management systems.
Textbox 2.4: Types of Learning Management Systems
Proprietary / Commercial Solutions Most of the large vendors of Learning Management Systems (such
as Blackboard and Canvas, etc.) fall into this category. These systems are commercially supported and
hence have a skilled development team and an experienced support services staff prepared to help clients
implement, roll out, and use their products. They have partnerships and high level of integration with
other relevant tools and systems.
Free and Open Source Solutions Moodle and Google Apps are both open source products. While these
are both functional products that solve a problem, neither provides a dedicated support team to assist
when issues arise, nor a product development team focused specifically on educational product improvement. Moodle has a dedicated user community usually early adopters who are themselves teachers
who can help solve problems voluntarily but the high level of support of commercial systems is missing
and application can get a bit messy at times.
Alternative Systems Sometimes systems not typically designed to be LMS can be configured or used
for the purpose. For example, a mesh of various web-based tools organized around a content management system (such as Wordpress) or an in-house intranet application (such as Sharepoint) configured to
meet the requirements could serve as an alternate learning management system.
68

Educause, (2010), Things you should know about LMS Alternatives, available at: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7062.pdf
Paulson, M. (2002)
70
Sharma,A. & Vatta, S. (2013), Role of Learning Management Systems in Education
71
Steven, (2009)
72
Guild Research, (2009), Evolution of the LMS From Management to Learning, available at:
http://www.blackboard.com/resources/proed/guild-lmsreport.pdf
69

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

In fact, LMS have been a part of the Edtech eco-system for more than 15 years to the extent that, in the
eyes of some, both have become almost
73
synonymous. A 2009 report by Guild Research puts
74
the global LMS market at $750 million. In 2013, this
market was expected to be at $2 billion with further
75
growth potential to about $7 billion by 2018.
Moodle is leading the way as one of the most
popular LMS products and the most commonly
used learning management system globally.
Moodle comprises an open source virtual learning
environment that allows users to manage content
as well as other functionality necessary for seamless
use. Many institutions use Moodle to supplement
classroom-based instruction with online content,
known as blended learning. Basic building blocks of
Moodle include registration and enrollment, course
management and lesson planning,
communications, site management, and user
76
management. Currently, there are 174,350
registered sites using Moodle to offer almost 12
million courses to around 112 million users across
the globe in 255 countries. This makes Moodle the
most widely used learning platform.77 (Please see the
appendices for more details.)

.LRN - Developed by MIT, .LRN is one of the most


popular open source web portals and web applications for supporting e- learning in higher education
and K-12. .LRN is a full-featured application offering
a diverse set of teaching tools for web-based
learning communities such as file storage, forums,
slide presentations, syllabus, gradebooks and
evaluations, attachments, calendar, and FAQs.
Instructors can administer online classes or communities with customised layout, language, time
zone, etc.79
Blackboard-Blackboard is a proprietary learning
management/course management system aimed at
creating better education experiences. It is in use at
educational institutions and corporate training
facilities as the main learning management system
that either supplements classroom learning or
builds online courses with few or no face-to-face
interaction.80

In addition to Moodle, there are other notable open


source and proprietary LMS success stories. These
include:
Sakai LMS - An open source community as well
as a Learning Management System (LMS), Sakai was
built by a consortium of five universities including
Michigan University, Indiana University, Stanford
University, and MIT that worked together to form a
common collaboration and learning environment
alternative to the proprietary LMS. The Sakai LMS
comprises over 35 tools for course management
and collaboration. It enables users to create structured lessons, assignments and tests, allows streaming videos, conduct virtual training sessions, and
include other collaborative tools for research and
group projects. Today, over 400 institutions in
higher education, K-12, government, and the
corporate sector worldwide are using Sakai in 19
78
different languages.
73 Ibid.
74

Ibid.
McIntosh, (2014), Vendors of Learning Management and e-Learning Products, available at: http://www.trimeritus.com/vendors.pdf
78
http://anisakai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Why_SAKAI.pdf
79 http://dotlrn.org/
80 http://www.blackboard.com/platforms/learn/overview.aspx
75

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

2.5 Gamified Education


Gamification refers to the use of game elements
and game-design
techniques in non-game
81
contexts. Digital games take some input from the
players, process it according to the pre-defined
rules, and provide some
visual digital information to
82
one or more players. It includes mass market
products that are either developed for leisure or
education. The engaging content produced by the

gaming industry can be consumed across a variety


of devices such as games consoles, personal computers, tablets or mobile phones. There are also
several elements of games that make them great
learning tools and resources. Textbox 2.5 provides a
few such important elements.

Textbox 2.5: The Elements of Games


Progress paths Allow users to transition from one level to the next level and get them addicted to
these transitions with the complexity of the game increasing as the game progresses.
Feedback and reward Ensure that users interest in the game is kept alive with instant feedback and
reward from success through game points or scores as well as virtual and monetary rewards.
Leader boards and rankings Create the competitive spirit within the game that allows players to
benchmark their performance against others and keep working hard to out-do them.
Leveraging social networks Allow players to gain support and kudos from peers and create a sense of
competition within the game environment.
Aesthetics and cross platform integration Enrich the user experience and fun thus increasing
engagement and allow the players to compete with anyone anywhere.*
* Palmer, D., Lunceford, S and J. Patton, A. The Engagement Economy, Deloitte Review

81

Werbach, K., & Hunter, D. (2012). For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business. Wharton Digital Press.
and Angela McFarlane, C. (2006), Literature Review in Games and Learning Futurelab series. Report 8

82 Kirriemuir,J.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Gamification mainly provides participants with a


series of specific goals and upon successful completion users can receive an award and a sense of
achievement. It stimulates competition among
peers and allows them to track their performance
against other players. Games create engagement
through fantasy, challenge, and curiosity which is
83
a necessity for any learning experience. The natural
desire for competition, achievement, and status
element means that learners can be provided with
incentives to work by introducing gaming elements
into the classroom.

wide video game marketplace, which includes video


game console hardware and software, online,
mobile and PC games, at $93 billion in 2013. By
2015 it is projected to reach $111 billion.87These
games are more popular among children who play
dedicatedly for long hours and with full concentration.88A recent study of the UK gaming industry also
documented exponential growth over the last
decade far outstripping growth in film, music, and
TV with online and mobile segments growing
89
faster. Table 3.4 highights the key drivers and
challenges of gamified learning.

Although the gamification of education is a relatively new and emerging phenomenon it has gained a
wide support among researchers as well as educators who believe that games simulate productivity
84
and creative inquiry among learners. Advancements in mobile technology and networked devices
expand opportunities for game play and allow
participants to engage any time from any place.
Educators need to figure out that how mobile
platforms and technology-rich activities can be
employed for instructional purposes to enhance
educational learning.

The gamified learning also called serious games


market, though still a small subset of the overall
market, has also continued to grow. A recent report
by Ambient Insight a research firm predicts the
game-based learning market will grow from $1.5
billion in 2012 to $2.3 billion in 2017. The larger
simulation-based learning market, which includes
corporate training games, is expected to grow even
more from $2.3 billion in 2012 to $6.6 billion in
2017. Altogether, the learning games market will
grow from $3.9 billion to $8.9 billion in 2017. Much
of the growth will come from apps that target the
mobile market.90

In more advanced situations, the course material


can be embedded in game environments through
simulation, animation and storylines to improve 85
students engagement in the learning process.

2.5.1 The Demand for Gamified


Learning
In 2002 the world market for games and edutainment stood at $16.9 billion. A recent report by
Gartner Inc. an influential Global Market and
Technology Research Firm puts the worldwide
84

The game-based learning segment has received a


lot of funding interest. The National Venture Capital
Association (NVCA) reported that investment in
education technology companies has tripled in the
past decade rising from $146 million in 2002 to
roughly $429 million in 2011. The increase in funds
began to pick up significant speed beginning in
2009, with investments increasing by $150 million
from the previous year, even though the economy
was entering a recession.91 A number of large
players, such as, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft, Mojang
(creator of Minecraft), and Electronic Arts (EA) have
entered the market.92

NMC Horizon Report, (2013), Higher Education Edition.http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-HE.pdf


Burke, B. (2014), Gamification 2020: What Is the Future of Gamification? Gartner http://dotgroup.com.br/wp-content/uploads/
2014/04/Gartner-2020-Trends.pdf
86 ELSPA. (2003)
87 Gartner Inc.,(2013), Gartner says Worldwide Video Games Market to Total $93 billion in (2013), Stamford, CT
88 Kirriemuir,J. and Angela McFarlane, C. (2006), Literature Review in Games and Learning Futurelab series. Report 8
89 PricewaterhouseCoopers as quoted in Next Gen: Transforming the UK into the worlds leading talent hub for the video games and
visual effects industries. Nesta
90
Venture beat, (2013), With a mobile boom, learning games are a $1.5B market headed toward $2.3B by (2017), available at:
http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/16/with-a-mobile-boom-learning-games-are-a-1-5b-market-headed-toward-2-3b-by-2017-exclusive/
91 Richards et. al., (2013), Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame
Workshop, available at: http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/glpc_gamesforadigitalage1.pdf
92 Ambient Insight, (2012), The (2011-2016) Worldwide Gamebased Learning Market: All Roads Lead to Mobile, available at:
http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight-Worldwide-GameBased-Learning-Market.pdf
85

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

Table 2.4: Key Drivers and Challenges of Gamified Learning


Key Drivers

Challenges

Ubiquity of Mobile Devices: Mobile platform is


driving the gamification market. Ambient Light notes
that Mobile LocalSocial (MOLOSO) is a key driver in
gamified learning.

Poor Game Design: Gartner predicts that 80% of


gamified applications will fail by 2014 because of poor
93
game design. It is critical to understand what makes
video games engaging.

Significant improvements in visual effects:


Significant improvements in processing power and
visual effects means that games are more realistic and
engaging even on minimalistic platforms (such as
mobiles).

Perception: Teachers may get criticized for using


games to teach.94 There is a barrier of cultural
acceptance of games through which learning can take
place and this has to deal with wider public perceptions of games.

Explosion of Networked Devices: The explosion of


network devices from computers to tablets and
smartphones add addictiveness and anywhere
anytime play element to games.

High costs: Teachers might have limited resources,


funding or inadequate training to teach using
gamification. Training and localization can further
increase costs.

Games are increasingly being deployed to make the


classroom experience fun and engaging around the
world. A 2012 Ambient Insight survey found
Finland, the Netherlands, and Singapore as major
hubs of game-based learning innovation. China was
also fast catching up. Other countries such as the
United States and United Kingdom are not far
behind. In United States, President Obama called for
investments in educational technology that will
help create digital tutors that are as effective as
personal tutors, educational software as compelling
as the best video game.95 In United Kingdom, the
gaming industry has been found to be larger than
film or music industries and a thrust is ongoing
towards creating serious games.
The world over, gamification is getting strong
interest from very well-established players. Some
examples include:
Foldit In 2011, University of Washington launched
Foldit a game designed to enable players to solve
molecular problems (such as protein structure
prediction) that alluded scientists for many years. In
10 days, 46,000 players helped solve problems that
had remained unaddressed for 15 years.96
93

SimPhysics - Produced by The Institute of Physics


for 13-16 years olds provides a collection of games
that help teachers to teach basic concepts including
energy, astronomy, and the physics of sound, etc.
Math Blaster - A product of Knowledge Adventure
is designed for Grade K-8 students to learn basic
Mathematics. It consists of math games based on
specific topics and skills and used as supplemental
learning material for any classroom.
DragonBox - An educational game focused on
teaching maths that is more popular than Angry
Birds in Norway. It is a learning tool that secretly
teaches students algebra by turning it into a game.
When first introduced, more than 10% of all iPad
97
users in Norway downloaded it in first two weeks.
123 Kids Fun Apps Collection - Consists of iOS and
Android Apps for kids to sustain their interest in
learning. For example, 123 Kids Fun Alphabet is
designed for children between ages 3 to 7. The aim
is to allow kids to independently learn the alphabets
without any help. The letters are combined with
pictures along with a readers recording enabling
the kids to quickly learn the alphabet.

Fleming, N. (2012). Gamification: Is it game over? BBC Future, available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121204-can-gaming
-transform-your-life
94 Kirriemuir,J. and Angela McFarlane, C. (2006), Literature Review in Games and Learning Futurelab series. Report 8
95 Richards et. al., (2013), Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame
Workshop, available at: http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/glpc_gamesforadigitalage1.pdf
96
Ambient Insight, (2012), The 2011-2016 Worldwide Game-based Learning Market: All Roads Lead to Mobile, available at:
http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight-Worldwide-GameBased-Learning-Market.pdf
97
Ibid

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Alleyoop A gamified learning platform supported


by Pearson. Structured as a game with missions,
Alleyoop is built around achievements and earning
a virtual currency Yoops. It creates a learning
environment that is empowering, relevant, and a
game. By August 2012, Pearson had announced
content partnerships for Alleyoop with NASA eClips,
National Geographic, National Science Foundation,
Scientific Minds, Patrick JMT, Virtual Nerd, Adaptive
Curriculum, and Brightstorm.98

98
99

Ibid.
Ibid.

Types of Edtech and Examples of Practice

2.6 Localised Content


Localisation in the most fundamental and simplistic
sense is the translation of content in the language
of the learner. However, that is an extremely narrow
view of localisation. Nowadays, localisation is
understood as the adaptation of a product or
service to a certain language, culture and to a
desired look or feel.
Digital learning platforms are nothing without
appropriate content to populate them. In fact, the
availability of content has often been described as
the most significant challenge in the mainstreaming
of e-learning. Without appropriate provision for
content development, e-learning and m-learning
initiatives are bound to fail to make the desired
impact. This is precisely why Malaysias Smart
Schools Initiative involved a massive content
development exercise. While countries are inclined
towards investing in developing their own digital
educational resources, they are challenged by the
significant costs of the undertaking. The lack of a
formal market for educational content also deters
commercial ventures in this area. Used to receiving
free or relatively cost-less content, schools find
100
software costly to buy or license. In recent years,
crowd-sourcing and user-generated content movement has provided a promising opportunity to
defray the costs of content development.

2.6.1 Demand for Local Content


Globally, there has been demand for free or relatively cost-less access to localized content. This has
created, among other things, an Open Educational
Resources (OER) movement that provides digitized
materials that can be used and re-used for teaching,
101
learning, and research. OER includes learning
content such as full courses, modules, textbooks,
videos, tests and software tools to support the

development and delivery of content and implementation resources such as intellectual property
licenses to publish material.102
The Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) have
gone a step further to provide tools (such as peer
grading) for large scale participation in these OERs.
A number of platforms, such as, EdX, Coursera,
Udacity, P2PU, championed by traditional universities offer free educational courses designed by top
professors, with the aim of providing access to a
large number of learners.103
One of the most visible and popular content development efforts is the Khan Academy. The Khan
Academy Platform features a number of key
elements including: a library of content coveringmath, science and humanities, with playlists on
finance and history. Students can make use of this
extensive library of content, including interactive
challenges; videos that can be accessed from any
computer with access to the web; practice problems
that test learners capabilities to answer questions;
feedback on time spent and where that time is
spent that allows teachers (coaches) and parents
can also have unprecedented visibility into what
their students are learning and doing on Khan
Academy. The website features around 5,500
instructional videos and 100,000 practice problems
for a variety of topics. The website also sequences
content through a knowledge map and makes use
of gamification elements such as badges, etc. to
incentivize children to learn. The platform serves
nearly 10 million students across the world in 200
countries every month.
In the appendices, we discuss Khan Academy as one
of the most famous content development initiatives
in the world. It has become so famous that a
number of clones have come up around the world,
including some in Pakistan.

100 UNESCO, (2012), ICT in Primary Education, Paris, France


101 UNESCO, (2002)

102

OECD, (2007)

103 Conole, G. MOOCs as disruptive technologies: strategies for enhancing the learner experience and quality of MOOCs, available at:

http://www.um.es/ead/red/39/conole.pdf

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

But Khan Academy is not alone, nor is it the only


form of content development there is.
There are a number of OER initiatives set up with
the aim to maximize the reach of education by
providing high-quality, openly licensed, online
educational materials for people everywhere that
include, among others:
MIT Open Courseware seeks to publish all MIT
course content and make it available to anyone,
anywhere. The program features free audio/video
lectures, online textbooks from MIT as well as other
supplementary resources relevant to many different
courses.104

104 http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
105 http://www.oeconsortium.org/
106 UNESCO., (2012), ICT in Primary Education, Paris, France

Open Education Consortium seeks to scale educational opportunities by providing free and open
access to high quality educational resources globally. Moreover, people can share resources and
exchange material, researchers can build new
networks, and teachers are enabled to explore new
ways to assist students. 105
Tatweer is a Saudi Royal initiative launched in 2006
with the aim to reform public education in Saudi
Arabia. The objectives are to enhance learning,
encourage students, teachers and experts to
produce digital content that will help to provide a
rich learning environment for all. 106

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Pakistans Edtech Landscape


Historical Evolution of Edtech in Pakistan
Pakistans Edtech Eco-System
Pakistans Edtech Landscape
Sectoral Edtech Profiles

Any child born since the beginning of this century is growing up in a digital
world. Those born at the start of the century, already in the middle years of
primary school, have been dubbed the net generation or, more descriptively, digital natives. Theirs is a world of television, text messaging, camera
phones, iPods, MP3, and interactive video games. They can watch television,
listen to their iPods, send text messages, and work online all at the same
time.

- Jonathan Anderson, Emeritus Professor, Flinders University, Australia

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

PAKISTANS EDTECH AND


ICT4E LANDSCAPE
Following up from the two key drivers for Edtech
that may be at play in Pakistan, we provide a brief
snapshot of the Edtech eco-system in the country.

We begin by briefly reviewing the historical


evolution of educational technology usage in
Pakistan.

3.1 Historical Evolution of Edtech or ICT4E in Pakistan


First Forays in ICT for Education
The use of ICT in education is not new to Pakistan.
Nor is technology being seen for the first time as an
enabler or a force multiplier. The informal use of
information and communications technologies to
support learning probably began in Pakistan with
the use of radio and television programmes aimed
primarily at the general population (adult learning)
but also at specific target populations such as
farmers or skilled workers, etc. This connection was
formalized through the creation of an Open
University the Allama Iqbal Open University
(AIOU) which was the countrys first distance
learning university that, for a long time, used
blended learning that mixed traditional
face-to-face instruction with television-based
instruction. In these early days, while television was
clearly a richer, more effective medium for education, radio still had a far wider reach particularly for
the far flung rural population and so both these
played an important role in the first wave of
Edtech(or ICT4E) in Pakistan. The AIOU for instance,
ran hundreds of programmes on radio and television through the 1980s and 1990s. 107
In the 1990s, first personal computers and then the
internet became accessible. In early 2000s, the
Virtual University (VU) was established as the
twenty-first century reincarnation of the Open
University idea with significant emphasis on the use
of ICT and internet for education.
107

Over the years, VU has adopted a model much


similar to Allama Iqbal Open University with one
major difference: it replaces traditional television
programming with its own dedicated television
channels operated through Pakistans dedicated
educational satellite.
While both AIOU and VU have developed their own
content to support these efforts, their utility has
been unclear and rigorous evidence of impact has
not been collected. Moreover these have been
restricted to primarily tertiary education.
Experimenting with Technology in the Schools
In the 1990s, technology also arrived in schools.
Most of the initial use of technology in the schools
was at high-end private schools that could both
afford to establish computer labs but also had the
kind of clientele that valued this critical skill. However, there was a general problem with this technology-driven approach. While computer labs were
established in schools and computers made
available even in the classrooms there were very
few teachers with the capability and experience to
properly integrate technology within the classroom
with the unfortunate result that the use of
technology could not go beyond superficial use of
writing reports (word processors), making
presentations (power point), and browsing the
internet (explorer, etc.).

Jumani, N.B., Rahman, F., Chishti, S. H., and Malik, S., (2011), Teacher Training through Distance Mode at Allama Iqbal Open
University Pakistan, in Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE April 2011 ISSN 1302-6488 Volume: 12 Number: 2 Article 5

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

A second, somewhat related, challenge faced by


these early attempts to deploy technology in the
schools was lack of availability of content, in general, and in local languages, in particular. In addition,
there were very few teachers who could develop or
procure quality content. Most just muddled
through. Teacher training and content availability
remains a challenge even today.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme in the
2000s, so popular in Latin America, Africa, and some
parts of South and South East Asia skipped Pakistan.
Consequently, there has been no serious attempt in
Pakistan to provide schools with laptops. By this
time, however, public schools began to jump on the
technology bandwagon and computer labs were
established in thousands of public schools in both
urban and rural settings. These had their challenges.
Establishing a computer lab was one thing, maintaining it was another task altogether and the
schools were least equipped and resourced to do.
There is considerable anecdotal evidence to suggest
that computer labs in most public schools were
either in a state of disrepair for most of the school
calendar or could simply not be used due to
unavailability of power for a significant portion of a
typical school day.
The Emergence of a Community
The situation began to change in the latter part of
the 2000s. The important thing that happened was
the development and penetration of new technology primarily the mobile telephone but also access
to the internet and low-cost computers and tablets
that made technology more accessible to a wider
section of the school going population not just
those studying in elite private schools. Even though
a vast majority of those enrolled in a low-cost
private school or a public school probably still do
not own a computer at home, this is gradually
changing and children have easier access to mobile
and low-cost tablets. This technology push has been
confounded with the emergence of several new
players who have been energized and are, in turn,
energizing this important space. We have also seen
an emergence of a small but fast growing and
promising content community on the back of a
technology developer community in the e-learning
space.
The global popularity of Khan Academy has
spawned similar efforts elsewhere including several

in Pakistan. Sabaq Foundation is a Khan


Academy-clone that has invested heavily into
content development that is freely available. Others,
such as JugnuTV, Jugnoo Media, ToffeeTV, Knowledge Platform and TeleTaleem, among others, are a
part of this exciting technology community that is
beginning to invest in local content development.
There are others experimenting with content-pedagogy combinations to see what may work in the
peculiar circumstances of Pakistans educational
system. The Reading Room Project, EDeQUAL, and
NUST ITE are three such ventures that have experiment with localized models of blended learning
that may work within Pakistani settings. There is also
a small but growing technology community that is
building educational software and content for the
international market. Companies such as Agnitus,
Arbisoft, GeniTeam, and 3iLogic are probably the
most visible.These can have a significant influence
on the development of local standards and bring
new ideas to the local technology and content
development efforts. The final set of these new
players are implementing entities that are taking
whatever is available to be implemented and
deploying these in the classrooms.
The demands of an Educational Emergency
These developments have coincided with a growing
socio-political consensus within the country on the
urgent need to catch up on the countrys obligations to educate its young ones. An educational
emergency has been declared and several donors
The UK Department for International Development
(DFID) and US Agency for International Development (USAID), in particular are driving a massive
effort to improve the state of education in the
nations schools in partnership with the provincial
governments.
Pakistan has a large number of school going age
children who are currently out of school and a vast
number of those who do go to school end up
dropping out because it fails to capture their
imagination. Article 25A, which demands access to
universal education is the clear sign of a political
commitment to this cause. However, the educational budgets still fall short of the required levels and
the political promises in this respect have remained
unfulfilled.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

There is also a growing sense that the country


cannot possibly build schools at a rate that will
bridge the gap. There is a clear need for technology
to become a force multiplier that could give the
educational establishment some breathing room
and an possible advantage over demography in the
scramble to create physical infrastructure.
The ubiquity of mobile devices holds considerable
promise and the recently concluded 3G/4G auctions
could provide the high-speed mobile internet that
could carry rich video content to the last mile. While
technology cannot replace schools, it can lower the
administrative burden of the teachers, become a
facilitator in the classroom, and reach out to those
kids who are still out of school to ensure that they
receive some literacy and are not forgotten by the
system.
A number of non-governmental players have
already begun to work on the assumption that
e-learning is a key component of their future
strategy. The Citizens Foundation, for example, has
embarked upon an effort to consider the use of
technology in the classrooms.

3.2

Others, such as CARE Foundation, may be willing to


embrace it if appropriate technological solutions
become available. The provincial governments have
also jumped into the fray. Punjab government, for
instance, has launched Punjab E.Learn an online
portal that provides interactive content and
videos for grades 9-10. Plans are afoot to provide all
this content in a CD to public schools across Punjab
for greater access. Other parts of the Punjab government such as the Department of Staff Development
(DSD) are looking at the use of technology in other
areas such as teacher training as well as monitoring
and planning. Here there is a plan to distribute
tablets to enable DSD teacher trainers and assessors
to better address gaps in teacher training.
The educational emergency creates an opportune
environment for the Edtech movement to
materialize and finally mature in Pakistan, by
providing the perfect backdrop for the alignment of
interests of various actors within this emerging
eco-system.

Pakistans Edtech Eco-System: Key Players


It would take an entire eco-system for Edtech to
make its mark on Pakistans education challenge.
The government, private sector, or the donors alone
cannot do a complex job requiring assent and
participation of a vast number and variety of actors.
The student or the learner must be at the center
both literally and philosophically of the Edtech
landscape since the eco-system must revolve
around its needs and requirements. Pakistans
Edtech eco-system can be divided, broadly, into four
types of actors. These are briefly described below:
Government and International Entities
Government and international entities have an
important role to play in the emerging Edtech
108

eco-system, not only because the government as


the first (or last) resort provider of educational
services, is a big player in the education service
provision but also for two other reasons.
First, the government plays an important role in
quality assurance and certification of the educational system and its product. Second, it could have a
disproportionate influence on the Edtech market as
a major procurement entity.
108

According to one industry expert, the government


spends about $200 or so per child on education
every year while private sector claims to deliver the
same in two-thirds to half of that cost. There is some
anecdotal evidence that mixed public-private
models (such as CARE Schools) can be more

Mahboob Mahmoud, Scalable Quality Education in Pakistan at the Ilm Apps Challenge Hackathon in Lahore at LUMS on
June 25, 2014.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Cost-efficient. CARE, for instance, has adopted or


taken over large government schools in Punjab and
claims that it can deliver decent education if it can
supplement government investment in infrastructure, etc. with PKR 300 per child per month of
additional support. Should the government decide
to influence the learning technologies market by
procuring as little as 10-15% of this annual spend
(lets say, $25 per child) from the private sector
providers, it would create a market of at least $1.5
billion a year for Edtech in Pakistan alone and this
would create a powerful incentive for Edtech service
providers (both technology as well as content) to
enter the market. 109

There are several sub-classes of schools , each with


its own motives and dynamic and they may respond
to Edtech opportunities, policies, and incentives
differently. These include: high end private schools,
low-cost private schools, public schools, public-private partnership schools, and foundation assisted
schools. Some of these are in fact schools systems
with several branches and franchise schools, which
bestows disproportionate influence and marketing
power to them. Non-profit foundations probably
have the tightest linkage between investment and
benefit. They want to deliver quality education and
may only invest in technology provided it delivers
some benefits.

There are several players within the government.


The most important among these are the provincial
departments of education since education is a
provincial subject in Pakistan after the 18th
consitutional amendment. While these deparments
of education play a policymaking and oversight
role, day-to-day implementation is managed by the
educational bureaucracy at the district level (such as
EDOs, DCOs, etc.). Also, the apex institutions such as
Provincial Institute for Teacher Education, Bureau of
Curriculum and Extension Centre and Textbook
Boards, play an important role in the curriculum
development and teachers training.

Another class of educational service providers are


the teacher training institutes that is critical to the
development of the edtech system in Pakistan.
These range from large programmes such as the
B.Ed. and M.Ed. programmes housed in major
universities and teacher training colleges to
boutique teacher training programmes such as Ali
Institute, VMIE, AKU-IED and others. With the
exception of a few, these focus primarily on traditional classroom teaching rather than the use of
technologies in the classroom.

Finally, each of the provinces has an Educational


Foundation which is a public-private partnership
designed to provide public sector support to the
private sector educational delivery.
In addition, other ministries such as the Higher
Education Commission (for teacher education
curriculum and accreditation) and Ministry of IT (for
infrastructure provision) play a role, as do several
international entities such as UNICEF and UNESCO,
etc. by providing best practices and advocacy.
Entities such as the National ICT R&D Fund which
provides funds for research and development (R&D)
for ICT projects (e-learning falling very much under
its mandate) and Pakistan Telecommunications
Authority (PTA) could also play a significant role.
Schools and Education Service Providers
The other important class of actors is the schools
and the education service poviders themselves. This
is where the action really happens (or does not
happen).

109

As noted in the overview of the Edtech landscape in


Pakistan, high-end private schools and school
systems are continuing to embrace the Edtech
bandwagon, albeit sometimes for the wrong
reasons and without appropriate thought and
preparation. These schools often have financial
resources to procure expensive solutions. The
low-cost private schools struggle with catching up
and do not invest enough in learning technology.
Public schools fall somewhere in between. They
sometimes do have access to technology but it is
often not enough and does not come with quality
soft skills to deliver the kind of benefits expected of
it. By and large, the public schools and low-cost
private schools is where both the market and the
biggest problems lie.
Civil Society Organisations
The third pillar of the Edtech eco-system is the civil
society. Again, primarily because of the nature of
Pakistans problems, the civil society must play a
large and active role in education policy-making
and implementation in Pakistan.

Mahboob Mahmoud, Scalable Quality Education in Pakistan at the Ilm Apps Challenge Hackathon in Lahore at LUMS on June 25, 2014.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Figure 3.1 Summarizes the Edtech Innovation Eco-System in Pakistan

Here international donors (bilateral and multilateral)


often take the lead in organizing the civil society
through a host of policy (e.g. Oxfam), advocacy (e.g.
Alif Ailaan), advisory (e.g. GIZ), and implementation
(e.g. Ilm Ideas, USAID) initiatives. Increasingly
private actors such as Intel Pakistan are also playing
a role as are entrepreneurship and incubation
programmes.

Technology Platform Developers and Content


Providers
The final pillar of the Edtech eco-system is the
technology developers and content providers. For a
variety of reasons already explained, this is the most
exciting addition to the eco-system that is driving
the current push for adoption. These are the main
subjects of subsequent sections

3.3 Pakistans Edtech Landscape: Capabilities Analysis


This section presents the summary capability profile
of some salient players making up Pakistans Edtech
landscape. Also, included in the lists below are the
teacher training institutions as well as entities

supporting innovation and entrepreneurship


including learning innovation and entrepreneurship
within this space.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Box 3.1: The IlmAppsChallenge


Ilm Ideas and Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF) organised a learning
innovation challenge The IlmAppsChallenge. The Challenge focused
on developing mobile and web applications aimed at enhancing quality
and access to education. The Challenge engaged more than 170 teams
from across the country through a series of activities, including
brainstorming sessions, hackathons, mentoring and a product development bootcamp to create locally relevant learning applications for
children aged 5-16. 27 teams participated in the Hackathons where
16 semi-finalists (and 4 wild cards) made it through. 13 teams were
invited to make a pitch to the final jury after a 1.5 month long product
development bootcamp where teams were exposed to training and
mentoring by Nigar Nazar(Cartoonist), Sarah Adeel (Designer), Shoaib Malik (Game Developer), and a
number of experts on pedagogy and assessment, etc. Eight Teams were declared Winners of the Ilm
Apps Challenge and three teams were finally selected by Ilm Ideas to receive funding to develop and
pilot test their proposed solutions.
The value of the IlmAppsChallenge was multi-fold. First, it
provided the first systematic attempt to invite a plethora of
stakeholders to find ways to use technology to address
Pakistans education challenge. Second, it attempted to put
together multi-disciplinary teams to address a challenging
socio-technical problem. Third, it opened up the educational
space to technology providers by lowering the barriers of
entry. Finally, it has sought to create and support a culture
of experimentation, rigorous analysis and evidence based
policy implementation in the educational technology space.
The timeline of the IlmAppsChallenge is presented below:

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

The Capability Matrix is organized in the


following manner:

These entities are assessed on five sets of


parameters, namely:

On the left-hand column are the various actors


that make up the educational eco-system. These
are divided in 6 broad categories:

What type of initiative they are and their primary


area of focus, whether entrepreneurship, pedagogy,
training, domain expertise, technology, content
development, or an implementation or deployment
capability.

Platform Content Developers: Local entities


that create learning platforms (such as learning
management systems) as well as local content.
Though mostly software companies, increasingly,
mobile gaming and application companies are also
joining this group. Some of these produce and sell
international quality software and content in US,
Europe, and the rest of the developed markets but
may now be convinced to look at the local market
as well.
A

Third Party Solution Providers: Local entities


selling internationally available software and
learning platforms to the local market.
B

Implementors: Entities that do not, largely,


produce the software and learning platforms
themselves but implement these. They are an
important part of the eco-system for the learning
that is produced in the deployment of these learning platforms. These are mainly schools and large
school systems.
C

D Teacher Training Institutions: Teacher training


institutes are an important part of the education
eco-system. This report looks at the capabilities of a
range of different public, private, and innovative
teacher training models.

Other Potential Players: Social media agencies


and new media content providers, virtual universities, and other non-traditional learning providers.
E

F Educational Entrepreneurship Entities: Entities


that promote entrepreneurship including educational entrepreneurship and innovation in
Pakistan.

What level of development these are currently


at, whether this is just an idea, partially or fully
developed prototype, or in deployment.
What is the incidence of the service being
provided, particularly, whether they only target
private schools in urban areas or the services is
equally relevant to rural and public schools.
What is the focus grades-wise and subject-wise
of the proposed intervention. Specifically does the
initiative apply to K-5, 9-12, or 12+ grades in the
classroom and does it teach science, mathematics,
language, or social studies.
Finally, what is the type of intervention, namely,
is it animation, content/lectures, gamification,
assessment, interactivity, or LMS, etc.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Type of Initiative

Incidence

ral
Ru

lic
Pub
yed
plo
De
ll )
( Fu
op
vel
l)
De
rtia
( Pa
op
vel
De
a
Ide
t
en
ym
plo
De
nt
nte
Co
in
ma
Do
gy
olo
hn
Tec
y
og
ag

Ped

g
inin
ip
Tra
rsh
eu

n
pre
tre
En

Stage Development

Platform-Content Developers
Sabaq.PK
ToffeeTV
Knowledge Platform
TeleTaleem
Communicators (BroadClass)
EDeQUAL
Punjab E.Learn
3iLogic
NUST ITE
Arbisoft
Agnitus

Rehan School

Rabtt

3Restart
PiLabs
AMAL
GeniTeam
The Reading Room Project
Academic Achievement Plus

JugnuTV
Jugnoo Media
FESF
B

Third Party Solutions


Matheletics
Socio Engineering Consultants

Implementors
Beaconhouse ELE
Roots Millennium Schools
The Citi School
The Citizens Foundation
Allied Schools
Care Foundation

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Focus Grades

Subjects

NUST ITE
Arbisoft
Agnitus
3Restart
PiLabs
AMAL
GeniTeam
The Reading Room Project
Academic Achievement Plus
Rehan School
Rabtt
JugnuTV
Jugnoo Media
FESF
B

Third Party Solutions


Matheletics
Socio Engineering Consultants

Implementors
Beaconhouse ELE
Roots Millennium Schools
The Citi School
The Citizens Foundation
Allied Schools
Care Foundation

S
LM
ity
ctiv
era
Int
nt
me
ess
Ass
ion

3iLogic

cat
mifi

Punjab E.Learn

Ga
nt
nte
Co
es/
tur

EDeQUAL

Lec
n
tio
ima
An
ies

Communicators (BroadClass)

d
Stu
ial

TeleTaleem

Soc

Knowledge Platform

u
Urd

Sabaq.PK
ToffeeTV

h
glis

Platform-Content Developers

En

ce
en
S ci
s
tic
ma
the
Ma
2+
s1
de
Gra
-12
s9
de
Gra
-5
sK
de

Gra

Types of Intervention

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Type of Initiative

Ali Institute of Education


VM Institute of Education
Teach for Pakistan (TfP)
Department of Staff Development (DSD)
Allama Iqbal Open University
E

Other Potential Players


Team Ants
Creative Chaos
Mindstorm Studios
TinTash
iEarn
Meri Taleem
Flickable
Robotics Lab
Virtual University
Comsats Virtual Campus
Sharp Image
Educational Entrepreneurship

Acumen Fund
P@SHA (Launchpad)
P@SHA Social Innovation Fund
MIT Enterprise Forum - Pakistan (MIT EFP)
Invest2Innovate (i2i)
Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF)
Plan 9 and X
WECREATE - Pakistan
The Nest i/o
LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship
IBA Invent

ral

AKU-IED

Ru

Teacher Training

Incidence

lic
Pub
yed
plo
De
ll )
( Fu
op
vel
l)
De
rtia
( Pa
op
vel
De
a
Ide
t
en
ym
plo
De
nt
nte
Co
in
ma
Do
gy
olo
hn
Tec
y
og
ag
Ped

pre

g
inin
Tra
hip
urs
ne

tre
En

Stage Development

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Focus Grades

Subjects

S
LM
ity
ctiv
era
Int
nt
me
ess
Ass
n
atio
ific
am

G
nt
nte
Co
es/
tur

d
Stu
ial

n
Lec
tio
ima
An
ies

Soc
u
Urd

h
glis

En

ce
en
S ci
s
tic
ma
the
Ma
2+
s1
de
Gra
-12
s9
de
Gra
-5
sK
de

Gra

Types of Intervention

Teacher Training
AKU - IED
Ali Institute of Education
VM Institute of Education
Teach for Pakistan
DSD - Punjab
Allama Iqbal Open University

Other Potential Players


Team Ants
Creative Chaos
Mindstorm Studios
TinTash
iEarn
Meri Taleem
Flickable
Robotics Lab
Virtual University
Comsats Virtual Campus
Sharp Image
Technology for People Initiative

Educational Entrepreneurship
Acumen Fund
P@SHA (Launchpad)
P@SHA Social Innovation Fund
MIT Enterprise Forum - Pakistan
Invest2innovate
Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF)
Plan 9 and X
WECREATE - Pakistan
The Nest i/o
LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship
IBA Invent

Fig. 3.2: Compatibility Matrix of Key Players in Pakistan Edtech Landscape

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

There are several trends that emerge from figure 3.2.


First, there is no shortage of platform and
content developers whose activities encompass
the whole range of training, pedagogy,
technology, content, domain, and deployment
scenarios - many of which are active across several
domains simultaneously. There is also wide variety
of type of interventions, namely, animation,
content/lectures, gamification, assessment, etc.
within this group of developers and designers.
Given that there are not enough end-to-end Edtech
interventions in Pakistan, this is quite a welcome
sign, demonstrating that there is latent capability
within the system to ramp up and deliver
programmes should conditions become ripe for
large-scale deployments in Pakistan.
Second, we have seen, in the last few years, the
emergence of a small number of good quality
teacher training programmes - such as Ali Institute of Education, Teach for Pakistan, and VM
Institute of Education which add to the mix of
existing programmes such as DSD, AIOU, and
AKU-IED. Even when coupled with in-house training
initiatives of large private sector school chains, this
is still not enough to meet the demands of teacher
education, in general, and technology education for
teachers, in particular. Although some headway has
been made at the provincial levels particularly in
Punjab to introduce IT in teacher training, if there
is one thing we have learnt from past experience it
is that it is not enough to deploy an IT teacher or
introduce IT as a subject in the curriculum but to
integrate IT across all subjects and this may require
a re-think of the entire curriculum and pedagogy.
Building the capacity of teachers to handle technology in the classrooms to enable proper utilization
and integration of technology is fundamental to
realizing the Edtech potential in Pakistan.
Third, there is a considerable dearth of actual
deployment experience i.e. running initiatives
on the ground and learning from these that
could be addressed through creation of an enabling
environment and providing funding for such
initiatives.

There are a number of experienced potential players


(such as Mindstorm Studios, Tintash,Sharp Image)
that could jump into the fray if and when such an
enabling environment becomes available.
Finally, there is also a burgeoning innovation
and entrepreneurial eco-system that is beginning to address entrepreneurial opportunities in
non-traditional areas such as education delivery
and new content creation. The Ilm Apps Challenge
run by Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF) and Ilm
Ideas is one example. Other programmes such as
Invest to Innovate, P@SHA Social Innovation Fund,
and Plan9 have begun to incubate ideas (such as
Meri Taleem, The Reading Room Project, 3Restart,
etc.) within the Edtech domain and this will enhance
the capability and capacity of Edtech entrepreneurs.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

3.4 Sectoral Edtech Profiles of Pakistan


Picking up on our classification of different types of ICT4E, we look specifically at Pakistans case in this section.

3.4.1 e-Learning in Pakistan


e-Learning has a fairly long history in Pakistan even
if it has sometimes suffered from a lack of consistency and sustained political support from successive
governments over the years. Starting in the late
1970s and 1980s when the first conscious effort was
launched to use television and radio for supporting
adult literacy and vocational training of the masses.
The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Pakistans
first Distance and Open Learning Institution of
higher learning was founded in 1974 as a replica
of the UKs Open University and became one of the
worlds largest institutions of its nature with an
annual enrollment of over 1.1 million students in
the year 2010 and a course enrollment of 3.3 million
in 2011. The AIOU uses a blended learning model
with face-to-face instruction, television, and
distance learning materials. A Virtual University (VU)
was established in 2002 with a view to using the
information and communications technology (ICT)
to support tertiary education in Pakistan.
There have been few experiments to support K-12
education and certainly none of the size of AIOU or
VU. The high-end private schools such as Grammer
Schools, Beaconhouse School System, Roots, and
Citi Schools have taken the lead in establishing
computer labs to impart IT education to the
students. Some have even gone on to experiment
with using smart boards and other high-end devices
in the classrooms. However, integrating ICT within
the national curriculum has still been a challenge
because of a dearth of teachers trained to do so.
The situation in low-cost private schools and public
schools is much worse. Low-cost private schools
often do not have the resources to invest in classroom technology. Besides, a general lack of investment in infrastructure often prevails and this limits

the investment in computer labs and classroom


technologies. Similarly, fewer than 20% of the public
schools have a computer lab and anecdotal
evidence suggests that these are often dysfunctional and in a state of disrepair. Recent attempts by
Punjab government to fund computer labs in public
schools is a step in the right direction, though it
cannot be fully utilized without a proper strategy of
ICT integration in the national curriculum.
Opportunities for Further Development
These challenges may highlight avenues for further
development:
There is a need to develop, experiment with, and
deploy lower cost and easier to maintain
hardware solutions that can deliver high quality
learning while making large-scale deployment of
e-learning feasible and cost-effective.
One part of the cost equation is the number of
devices per student that may be required to deliver
an effective intervention. There is a need to experiment with pedagogies that lead to effective learning while allowing multiple users per device. This is
important from the perspective of lowering overall
cost of implementation and reaching scale.
There is a need to properly define the role of the
teacher in the e-learning process and create
platforms and models that incorporate teacher
training and ICT integration within the intervention.
The development of platforms or software to
enable the creation of localized and tailor-made
content for students to allow more interactivity as
well as localization and alignment with the national
curriculum is critical to mass adoption and deployment of e-learning in Pakistan.

Pakistans Edtech Landscape

3.4.2 Mobile Learning in Pakistan


The adoption of mobile learning in Pakistan has
been relatively limited due to low smart phone
penetration and the high cost and unavailability of
high speed mobile internet and broadband.
The recent launching of the 3G/4G services in the
country and falling prices of smart phones (now
between 10-15% of total mobile users) and tablets
(there are several options now available between
PKR 8-20K) will likely enhance the attractiveness of
mobile learning.
Nevertheless, there have been attempts, isolated as
they may be, to use mobile devices for text-based
low-end applications such as adult literacy (see
Appendix B). The adult literacy model piloted by
UNESCO, Mobilink, and Bunyad Foundation has
delivered and demonstrated learning outcomes
through multiple waves of implementation incorporating several thousand users. However, scale and
replication through a large-scale public sector take
up has so far evaded this successful model. The real
promise of the mobile phone-based learning
paradigm not so much in-the-classroom than in
informal, out-of-school, and informal settings thus
remains unfulfilled.
With the passage of time, there has been considerable interest in using tablets among high-end
private schools, though this remains a costly proposition for others.
Over the years, the dominant paradigm of
e-learning in Pakistan has all but shifted towards
mobile devices, particularly, tablets, as computers
are still considered very expensive and difficult to
maintain. Tablets have grown in capability over time
as prices have declined. However, for most low-cost
private and public schools, tablets still remain
prohibitively costly. Recently, there has also been
talk that Punjab government may make tablets and
phone projectors available for teacher training and
classroom instruction respectively.

Opportunities for Further Development:


The various challenges identified above could be
the focus for further development:
There is a need to find the right type of mobile
platform (cost and performance ratio) that could be
used in schools of variety of economic circumstances. Tablets, for instance, get in closest to the learning
experience of a full-fledged computer but are also
quite expensive.
Where tablets are used, there is a need to look for
solutions that allow one-to-many rather than
one-to-one usage of tablets by students. This will
require pedagogical innovation aimed at identifying
and perfecting learning approaches that use
one-to-many devices.
There is also the need to develop content that
can extract more value out of an ordinary mobile
device which remains, for the foreseeable future,
the only viable option for millions of out-of-school
children.

Pakistans Edtech Landscape

3.4.3 Technology for Teachers and


Teacher Education in Pakistan
Pakistan suffers from a chronic under-supply of
teachers to meet the needs of its fast growing
population. According to a recent survey by Alif
Ailaan the educational advocacy campaign
funded by DfiD only 43% of teachers in government schools and 17% in private schools have a
Professional Teachers Certificate (PTC) while a vast
majority of teachers (48% in public schools and 73%
in private schools) have a B.Ed. or M.Ed.
110
qualification. 57% of public school teachers and
21% of private school teachers have received some
kind of training in the last 5 years but a high
percentage of teachers dont think that the training
they received was relevant or satisfactory.
On the one hand, teaching has traditionally not
been seen as a viable profession that can compete
with other preferred professions (such as medicine,
engineering, business, etc.) for talent and, on the
other hand, there are too few quality teacher
training institutes that could really prepare a
teacher to meet the challenge of effectively educating young minds. Moreover, there has not been a
proper and credible credentialing system for
teachers. Anyone with any kind of qualification with
or without formal training could become a teacher.
Successive government policies have made
promises to improve the state of teacher education
in Pakistan. The 1992 National Education Policy (NEP,
1992) called for improving quality by reasserting
teachers role in the teacher-learning process,
modernizing curricula and text books, and
introducing activity oriented computer sciences at
111
all levels of school education. Subsequent policies
(National Education Policy 2009, National
Educational Policy 1998-2010, Educational Sector
Reforms 2001-2006, and Educational for All National
Plan of Action, 2015, etc.) have only reasserted these
commitments to pre- and in-service teacher
training, creation of teacher resource centers (TRC),
and the use of technology in teacher education. 112

For example, National Education Policy 2009 states


A Bachelors degree, with a B.Ed., shall be the
requirement for teaching at the elementary level. A
Masters level for the secondary and higher secondary, with a B.Ed., shall be ensured by 2018. PTC and
CT shall be phased out through encouraging the
present set of teachers to improve their qualifications, while new hiring shall be based on the
advanced criteria.
Things have begun to change in some instances
with recent attempts to formalize teacher training.
Credentialing in the teaching profession is taking
root, though challenges still remain. There has been
an effort, led by the Higher Education Commission
(HEC), to make the B.Ed. a foundational degree for
those in the education profession. In Punjab, the
Department for Staff Development (DSD) is
engaged in a massive teacher training and capacity
building activity to keep up with the Punjab Schools
Roadmap under which thousands of lessons plans
were written and distributed across the province.
There is also talk that DSD Teacher Trainers and
Subject Specialists who monitor performance and
help build capacity shall be provided with tablets to
support their jobs.
A large USAID project on Teacher Education has
been instrumental in this progress as are many
smaller interventions by other donors such as GIZ.
Other efforts such as those by Intel Education
focus primarily on the use of technology in education. Several private sector teacher training
programmes such as AKUs Institute of Educational
Development (IED) in Karachi, Ali Institute in Lahore,
and AIOUs Educational Planning and Management
Programme (EPM) are making strides in revamping
the old paradigm of teacher training to bring in new
ideas and technology to teacher education.
Several private school chains such as Beaconhouse
and Roots School Systems have developed their
own in-house processes to train teachers with
technology and to use technology in the classroom.
The Roots School Systems Millennial Enhanced
Learning and Teaching (MELT) Programme
encompasses the three basic areas; i.e. curriculum

110

SAHE and Alif Ailaan, (2014), The voice of teachers: learning from teachers across Pakistan, Islamabad: Alif Ailaan. xii-122 pp.

111

UNESCO-USAID, (2006), Situation Analysis of Teacher Education in Pakistan: Towards a Strategic Framework for Teacher Education and Professional Development, UNESCO

112

Ibid.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

for the students, technology for classrooms, and


training for teachers. MELTs aim is to enhance
creativity and innovation amongst students and
teachers. MELT Programme introduces smart
boards, Windows-based tablets for teachers, and
COWs (Computers on Wheels) in all Roots classrooms. These efforts notwithstanding there is not
enough content available or technology in the
hands of the teachers to effectively teach with
technology in the classrooms.
Opportunities for Further Development
These challenges may highlight avenues for further
development:
There is a need for proper teacher certification
and licensing and quality assurance of curriculum-relevant content to be available to teachers
seeking to teach through technology.
There is dire need for more content to be developed on a priority basis, perhaps, through a co-production or crowdsourcing model allowing a large
number of teachers to develop standardized
content cost-free.
There is a need for greater sharing of best practices and experiences within a teachers community of
practice enabled, ideally, through an online portal
accessible to all.
There is need to develop an ICT in education
strategy at the provincial level with the consultation
of the provincial departments of education to tackle
ICT issue rationally. The strategy will help the
education department to develop PC-1 to allocate
funds further to implement ICT at the provincial and
district levels.

3.4.4 Learning Management


Systems in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the use of learning management
systems has grown as the scope and scale of educational institutions has increased over the years.
Starting from the efficiency gains of automating
traditional campus and learning processes, the use
of LMS has now entered more sophisticated realms
such as the collection and dissemination of various
kinds of media, lesson planning, and online
collaboration.

As these uses have become more demanding,


however, the LMS shifted away from purpose built
in-house solutions to more mature proprietary and
open source software such as Moodle. Though,
there is still a large number of small learning management systems that were developed from scratch
for a particular client.
The Smart Schools (TSS) a franchise of the Citi
Schools System uses relevant Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) such as computer
labs, a web portal, and a combination of e-learning
and traditional teaching tools to support its Edtech
initiative. The web-based learning management
system allows users to access an e-library equipped
with interactive simulations, animations, presentations, and tutorials, allows parents and teachers to
keep track of student progress, and communicate
with each other on a regular basis.
Opportunities for Further Development
Although learning management systems represent
only a part of the solution, there are still a number
of features of learning management systems that
could benefit from further development. These
include:
Greater development within the open source
community to create systems that are easier to
deploy, modify, maintain and use.
Improvements in graphical user interfaces and
usability (e.g. drag and drop features) and integration with a variety of open source content and
media to enable less-trained teachers to easily use
these systems.
Greater simplicity within learning
management systems to allow usage in simpler
formats (such as mobile devices) and flexibility for
use in cross-platform environments.
Enable learning management systems to
integrate with the crowd sourcing or user generated content movement to self-populate with
appropriate content.

Pakistans Edtech Landscape

3.4.5 Gamified Education in Pakistan


Gamified education is in its infancy in Pakistan with
the first developers making pioneering inroads into
this exciting and emerging area. There are a number
of relatively small players based out of Pakistan that
are producing gamified education solutions for an
international market. Agnitus Inc. is a US-based
venture funded start-up with founder roots and a
development office in Pakistan that seeks to gamify
education for learners of Grades K through 5.
Agnitus Learning App provides access to over 60
titles that seem to improve learning capabilities and
literacy retention while enhancing thinking and
reasoning skills. Agnitus believes in fun and engaging education that allows kids to learn more. Agnitus Learning Platform has been well-received and it
has won accolades including 2014 NAPPA Gold
Award for National Parenting Publications Associationand two KAPI (Kids@Play) Awards for Best
Childrens App (for pre-readers) and Best Education
Technology.
Other players include GeniTeam and Folio3 (Secret
Builders), which produce gamified educational
content for early learners aimed at the Global
(primarily US) maket.

The Knowledge Platform recently launched a new


platform that allows learners to compete with each
other on simple Maths challenges in multiplayer
settings. Knowledge Platforms offerings are mostly
targeted at the Asia Pacific market with deployments already underway in China and Pakistan.
Other new entrants experimenting with gamification include entities such as NUSTs Innovative
Technologies in Education (ITE) programme,3Restart, and Jugnu Games, among others.
Opportunities for Further Development
Gamification is clearly a fast-growing trend. It is also
in the very early stages of development in Pakistan
and require further efforts towards:
Development of educational games for
low-cost platforms (such as normal phones, smart
phones, and other one-to-many devices) that would
allow their mainstreaming in poor neighborhoods.
Use of learning analytics and personalized
feedback in a culturally relevant way to direct
efforts towards at-risk learners in order to improve
their retention power, etc.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

3.4.6 Local Content in Pakistan


The local content movement within Pakistan is
relatively new. Generally, schools that do use forms
of ICT4E or Edtech use content already available on
the web to mix and match what is required. This
content sometimes does, but often does not,
correspond with the national curriculum.
Over the years, there have been efforts to develop
some of this curriculum by Khan Academy clones
(such as Sabaq Foundation) as well as other providers (such as JugnuTV, TeleTaleem, and Knowledge
Platform etc.).
Sabaq Foundation is the oldest and most advanced
of these efforts. Sabaqs videos have received
considerable recognition and traction. These have
been downloaded a few hundred thousand times
and are being used by a number of institutions such
as Citizens Foundation, SOS Childrens Village, Read
Foundation, and Dar-e-Arqam Schools. Having
recognized lack of internet access as a major road
block, Sabaq is in discussions with Punjab government to put these videos on CDs and make these
available to students directly. Upto 100,000 of these
CDs are planned to be distributed. Punjab E.Learn
the Governments e-learning portal also uses
Sabaq Foundations videos alongside its content.
Thus far, there has been no systematic study of
learning impact carried out by Sabaq Foundation.
Jugnu TV is an internally-financed project of 3i Logic
an e-learning and Edtech company. JugnuTV is
made for Pakistan and is based largely on national
curriculum guidelines. Jugnu TV currently has five
subject areas, each of which has central characters
for kids to relate to. Titles include Aao-Urdu-Seekhain (Urdu), Piyara Pakistan (History and
Geography), Little Scientist (Science), Maths Monster(Mathematics), and Lets Learn English (English
Language). Each of these title areas contain short
lessons, games and animated nursery rhymes and
stories.

There have also been government-led efforts to


create local content ranging from merely digitizing
textbooks to introducing other media elements
such as video lectures and simulations, etc.
Punjab E.Learn is a project of the Punjab government which comprises a web portal that has
digitized and aggregated the curriculum for the
Punjab Text Book Board for grades 6 through 10 for
Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, and Science. This
curriculum has been augmented by animations,
videos, simulations, and assessments to make these
sessions more lively and engaging. The Punjab
government is pushing for the adoption of this
portal by public schools that fall under its various
jurisdictions.
Opportunities for Further Development
In spite of these efforts the production or provision
of localized content has generally lagged across all
platforms desktop, web, and mobile. There are
several opportunities for further development:
There is a dire need to develop a local content
industry and a market in Pakistan. This can be
achieved through a concerted push from
educational community, telecom companies or an
act of policy/regulation (e.g. by PTA).
There is a need to create credentialing and
quality assurance processes that help encourage
generation of quality content. This could then create
opportunities for using crowd-sourced or user
generated content.

CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Conclusions: Gaps in Pakistans existing Edtech Eco-System
Policy Recommendations

The real role of leadership in education its true at national, state, and
school level is not and should not be command and control. The real role
of leadership is climate control. Creating a climate of possibility. And if you
do that people will rise to it and achieve things that you completely did
not anticipate and could not have expected.

Sir Ken Robinson, Educational Critic, Edtech Evangelist, in How to Escape


Education's Valley of Death

Conclusions and Recommendations

4. CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
The sections above provide a brief snapshot of Pakistans e-/m-learning landscape. This section
summaries these ideas and lessons learnt to define the gaps within the e-/m-learning eco-system of
Pakistan.

4.1 Conclusions: Gaps in Pakistans existing Edtech Eco-system


A number of conclusions can be drawn from the above analysis, which further lead to recommendations
discussed in section 4.2.
Pakistans ICT, mobile gaming and applications industry is home to high-level technical
capability to deliver world-class e-/m-learning software and content.
A number of Pakistani software and mobile apps development companies have the capability to deliver
high quality products and services. GameView Studios, TinTash, GeniTeam, Mindstorm Studios, to name
only a few, have made a name for themselves by delivering high quality services for foreign and their
own game titles. Some of this capability can be deployed in support of the educational software market
in Pakistan.
Pakistan is also home to significant domain expertise in the educational technology space that
is successfully delivering high-end educational products to clients worldwide.
Companies such as Agnitus and Arbisoft stand out. Agnitus hosts a development center in Islamabad
that is responsible for its award winning product The Agnitus Learning Programme that is being used
by thousands of users in developed markets such as the United States. Arbisoft produces and delivers
high-end content for Ten Marks a US company that was recently acquired by Amazon.com as well as
other leading players in the US. These two examples clearly demonstrate the potential not only of
producing high-end educational software and content on spec but also the ability to manage the idea
to commercialization process.
There are also a number of indigenous and innovative solutions developed specifically to cater
to conditions within Pakistan.
Tele-Taleems Ilm-on-Wheels uses mobile vans equipped with tablets, satellite communications, and
power supply to go in far-flung areas that are deprived of electricity to deliver e-learning. Beaconhouses
computer on wheels (COWs) programme has been specifically designed to deal with frequent power
outages even within urban centers. Power FM 99s Broadclass solution uses a low-end and readily available technology, such as a radio, to reach out to classes in both urban and rural areas. The project distributed its own rechargeable radios to address the electricity challenge. These examples demonstrate that
innovative thinking can address the challenges confronted by developers of e-/m-learning platforms
and initiatives.
There is a considerable lack of local language-based content in Pakistan.
Most of the content available is either of a rather rudimentary nature or is simply not enough to deal
with the fast growing needs of the society. In recent years, there have been efforts to create (or translate)
content in local languages (particularly Urdu). Sabaq Foundation, for instance, has translated and

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

and localized considerable portion of Khan Academys lectures and added to it and made it available for
free. ToffeeTV has developed animated nursery rhymes in Urdu primarily aimed at the expatriate market.
Dheere Bolo is another venture that has delved into the local content market as have Jugnoo
Media and JugnuTV. There are several others but their numbers are insignificant as compared to what
would be required to meet the content challenge. A similar situation prevails vis--vis the need for
localized content in the aftermath of the 3G/4G auctions.
There is an under-developed market for educational software and content in Pakistan.
Most of the localized content is available for free and not monetized thus seriously undermining efforts
to create commercial ventures aimed at local content creation. On the whole, there is not yet a fully
developed market for either educational software or content thus dampening the enthusiasm of
market players to enter. There are several reasons for this, including lack of enforcement of intellectual
property rights, small market size, lack of quality certification, absence of verifiable performance and
impact data, among others. Most efforts right now are either an entrepreneurs unfunded labour of love
or supported by donors like Ilm Ideas or Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG), among others.
There is insufficient information and sharing of best practices within the educational
technology sphere.
There are no organized platforms for sharing of information and best practices within the educational
technology sphere. This often results in multiple efforts trying to do the same thing thus leading to
duplication, inefficient use of resources, and a slow learning curve for the industry. For instance, there
are now a number of potential players seeking to develop local content for grades K-12, many of them
using Khan Academys content to dub it in local language / dialect. Yet, nobody knows who is doing
what and how to coordinate this distributed and fragmented content development effort so that things
could be done better and faster. Similarly, a few players are beginning to experiment with blended
learning and have learnt to lower the device-to-pupil ratios. However, this knowledge is not trickling
down to those who are still looking for budgets to buy laptops or tablets for every child.
Learning initiatives in Pakistan, particularly within the public sector, are usually hardware
focused.
As with most other development work, hardware takes priority and is preferred over software. Yet, in
the case of educational technology initiatives, technology is merely a small part of the overall solution.
Content, as they say, is the king, and this is where most Pakistani initiatives particularly those within
the public sector - seriously lack. Most conversation about learning innovation and interventions begin
with setting up a computer lab or buying the best (or the cheapest) tablets without much a conversation about how would the content be created, who will choose it, and what would it cost. Subsequently,
while hardware is procured with much fanfare, content development only receives cursory interest as an
after-thought and is usually collected in a haphazard manner.
Creating effective solutions in Pakistan requires innovating within the constraints defined by
the countrys unique situation.
Electricity, for instance, is a major challenge in Pakistan and remains the single most important road
block to implementing e-/m-learning solutions particularly in rural areas, but also increasingly in urban
areas. Most initiatives that we looked at face the lack of electricity as a major challenge rendering some
literally worthless. Other challenges may include cultural bottlenecks, poverty, security, and even availability of the internet and these must be kept in mind as entrepreneur-innovator-implementors seek to
launch e/m-learning initiatives.
Affordability must be uppermost in the decision calculus when deciding hardware-software
combinations for e/m-learning interventions.
It is important to design interventions and pick hardware-software combinations with purchasing
power and affordability in mind. This means tablets will probably not become a mass solution for Pakistans educational problem for at least the foreseeable short-to-medium term future and lower-cost

Conclusions and Recommendations

devices (SMS phones, or one-to-many terminals) will remain the hardware of choice. Also, this demands
that designers of products and services optimize the use of hardware (e.g. using lower power device,
where possible) and make use of low-cost options such as Arduino or the Raspberry Pi.
Most e/m-learning initiatives in Pakistan lack the strategy to scale.
Most importantly, most e/m-learning initiatives in Pakistan fail to progress beyond the pilot scale and do
not have a viable strategy to scale where they could begin to make a dent in Pakistans educational
challenge. A classic case in point is the UNESCO-Bunyad Foundation project, which delivers high impact
for minimal cost and yet has not been able to scale beyond a few thousand people over a half-a-decade.
Initiatives must be planned and designed for scalability. Given the important role of the public education sector in achieving scale and creating a robust and vibrant ICT for education market, the lack of a
government strategy on the subject is a major deterring factor.
There is little or no impact data or evidence on what works and what does not work.
Finally, there is little or no impact data or scientific evidence on what works and what does not, and
under what circumstances. Before one can begin to think about scaling an intervention, it is important
to know that the intervention works. Even beyond impact data, there is considerable opportunity to
learn from various e-/m-learning initiatives. The insights gleaned from actual implementations even if
they did not achieve the desired impact can be invaluable in planning new interventions or scaling
those already tried.
It is important that these lessons learnt - gaps and failings within the e-/m-learning eco-system are
internalized and addressed for e/m-learning to make a noticeable impact on Pakistans educational
challenges.

4.2 Policy Recommendations


Addressing some of the challenges facing education, in general, and Edtech, in particular shall require
concerted action on a number of fronts and by various actors within the educational eco-system in
Pakistan. Since the passage of the 18th Constittutional Amendment in Pakistan, education is now a
provincial subject with little federal control over the matter. The provincial ministries of education and
the educational bureaucracy, therefore, becomes of paramount importance in creating and implementing any policy geared towards education. A number of policy recommendations emerge from the above
analysis:
Recommendation 1: Create programmes and opportunities that encourage rapid prototyping
and experimentation with new platforms and content.
Edtech or ICT4E, particularly in its current form, is still a very nascent phenomenon in Pakistan. Rapidly
advancing technology and declining costs are changing the dynamic of adoption and pushing what is
within the realm of the possible. There is a need to quickly learn from a number of experiments to find
the model (or models) that work under the Pakistani socio-economic environment. We need to create a
formal mechanism to encourage and fund such experimentation, perhaps, through a consortium of
various donors and actors who may be willing to commit resources towards such learning and experimentation. This will be a very small fraction of the overall development budgets of donors but will
generate immeasurable value and return through learning within the system.
Recommendation 2: Invest in low-cost, scalable solutions customized to the state of Pakistans
education sector.
When one looks at the landscape of Edtech activity currently happening in Pakistan, there is a lot of
emphasis on high end solutions laptops for everyone, smart boards, tablets, and gamification, etc.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

and while these could become accessible to ordinary people in the medium to longer run, the solution
of the immediate future requires something that is low cost and high impact. There is a need to invest in
solutions that are appropriate to the local environment and are likely to be replicable and scalable very
fast. It is also important that we learn from the examples of projects like the OLPC and Simputer and,
rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, use low-cost off-the-shelf components. Similarly, there is a need
to fund projects that leverage technology through sharing of devices such as using low-cost clickers vs.
other high cost devices, or blended learning systems that utilize one computer for every four students
than systems that user one computer per student, and putting technologies in the hands of teachers
(e.g. projector phones) than putting them in the hands of students (e.g. tablets in the classroom).
Recommendation 3: Generate evidence of impact and rapidly learn about implementation
challenges within variety of deployment contexts.
Following from Recommendation 1, there is a clear need to generate evidence of impact as well as
create a better understanding of the implementation challenges in a variety of deployment contexts.
More often than not, while a lot of effort and resources go into creating the intervention in the first
place, impact assessment or monitoring gets neglected for want of resources and the desire to move
forward. A properly resourced research element to measure both qualitative and quantitative impact of
the intervention needs to be part of the programme design upfront. This impact assessment should be
independent and carried out in a manner that it gets due care to capture important insights about
implementation as well. For example, answers to questions like, does a particular kind of intervention
only work in urban settings, and not rural schools? or does a particular intervention achieve differential
impacts under different circumstances? provide invaluable guides for policy-making and scale up.
Recommendation 4: Document, disseminate and adopt best practices and lessons learnt from
implemented programmes.
As evidence on implemented initiatives begins to grow, there will be value in creating a public repository of successful programmes and best practices in the implementation process. This resource should be
detailed and available to all those seeking to develop, copy, or deploy an Edtech intervention. There are
several examples of such resources and the most recent and notable one is the study carried out by the
National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) in the United Kingdom that explored
the global landscape of learning innovation and captured best practices from a large number of
programmes worldwide. Once a community of Edtech professionals and initiatives begin to emerge,
there will also be value in having annual conferences, training workshops, and other platforms for
113
sharing of best practices from both national and international front.
Recommendation 5: Create master trainer programmes for Edtech and IT Integration.
There is considerable dearth of teacher skills and competency to use ICT and Edtech within the curriculum. Most efforts that we examined were somewhat haphazard and sought to take an easier route
rather than properly integrate ICT within the curriculum and the classroom. This is understandable given
that most teachers are either not formally IT literate or trained in how to integrate IT with the curriculum,
or both. Even when they are pushed by the institution to do so, their lack of formal training becomes a
major bottleneck and they are often restricted to merely showing videos in the classroom, or using word
processer and power point software. Formal teacher training and credentialing at a massive scale are
necessary to make Edtech deliver in the classrooms. We recommend using a master trainer approach
whereby several teacher trainers are first trained and certified by a competent authority who can then
go ahead and train teachers in various cities.

113

NESTA, 2011, Decoding Learning Report, National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, London, United Kingdom

Conclusions and Recommendations

Recommendation 6: Take a proactive approach to creating culturally aware, socio-economically


appropriate, and cutting edge educational content.
The challenge of content creation is far bigger than most single actors can assume. It has to be a collective effort to proactively curate content that could feed the Edtech programmes. A crowdsourcing
platform to engage hundreds if not thousands of teachers around the country could be one part of this
strategy. A concerned plan of action for key stakeholders such as Ministry of IT, PTA, PEMRA, Provincial
Ministries, Textbook Boards, various education donors and actors must be another part of this equation.
There have been successful examples around the world where a small amount of regulation (for example requiring every television channel or mobile developer to ensure that a small part of their online or
mobile content must be educational in nature) could help catalyze and create a vibrant content industry
in the country and may provide an inducement to established firms as well as new entrepreneurial
ventures to enter this market. Similar requirements can be made of international content providers or
local entities selling internationally developed content to ensure that foreign language (usually English)
content is also translated and made available in Urdu as a precondition for selling into the Pakistani
market. Policies like these have worked well in several markets within Asia Pacific and can play a part in
developing a local content industry in Pakistan.
Recommendation 7: State must take a strategic view towards making aproactive policies and
strategies for enhancing use of ICT in education.
As discussed above, the governments policy and strategy for ICT4E has important implications for the
development of this industry. It is thus important for provinical governments to look at this as a policy
issue and develop an ICT for Education strategy as well as allocate funds to implement the action plans.
The international agencies and organizations having technical capacity that must assist in development
of these ICT strategic plans, if required.

Appendices
Edtech Initiatives - International
Edtech Initiatives - Pakistan

Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment. And its
not enough. Reform is not enough anymore because thats simply improving a
broken model. What we need is not evolution but a revolution in education.
This has to be transformed into something else.

- Sir Ken Robinson, Educational Critic and Edtech Evangelist, in Bring on the
Learning Revolution

Appendices

ACASE STUDIES: GLOBAL SUCCESS STORIES

A1: Global Best Practice Case Study 1 - Malaysian Smart Schools Project

114

Context
The Smart Schools Project was one of the seven flagship applications of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative as a catalyst for high-value jobs in the country. The conceptual blueprint launched
in 1997 by Tun Mahathir Mohamed identified democratization of education and creating a technology literate workforce as key objectives and created a collaborative effort between the Ministry of
Education (MoE), the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and Telekom Smart School (TSS)
industry consortium.
Intervention
Five elements are key to the Smart School Integrated Solution(SSIS), namely, Teaching-Learning
Materials (1,494 items of courseware and printed material for students from Year 1 to Form 5 in four
subject areas: Bahasa Melayu, English, Science, and Mathematics); Smart School Management System
software for managing and administering student enrolment, educational resources, school finances,
human resources, external resources, facilities, technology, and hostel facilities); Technology Infrastructure provided to schools such as hardware, software and other equipment; Systems Integration
(to ensure integration between the various components and processes and to ensure data integrity
and security) and Support Services (such as Help Desk services, maintenance and support).
Impact
A Frost & Sullivan benchmark study of the Smart School Integrated Solution with eight other countries (including Australia, Britain, Canada, Singapore, and United States) rated it as an exceptional
educational initiative and found that it resulted in more efficient school processes both in management and teaching.
Critical Success Factors
Strong government leadership throughout the conceptualization, development, and phased
implementation of the SSIS initiative across the entire country;
A public-private partnership between Government and the private sector for development and
deployment;
A focused effort to develop locally relevant course content that is compatible with the curriculum.

114 This case study draws heavily from Kala, Bannayan et al., (2012), ICT in Primary Education: Analytical Survey - Volume 1:

Exploring the Origins, Settings, and Initiatives. Moscow, UNESCO.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

A2: Global Best Practice Case Study 2 Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based m-Learning Environment
Context
Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE) aims to help students develop critical
thinking, creativity, and reading and writing skills through interactive learning. The SMILE programme
was first launched in February 2011 in India and Malaysia, and later implemented in Argentina. It
seeks to actively engage primary school students in underserved communities in learning, in group,
through asking questions.
Intervention
The SMILE mobile platform consists of two basic modules, namely, Junction Quiz which is a
mobile-based application that enables students to create multiple choice questions and share them
with peers, and a Junction Quiz Controller that allows the teacher to control and monitor progress of
all of the students activity in real time. Student are divided into groups and encouraged to explore
and discuss content to deepen their understanding and knowledge. They then create multiple choice
questions using multi-media enhancements and post them on SMILE platform through a smart
phone. The teacher (and other students) then review each question and answers with the students.
The group with most correct answers wins. The platform enables interactivity as well as ensures high
level of engagement with the content.
Impact
SMILE claims to have encouraged teamwork and critical thinking among students by asking them to
work in groups as they create multimedia multiple-choice questions. The group work also creates
opportunities for participating students to discuss their concerns and it stimulates collaboration
within groups as well as healthy competition between them. 115
Critical Success Factors
The following features are intentionally designed to maximize the effectiveness of the SMILE
programme:
Use of multimedia such as graphics and imagery, enhances learners involvement;
Self directed learningencourages the develop deeper understanding of the content;
The process of creating multiple choice questions require deeper comprehension and critical
thinking skills;
116
Peer learning and peer-assessment creates a non-pressured competitive learning environment;
An initial workshop and ongoing support prepares teachers to apply the SMILE method and
117
technology

115

Kim and Buckner, Integrating Technology and Pedagogy for Inquiry Based Learning: The Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning
Environment (SMILE) available at: http://www.academia.edu/2047298/Integrating_Technology_and_Pedagogy_for_Inquiry_Based
_Learning_The_Stanford_Mobile_Inquiry-based_Learning_Environment_SMILE_
116 Seol, S., Sharp, A., Kim, P., (undated), Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE): Using mobile phones to
promote student inquires in the elementary classroom, available at: https://gse-it.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/worldcomp
11_SMILE.pdf
117 UNESCO, (2012), Mobile Learning for Teachers in Latin America, Paris, France

Appendices

A3: Global Best Practice Case Study 3 Text2Teach Teacher Training Programme in the
Philippines
Context
Text2Teach is a mobile learning initiative of BridgeIT in the Philippines. BridgeIT is a global network
comprising Nokia, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Pearson and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The organization aims to improve the basic standards of education across
nations focusing on the underprivileged schools in developing countries and enabling teachers to
118
utilize digital resources to supplement the local curricula. This is done through delivering digitized
education content to in-classroom TV sets through mobile technology.
Intervention
Each school is given a mobile phone, a TV set, a satellite dish, and a storage device that also serves as
a video player. Teachers use mobile phones to order videos by sending an SMS containing the
catalogue number of the desired video and to communicate with other teachers to compare notes, or
share their experiences. The material is downloaded with help of a high memory smartphone loaded
with Nokia proprietary software and stored, ready for viewing. The smartphone can be connected to
the TV or a projector to screen the video to the whole class. The instructional design of the project is
aligned with the Department of Educations basic education curriculum for Maths, English and
Science (Grades 5 and 6).
Impact
More than half a million students in 555 schools in 9 provinces of the Philippines have benefited from
Text2Teach. More than 1,500 teachers have also been trained in Math, English and Science subjects, as
119
well as on how to use the ICT (T2T) tools for teaching. The project has had a considerable impact on
education. It helped students achieve learning gains in English and Science, improved teachers ICT
using skills, and reduced absenteeism and dropout rates. The M&E team at T2T also concluded that
T2T increases students attentiveness. Children are more interested in watching interesting videos that
enables a longer retention of the concepts.120
Critical Success Factors
There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the success of the BridgeIT programme
in the Philippines and elsewhere. An effective project methodology and phased rollout that learns
from earlier deployments is one of them as is the presence of a strong partnership of the right kind of
institutions and buy-in from the national educational policy agencies. However, the most significant
success factor of the BridgeIT programme is its focus on teachers rather than students as the ultimate
user though not necessarily the beneficiaries of technology. Instead of using technology to bypass
them, the project acknowledged the essential role of teachers and helped expand their pedagogical
and curricular repertoires by training them to leverage technology. Each video is accompanied by a
lesson plan there by reducing teachersworkloads and making their jobs simpler. Teachers are also
trained in how to integrate the videos into lessons and to use the mobile devices to share best practices and experiences with peers.

118

Ayala Foundation, (2011)

119
UNESCO, (2012), Implications for Policy Makers and Planners, Paris, France
120

Ayala Foundation, (2011)

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

A4: Global Best Practice Case Study 4 Moodle Learning Management System (LMS)
Context
Moodle is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.121It was originally
developed as a free Course Management System (CMS) by Martin Dougiamas, an Australian graduate
student in 1999 and the platform was released to the public in 2002. Moodle was designed from two
basic components PHP (the language for building dynamic web pages) and MySQL (Structured
Query Language which is one of the world's most popular open source database) as a flexible
environment to help educators create online courses and promote collaborative learning. Currently,
122
there are 174,350 registered sites using Moodle to offer almost 12 million courses to around 112
million users across the globe in 255 countries. This makes Moodle the most widely used learning
platform.123
Intervention
Many institutions use Moodle to supplement classroom-based instruction with online content, known
as blended learning. Basic building blocks of Moodle include registration and enrollment, course
management and lesson planning, communications, site management, and user management. It can
124
accommodate a variety of activities such as chat, choice, forum, glossary, lesson, quiz, resource,
survey, wiki, workshop etc. Moreover, based on its ease of use it suits for low resource organisations
like schools, non profits and small businesses. Additional features in a recent version (2.5) include
support for game based learning. Moodle Gamification toolkit includes group formation, results
block, progress bar, certificates, activity completion, and badges that can be awarded after
125
completing a certain activity or a course.
Impact
Moodles impact has not been formally studied, although there are conferences, including a Moodle
Research Conference that has been organized to study the impact of Moodle on learning. It was
attended by 70 delegates from 22 countries. One measure of Moodles success would be the level of
126
deployment. In August 2014, Moodle had a user-base of 88,070 registered sites with 76,675,352 users
in 8,324,096 courses in 241 countries. The site with the most users, moodle.org, has 66 courses and
127
1,090,234 users. Following a 5 million investment in 2005, The Open University, UK is the
second-largest Moodle deployment by user-base, with 714,310 users and 6,093 courses. A large
128
Moodle developer community around the globe has emerged which is supported by a core team of
20 developers at Moodle HQ, further supported by tightly connected global developers, testers,
129
documentation writers.
Success Factors
As with any free and open source software, one of the most important hallmarks of Moodles success
is its ability to assimilate user-driven feedback and innovation as it is created and refined by a global
community of designers, developers, and testers many of whom are themselves early-adopters and
users i.e. teachers who bring in in-depth knowledge of what works within the classroom and what
doesnt along with the passion and energy that drives an open source movement. The fact that
Moodle is free to install also means that this user-generated experience is relatively inexpensive and
removes the ambiguity and additional layer of information loss between users and developers.
121

Moodle, (2014), Moodle Website: http://www.moodle.org


Ulmane-Ozolina, L., Kulmane, V., and Kazakevica, M., (2011), Collaboration Tools in Higher Education Students Everyday Life and
Learning, published in International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, vol. 3, Nos. 2/3/4
123
Moodle, (2014), Moodle Website: http://www.moodle.org
124
http://www.monarchmedia.com/enewsletter_2010-3/open-source-lms-sakai-and-moodle.pdf
125
Classroom-Aid, (2013), Gamifying Learning with Moodle, available at: http://classroom-aid.com/2013/11/18/gamifying-learning-with
-moodle-gbl/
126
Jenner, M., (2012), The Future of Moodle is Well Within Our Grasp, available at: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ele/2012/09/17/the-future-ofmoodle-is-well-within-our-grasp/
127
Moodle Wikipedia Entry available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moodle (Accessed: May 20, 2015)
128
Ibid.
129Jenner, M., (2012), The Future of Moodle is Well Within Our Grasp, available at: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ele/2012/09/17/thefuture-of-moodle-is-well-within-our-grasp/
122

Appendices

A5: Global Best Practice Case Study 5 MinecraftEDU

Context
Minecraft is a popular game developed by Mojang of Sweden (recently acquired by Microsoft).
Minecraft allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3Dgenerated world. Activities include exploration, resource acquisition, crafting, and combat. The game can be played in
multiple ways including survival modes where the player must acquire resources to build the world
and maintain health, a creative mode where players have unlimited resources to build and the ability
to fly, and an adventure mode where players play custom maps created by other players. As if October
2014, nearly 54 million copies have been sold across all platforms, making it one of the best-selling
video games of all time.131Playing Minecraft leads to several educational benefits as well and many
have commented on it. In 2012, Cody Sumter, a researcher at MIT, for instance, has said "Notch hasn't
just built a game. He's tricked 40 million people into learning to use a CAD program."
Intervention
In 2011, an educational organization named MinecraftEdu was formed with the goal of introducing
Minecraft into schools. The group works with Mojang to make the game affordable and accessible to
schools.MinecraftEdu transforms Minecraft into a teacher-directed virtual learning environment. All of
the open-ended possibilitiesof the base game still exist in MinecraftEdu, but with dashboard features
that allow teachers more control. With MinecraftEdu, teachers can quickly host servers and build
custom maps with integrated content as well as create and administer assignments and lessons. There
is also a useful set of classroom management tools that make it easy to define player abilities and
items, to freeze, mute, and teleport students, and to create specific building areas with player permissions. For an example, one teacher built a world consisting of various historical landmarks for students
132
132
to learn and explore. Another teacher uses MinecraftEdu to set up a class on Middle East.
Impact
In September 2012, MinecraftEdu said that approximately 250,000 students around the world have
133
access to Minecraft through the company. A number of teachers have reported using MinecraftEdu in
classroomswith a variety of benefits 126
including greater student interest, encourage creativity and
collaboration, among other things.
Success factors
Building on already existing networks: MinecraftEdu creates the network effects necessary for
adoption;
Developer Communities: MinecraftEdu depends upon a growing community of developers (within
Mojang and outside) as well as content creators often teachers themselves to quickly adapt and
create that keeps the platforms to date;
Structured Discovery: MinecraftEdu provides additional features and control for the teacher that
allows students gameplay structured and objectives-oriented that enabling them to learn what is
intended rather than getting bogged down with the fun part of the game only.

130

Minecraft Wikipedia entry at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft


Waxman, Olivia, (September 21, 2012). "MinecraftEdu Teaches Students Through Virtual World-Building," Time.
132 https://www.graphite.org/game/minecraftedu
133
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft
131

Appendices

A6: Global Best Practice Case Study 6 Content Development through Khan Academy

Context
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website, founded by accidental educationist Salman Khan
to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere." The organization produces micro
lectures in the form of YouTube videos. The purpose is to transform traditional classroom based
learning to a personalized learning experience and provide learners with educational resources for
free in any part of the world. The viewers listen to conversational tutorials and view step-by-step
doodles and diagrams on an electronic board. While tutorials can be paused, a classroom lecture
cannot be. Therefore, learners can take breaks to reflect upon the knowledge gained and integrate it
with their prior information.
Intervention
The Khan Academy Platform features a number of key elements including: a library of content
covering math, science and humanities, with playlists on finance and history. Students can make use
of this extensive library of content, including interactive challenges, videos that can be accessed from
any computer with access to the web; practice problems that tests learners capabilities to answer
questions; feedback on time spent and where that time is spent that allows teachers (coaches) and
parents can also have unprecedented visibility into what their students are learning and doing on
Khan Academy. The website features around 5,500 instructional videos and 100,000 practice problems for a variety of topics. The website also sequences content through a knowledge map and
makes use of gamification elements such badges, etc. to incentivize children to learn.
Impact
The platform serves near 10 million students across the world in 200 countries every month. The
website has received a lot of visibility and celebrity endorsements including from Bill Gates and
President Obama and a number of Khan Academy clones have come forward to localize its content to
different areas. Many non-profit organizations have also distributed the offline versions of these
videos to rural areas in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Systematic studies of learning impact of Khan
Academys videos are only now being carried out in controlled environments in certain Schools in San
Jose.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

BCASE STUDIES: LOCAL SUCCESS STORIES


B1: Local Best Practice Case Study 1 The Broadclass Listen to Learn e-Learning Initiative

Context
Funded by Ilm Ideas (DFID funded) and implemented by the Communicators (Pvt.) Limited in
collaboration with Power 99 FM Radio station, Broadclass uses interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) to
improve literacy, numeracy and healthy habits among young children (Age 3-8).
Intervention
The programme delivers 45-minute radio broadcasts daily, except for Sundays, exam days, and
holidays, which are followed by students in teacher-facilitated classrooms as well as out-of-school
children aimed at Math, English, and Healthy habits. Short pauses in the scripts enable teachers and
students to participate in the radio programme by responding verbally and physically to questions
and activities posed by radio characters. The content and pedagogy are based on the national
134
curriculum. A dry battery radio was provided to each target classroom to ensure that schools where
129
there are frequent
electricity outages do not miss out on lessons.
Impact
The programme has been initially piloted in 45 schools in five urban and rural areas of Islamabad,
reaching approximately 120 classrooms (KG Grade 1). Moreover, for lessons to be as effective as
possible, it incorporates evaluations and feedback from parents throughout the year that further
improves the quality of lessons. In contrast to other IRI programs, Listen to Learn radio programme
135
gives greater attention to student interactivity and prompts their imagination.
Critical Success Factors
Teacher Training: Teachers were provided an initial 3-day training on how Interactive Radio works
and how to facilitate the classes along with additional 20-minute teacher-focused radio broadcasts
featuring teacher guides and other educational material.
Localized content: The content and activities of the radio program are mapped to the Pakistani
national curriculum and are delivered through a series of structured learning episodes in which
students are prompted to respond, do individual and group work, and perform learning tasks.
Stakeholders involvement: The project successfully engaged various stakeholders, including the
Federal Department of Capital Administration & Development (CADD), Provincial and District Education Departments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), heads of participating schools, teachers
as well as the children, and established an effective partnership.

134

135

The Communicators Presentation, (2013), Broad Class Listen to Learn, available at: http://www.meducationalliance.org/
docs/Symposium-2013/Presentations/The%20Communicators_Broad%20Class%20Listen%20to%20Learn%20
Presentation.pdf
Center for Education Innovations (2014), Broad Class - Listen to Learn, available at:
http://www.educationinnovations.org/program/broad-class-listen-learn

Appendices

B2: Local Best Practice Case Study 2 UNESCO-BUNYAD: Literacy Promotion through m-Learning

Context
Literacy Promotion through Mobile Phones Project was initiated in 2009 in Lahore, Pakistan as a
collaboration between UNESCO, Bunyad Foundation, and the mobile service provider, Mobilink. The
project uses mobile phones to deliver basic literacy material to out-of-school youth, particularly
women, to sustain interest in learning and enhance retention.
Intervention
The participants are first taught a basic literacy course and then provided with mobile phones that
received SMS messages. Messages contain basic literacy content in a fun and engaging style and
learners are invited to read and respond. The participants copy messages in notebooks, reading out
repeatedly, and answer questions through SMS. Teachers properly trained to use mobile phones
interact and follow progress of students.
Impact
The project was piloted with 250 female learners in 3 districts in Punjab. Target and control groups
were used to assess the impact of the intervention. 60% of the girls who used the system
(target)earned
an A grade on the assessment while only 28% of those who did not use the system
136
(control) thus demonstrating significant learning gains in an affordable (about $50 per student)
137
manner. Moreover, the learners reported enjoying the use of mobile phones resulting into greater
self-confidence, especially girls who shared their skills with family members.
Success factors
Blended learning approach: The programme used a blended learning approach whereby
face-to-face (in-class) instruction was supplemented with mobile learning and not any one of these
alone;
Low cost mobile phones: The programme used low-cost mobile phones with simple text (SMS)
based instruction that are already popular and relatively available in Pakistan. Distributed phones had
other spillover benefits for participants too;
Compatibility with curriculum:The mobile-based post literacy programme was compatible with
existing basic literacy programmes being implemented in Pakistan;
Strong local partnerships: The programme depended upon strong local partnerships, particularly
with Bunyad Foundation, an NGO with strong local roots, and Mobilink to ensure take up and success.

136

UNESCO (2013) Policy guidelines for Mobile Learning, Paris, France.


Miyazawa, I., (2009), Literacy Promotion through Mobile Phones, Project Brief Paper, UNESCO, Islamabad, Pakistan,
presented at The 13th UNESCO-APEID International Conference and World Bank-KERIS High Level Seminar on ICT in Education.

137

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B3: Local Best Practice Case Study 3 AKU-IED: ICT Integration through Teacher Training
Context
While ICT4E has been in vogue in Pakistan for at least a couple of decades, most teachers are not
properly trained to integrate ICT in the educational process. As a result, they end up using technology
in a very superficial and rudimentary manner. For instance, ICT4E interventions often focus on teachers presenting lectures on power points or forcing students to do the same falling far short of taking
full advantage of the range of capabilities that new media and technology provides. This can only be
addressed through focused pedagogical training that enables teachers to integrate technology in the
curriculum.
Intervention
The Aga Khan Universitys Institute of Education Development (AKU-IED) has, for many years, offered
a 6 month immersive teacher training programme that is attended not only by teachers from across
Pakistan but also throughout AKUs international network that focuses on technology integration in
the curriculum rather than just technology adoption. Teachers are selected through a process whereby principals nominate teachers who are often already engaged in ICT education with an understanding that they will provide these teachers with considerable autonomy to apply the lessons learnt
during training. Teachers undergo an initial period of face-to-face instruction followed by a mix of
onsite lectures and offsite implementation that maximizes learning.
Impact
The project has had considerable impact on a majority of the participants. The phased approach
allows participants to fully absorb content before they are required to start applying it in real-life
situations within their own careers and this allows for immediate impact. Analysis of programme
reveals that participants who are likely to be in decision-making positions are more likely to deliver
impact than those that dont.
Success factors
Blended learning approach: The programme uses a blended learning approach whereby
face-to-face (in-class) instruction is supplemented with offsite practical application of the work;
Top-level buy-in: The programme enables top-level buy-in by requesting that school principals
nominate the teachers for the programme with explicit understanding that their support would be
forthcoming to enable the teachers to apply what theyve learnt in the classrooms;
Focus on pedagogy: The programme focuses heavily on the pedagogy of integrating technology
within the classroom and fully equips the teacher with the tools necessary to make technology
meaningful.

Appendices

B4: Local Best Practice Case Study 4 3iLogic: A Moodle-based Learning Management System

Context
3iLogic is an e-learning and corporate training solutions provider in Karachi. It creates proprietary
content as well as does custom content development for clients. Content types include lessons,
games, animations, simulations, assessments etc. In particular, 3iLogic uses Moodle-based solutions
and have customized these for corporate learning and educational markets. 3iLogic has also been
very active in the Moodle Developer Community having created several Moodle responsive themes
and plugins.138
Intervention
3iLogic has developed a range of different interventions based on the Moodle Platform. These
include: Moodle Theme Plugins available-for-free onthe Moodle community three of which have
been among Top 20 Theme Downloads at the Moodle community website; Moodle Block Plugins are
add-ons that integrate with Moodle such as SMS Notifier, Learning Plan, Advanced Learning Plan,
Course Status Tracker, etc.; Management Reports that provide users with detailed reporting features;
Enperio LMSis a Moodle based corporate and educational learning management system solution;
low-cost LMS for education; and Mobile Moodle Solutions.
Impact
3iLogics Moodle products have been well-received. Three of 3iLogics Moodle responsive themes are
listed in Moodles Top 20 Downloads list at the Moodle Community with 30,000+ downloads globally.
Its Moodle users include businesses, educational institutions, non-profits and government departments in more than 30 countries. Recently, 3iLogic has been awarded as an official Moodle partner for
Pakistan.
Success factors
Instead of reinventing the wheel, 3i Logic used a pre-existing and mature solution and sought to
create value on top of it.
3iLogic experimented and invested resources in in-house R&D to develop capability and excellence in a narrow domain.

138

Email interview with Yahya Faruqi, Chief Executive of 3iLogic.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B5: Local Best Practice Case Study 5 -- Agnitus: Cutting Edge Educational Games for Export

Context
Agnitus Inc. is a US-based venture funded start-up with founder roots and a development office in
Pakistan that seeks to gamify education for learners of Grades K through 5. Agnitus Learning App
provides access to over 60 titles that claim to improve learning capabilities and literacy retention
while enhancing thinking and reasoning skills. Agnitus believes in fun and engaging education that
allows kids to learn more.
Intervention
Agnitus claims to provide the curriculum necessary for a child to experience and master a broad
variety of skills: recognizing colors and shapes, basic counting and sorting, enabling someone from
preschool to 3rd grade for just-right entry into structured learning environments. Curriculum is
divided into foundation skills, writing and language, math, and the world. The most critical foundation skills include development readiness (i.e. visual scanning, memory, motor control, attention), arts
139
and music, as well as pattern classifications, etc. Progress reports and analytics are generated on a
daily basis so that the right measures can be taken at the appropriate time to rectify problems.
Different educational apps are available through a monthly subscription; while kids can choose from a
variety of available games, parents have the ability to get detailed progress that enables them to track
their childs progress over time.
Impact
Agnitus Learning Platform has been well-received and it has won accolades, including 2014 NAPPA
140
Gold Award for National Parenting Publications Association and two KAPI (Kids@Play) Awards for Best
141
Childrens App (for pre-readers) and Best Education Technology. There is currently no publicly available usage data available on Agnitus Learning Platform.
Success Factors
Key success factors in Agnitus success is its visually pleasing graphics, extensive use of game
elements, data-driven reporting and use of learning theory to drive interaction.

139

http://www.agnitus.com/curriculum.html
http://www.agnitus.com/blog/
141
http://kapiawards.com/2014-kapi-awards/agnitus/
140

Appendices

B6: Local Best Practice Case Study 6 Sabaq Foundation: A Khan Academy Clone

Context
In Pakistan quality of instruction in the classrooms is quite poor with teacher absenteeism rampant
particularly in the public sector schools. Even if the teacher does come to the class, his (or her) credentials and quality of delivery is far from perfect leaving the students with no other access to materials
and instruction. Access to online materials is also severely limited and most materials are not available
in local languages. According to a mapping carried out by Sabaq Foundation, about 70% of material
on Khan Academy for grades 6-10 is easily mapped to the national curriculum and may only need
some investment in localization.
Intervention
Sabaq Foundation mostly takes instructional videos in Maths, Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
from Khan Academy and produces similar videos localized from a language and culture perspective
for the Pakistani curriculum. Videos for other areas of curriculum that do not easily match with
already available material are produced from scratch. These are then mapped onto the national
curriculum and uploaded on a website. Sabaq has so far completed Maths and Science curriculums
for grades 6-10 as well as O/A levels. These videos are available for free for anyone to view online.
Intervention
Sabaqs videos have received considerable recognition and traction. These have been downloaded a
few hundred thousand times and are being used by a number of institutions such as Citizens Foundation, SOS Childrens Village, Read Foundation, and Dar-e-Arqam Schools. Having recognized lack of
internet access as a major roadblock, Sabaq is in discussions with Punjab Government (Chief Ministers
Office) to put these videos on CDs and make these available to students directly. Upto 100,000 of
these CDs are planned to be distributed. Punjab E.Learn the Governments e-learning portal also
uses Sabaq Foundations videos alongside its content. Thus far, there has been no systematic study of
learning impact carried out by Sabaq Foundation.
Success factors
The most critical factor for the growing acceptance of Sabaq Foundations videos is their price, zero.
This, unfortunately, is also a major weakness. Students may be able to try a no-cost option. However,
they may not take it as seriously as they if they were paying to use the videos. (Note: The completion
rate for free courses is between 4 and 6%). Selling these videos for a fee may require considerable
reputational investment not unlike tuition centers that sell seats for hefty sums on the basis of the
reputations of rock-star tutors.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B7: Local Best Practice Case Study 7 TeleTaleem: Using Evidence to Scale Edtech Solutions

Context
TeleTaleem (T2) is a social enterprise that spun-off from Comcept (Pvt.) Ltd. a fairly successful telecom
hardware and software company based in Islamabad. T2 leverages its deep expertise in of the telecom
sector coupled with that of the learning cycle to create a technology and content delivery platform that
platform that seeks to address Pakistans Educational Challenges. One of the key features of T2s offering is
the mobility through the use of a fully equipped mobile van (School Garee) an independent self-contained connectivity platform to deliver education services in remote settings. The School Garee has
satellite based internet connectivity, IT infrastructure, and an uninterrupted power supply to deploy a
digital classroom, on demand, in any location.
Intervention
T2 offers a number of specific learning interventions, namely, Rapid Assessment, Learning Boost, and
Learning Mela, among others. T2 services are delivered through an Advanced Learning Environment
(ALE), which is a combination of five sub-systems; Learning Management System, Content Management
System, Virtual Classroom, Assessment System and Reporting Portal. The Learning Boost is a full spectrum
teacher training program to work on multiple teaching-learning dimensions to achieve significant gains
in teacher-student competencies. It offers, for instance, provides schools with specially developed and
curated content, delivered through a mix of onsite and offline facilitators, teachers, and teacher facilitators, followed by an assessment of outcomes through the use of tablets already available in the package.
Content is either adapted or produced.
Located remotely and connected via the digital classroom, Master Trainers (MTs) interact live with teachers, to provide training and mentoring. Every teacher is provided with a tablet containing all the content
used during training and beyond. The tablets also contain an assessment app, used by teachers to formatively assess their students before coming in for training; teachers are guided by MTs to better diagnose
and respond effectively to learner needs. The assessment results are uploaded from tablets to a reporting
portal, accessible to MTs, school administrators, education managers and parents. Results are also disseminated via SMS.
All of this is delivered through the fully equipped mobile van which makes it possible for schools in
far-flung districts to also benefit from T2s offerings.
Impact:
In all, T2 has implemented 7 technology enabled education programs, with a total value of US$ 2.5m. The
geographic spread covered 6 different districts, with the ADB assignment covering even a broader
footprint in KP and Punjab, deploying a team of about 200 professionals and consultants.
The Learning Boost has been incrementally refined through two phases of deployment, starting from 46
schools in Balakot, KPK, in 2013 and scaling to 200 public primary schools in Vehari and Mandi Bahauddin
in Punjab and 100 schools in Haripur, KPK, in 2014. Learning Boost is now poised to go to scale. Rapid
Assessment has undergone a year-long commercial trial working with a broad category of private sector
schools including foundation assisted, NGO managed and low cost private schools. Similar trials have
been done with encouraging response for Learning Mela, with a current ongoing project servicing 70
schools in Nowshera, under the Sub-National Governance program.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B7: Local Best Practice Case Study 7 TeleTaleem: Using Evidence to Scale Edtech Solutions (Contd)
Learning Boost has been most rigorously evaluated and has demonstrated statistically significant learning
gains in both phases of the program. In the pilot Phase I, it achieved an effect of 0.62(Medium Effect) in
142
case of Numeracy, whereas an effect of 0.96 (Strong Effect) for Grade V Maths. In case of literacy, the
weakest students mean score for comprehension increased by 26% for control group and 50% for
treatment group while reading accuracy increased by 17% for control group and 34% for treatment
group.
In Phase-II, statistically significant results were achieved in both Literacy and Numeracy, with Literacy
showing an even stronger result than Phase I. Teacher performance improved on pedagogy, content
knowledge, and attitude. Formal endorsements and requests for scale-ups were received from EDOs and
Teacher Associations.
T2s interventions have been featured in and written up for premier international conferences like UNES143
COs Mobile Learning Week and IEEEs International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies and
well-received by local donor community active in education reform, including DFID, DFAT, World Bank and
ADB.
Key Success Factors
T2 has taken a deliberate approach to creating a technology bundle (including content delivery,
assessment tools, and deployment infrastructure) that is particularly suited to address peculiar challenges
(such as lack of internet access, power shortages, maintenance, etc.) faced by Edtech providers in
Pakistan. This optimized technology bundle creates a formidable advantage, at least initially, to provide T2
with a strong point of entry into the market.
T2 has had access to a strong network of educationists and Edtech experts to develop and refine not
just its technology platform but also content geared towards the technology bundle.
T2 has focused on generation of systematic and rigorous data and evidence on learning impact of its
interventions and have developed a step-by-step approach towards piloting, assessing and demonstrating impact, and then achieving the necessary stakeholder buy-in to scale.
T2 has carried out extensive research, including, systematic and formal market research to better
understand market sizes, segments, preferences of users and key stakeholders, etc. and have prioritized
and revised interventions aimed at market needs.
Zualkernan, I. A., Burki, E., and Lutfeali, S., 2014, School Garee: Harnessing mobile technology to bring

142

143

Learning gains for treatment and control groups were normally distributed (Anderson-Darlington; p>0.15). A two sample singlesided t test shows that learning gains for the treatment group (M=0.211, SD=0.22) were significantly higher than those for the
control group (M = 0.077, SD=0.24), t(200)=-3.73, p= 0.000. The effect as measured by Cohens D was found to be 0.62 which
can be interpreted as a medium effect. Cohens D also had a fairly tight 95% confidence interval of [0.56, 0.67] indicating that
there is a 95% probability that the Cohens D is between 0.56 and 0.67. Since age, r(200)= 0.165, p<0.05 and pre-score, r(200) =
-0.461, p<0.05 were correlated with the overall learning gain, an Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) using age and pre-score as
covariates was carried out. After controlling for the effects of age and pre-score, treatment was found to be significant F(185,1) =
23.9, p<0.000. A Cohens f value of 0.29 for the ANCOVA also indicates a moderate effect after adjusting for the covariates
where was 0.08.
Zualkernan, I. A., Lutfeali, S., and Karim, A., 2014, Using tablets and satellite-based internet to deliver numeracy education to
marginalized children in a developing country, IEEE Gobal Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), San Jose, CA
available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6970295
Zualkernan, I. A., Burki, E., and Lutfeali, S., 2014, School Garee: Harnessing mobile technology to bring math and literacy
content to the hardest to reach, UNESCO Mobile Learning Week, Paris, France. Available at:
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/m4ed/unesco-mobile-learning-week-2014/symposium/breakoutsessions/school-garee/
Zualkernan, I. A., and Karim, A., Using a Traveling Van to deliver Blended Learning in a Developing Country, The 13th IEEE
International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, July 15-18, 2013, Beijing, China.

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B8: Local Best Practice Case Study 8 Knowledge Platform: Combining Content with Analytics
Context
The Knowledge Platform is a next generation knowledge solutions company based out of Singapore with
the development office in Pakistan. Started in 2001, Knowledge Platform initially focussed on IT Market
Consulting and Corporate e-Learning businesses but has, since the acquisition of its corporate RiskManagement business, focssed on learning technology solutions aimed at K-12. Knowledge Platform delivers
a four-pronged offering to its clients, namely, consulting, content, technology, and support. While majority of Knolwedge Platforms clients are currrently in Asia (China and Indonesia, in particular, it has recently
moved inroards into the Pakistani Edtech market as well and was the winner of the Ilm Ideass Ilm Apps
Challenge pilot grant in 2014-15. Knowledge Platform is looking to scale in 2016.
Intervention
The Knowledge Platforms principal technology product is its Ultrabot learning management system,
which is now in its ninth generation and is available for both educational institutions and corporate firms.
KP has designed, developed and deployed a low cost teaching and technology model, in which a single
laptop and projector is deployed in a school or a classroom, and students are provided low-cost clickers
to take assessments. All content and technology is loaded on to the laptop and the solution may be
deployed without the need for an Internet connection. After lessons, student performance data is
synchronized through a mobile connection so that results are available and integrated globally, and
any student who may have an Internet connection at home can continue to study the same lessons that
were taught in class.
The Ultrabot learning management system has a content management system and an adaptive assessment engine that enables the organization of content, teacher lesson plans and homework and provision
of reports based on mastery subjects. To make it easier to track student performance, each mastery skill
is tracked for each student through five performance badges (Proficient, Review, Struggling, Novice and
Not Started).
Last year, Knowledge Platform launched Learn Smart Pakistan - Pakistans first ever digital learning
challenge by providing an online learning platform for students and teachers. Learn Smart Pakistan aims
to extend the contest for both Mathematics and English, empower students to focus on self-study and
teachers to demonstrate their commitment to strengthen their online teaching skills. The teacher and
student boot-camps tend to provide learning opportunities to innovative ways of teaching and learning.
The online learning challenge is followed with pre-award tests, a writing contest and national education
forum with an awards ceremony.
Impact
In 2014, LSP included a total of 167 students (65% girls) and 28 teachers from 39 schools across the
country with access to more than 200 video lectures and 160 math drills and 2500 assessment questions
covering the 9th grade Math curriculum and could achieve mastery over 45 topics.144
This year, LSP launched with a much bigger mandate and ambitious outreach exercise and had, until the
writing of this report, engaged 1,500 participants enrolled in the digital challenge, including 1,314
students and 219 teachers, from 78 locations and 325 schools across Pakistan. Students egaged with 40
mastery topics (23 in maths and 17 in English), 190 skills, 100 learning videos, 200 exercises and drills, 15
writing assignments, and 4500 assessment questions.
This year, Knowledge Platform also completed the pilot of its blended learning model funded by Ilm Ideas
across 5 schools with . The results have been encouraging. Average class scores imporved between
14-25% in 3 out of the 5 schools; 98% of the students felt that teaching quality improved; 51% of the
students used the Ultrabot system from home despite the lack of access; 97% of the students felt that the
145
curriculum was relevant and would be helpful in preparing them for their board exams.
144
145

Knowledge Platform, (2014), Learn Smart Pakiostan Report 2014, available at: http://www.knowledgeplatform.com/reflectionfrom-learn-smart-pakistan-pakistans-first-digital-learning-challenge/
Knowledge Platform, (2015), Blended Learning Pilot: Evaluation Highlights, Knowledge Platform, Islamabad

Pakistan Edtech Landscape

B8: Local Best Practice Case Study 8 Knowledge Platform: Combining Content and Analytics

Key Success Factors


Knowledge Platform uses and deployes an system developed to specifications for a fully developed
global market. The revenue model uses multi-tiered pricing that enables the company to charge lower
margins on poor markets like Pakistan but benefit from the learning and experience gleaned from these
deployments to use elsewhere (in China and Indonesia).
Knowledge Platformss international footprint and content and marketing teams allows us to learn
from a range of different circumstances and and implementation scenarios and this is fully incorporated
into the new versions of the Edtech platform.
Knowledge Platforms has sought to gradually build its offering based on strong technolgy credentials
but also a keen focus on evaluation and impact assessment and leverage the cloud and the crowd to
deliver and promote their solution.

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