What we do

We're bringing a mobile learning technology platform to classrooms in developing countries - especially those off the electric grid. Massively scalable, affordable, and built for rapid uptake.

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3 Children With Projector

Our goal: educate the fastest growing youth population.

Cybersmart Africa offers a mobile learning technology platform designed for classrooms in developing countries — especially those without electricity. Built for rapid uptake and massive scale.

The CyberSmart Learning Platform packages the world’s most advanced learning technologies, quality content, and training into a single mobile unit. It contains an Android computer, an energy-efficient super-bright projector, interactive whiteboard capabilities, solar rechargeable batteries, speakers loud enough for classroom use, advanced 3-D capability, cooling fans, and a unique dust filtration system. All packaged in highly durable aluminum unit, it moves quickly between classrooms impacting hundreds of student in a single day.

Teachers told us they need ultimate simplicity – to push a button and teach. We listened.

 

Classroom Roof

We’re reaching the unreachable schools.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world. It will be impossible to effectively educate these young people without the use of technology. We know that technology alone does not improve learning — but without the help of technology in the classroom, developing countries will struggle to educate their growing student population and catch up to the rest of the word.

Previous educational technology programs in Sub-Saharan Africa have dramatically failed.  Most schools — 80% — are unreachable with the current models (computer labs or laptops) because they lack electricity and basic infrastructure.

 

Girl at Whiteboard

We have a proven game-changer.

In  2011, after five years of development, we completed a successful USAID proof-of-concept in nine elementary and middle schools across rural Senegal. We’ve been refining our learning technology platform since then. Teachers push a single button and teach. Students learn.

Our work demonstrates that technology-integrated classroom learning – which is commonplace in developed nations – can be equally valuable and practical in developing nations. Appropriate use of technology can save instructional time and provide learning resources that would otherwise be unavailable.

 

How we do it

We've developed a mobile learning technology platform that's as easy to use as a mobile phone.

Classroom

 

Grassroots development

Our mobile learning technology strategy is based entirely on insights from our 8-year collaboration with teachers in nine different elementary and middle schools in rural Senegal. We tested different technologies step-by-step at the grassroots level. Mostly, we listened. Observed closely. And listened some more.

We’ve seen the handful of schools where computers and tablets are currently used — where too few devices serve large numbers of students. We’ve experienced the continual power outages that prohibit reliable use. We’ve seen the ongoing and costly maintenance issues impeding timely repairs. The result?  In the vast majority of these schools, the existing technology sits unused.

Unused Computers

 

Tech-lite mobile innovation

After testing a number of different educational technologies, we learned it’s simply impossible to adapt existing commercially available technologies. The reality is that these existing technologies were not designed for use in developing countries.

That’s why we created the CyberSmart Learning Platform –a single mobile unit – based on a whole-class learning model. We cut out cumbersome equipment, eliminated costly structural requirements and immediately impacted the greatest number of students.

 

Eager Students

 

Easy to use as a mobile phone

The CyberSmart Learning Platform packages the world’s most advanced learning technologies, quality content, and training into a single mobile unit. It contains an Android computer, an energy-efficient super-bright projector, interactive whiteboard capabilities, solar rechargeable batteries, speakers loud enough for classroom use, advanced 3-D capability, cooling fans, and a unique dust filtration system. All packaged in highly durable aluminum unit, it moves quickly between classrooms impacting hundreds of student in a single day.

Teachers told us they need ultimate simplicity – to push a button and teach. We listened.

Precious classroom instructional time is gained using the CyberSmart Learning Platform. Teachers no longer need to copy their lessons onto the blackboard.  Previously unavailable instructional materials — maps, photos, videos and up-to-date quality content—now quickly and easily enrich and directly support classroom learning.

 

Classroom With Projector

A Proven New Learning Technology

The world’s first learning technology platform designed at the grassroots for classrooms in the developing world. Innovative, but highly practical, it’s a single unit — easy-to-use as a mobile phone.

Quality Interactive Learning Content

  Quality content — all previously unavailable — now enriches classroom learning.  Teachers gain valuable classroom instructional time because they no longer have to copy lessons onto the blackboard.

Sustained Teacher Training

We provide 50% more teacher training than traditional models for educational technology, focusing on the research-proven best way to impact student learning.

Impact

A solution designed for scale and sustainable impact.

 

 

Impact Large Photo

Built for massive scale

Our mobile learning technology platform uses a whole-class learning model so that we impact more students on a daily basis. With just one single unit we currently reach 250 students per school each day.

Built for rapid uptake, the financial model for the CyberSmart Learning Platform is highly scalable at $1.00/student/month.

 

Measurable, proven impact on classroom learning

Teachers gain precious classroom instructional time using the CyberSmart Learning Platform.  They no longer need to copy their lessons onto the blackboard.  Previously unavailable instructional materials — maps, photos, videos and up-to-date quality content—now quickly and easily enrich and directly support classroom learning.

Students’ engagement dramatically increases. Content and instructional strategies are based on documented 'What Works' research  — all designed to have a measurable impact on learning.

 

Sustain impact with training

The CyberSmart Learning Platform provides 50% more teacher training than traditional educational technology models. Local educators collaborate together with CyberSmart SMS mobile-text delivered coaching, professional learning communities, workshops and a knowledgebase of video tutorials. 

Older classroom technology models are caught in a cycle of buying, installing, and maintaining equipment. We shift the focus back to where it should be – teacher training – the single research-proven best way to impact student learning.

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2250

Students 2011 (250 per school)

12500

Students 2016

1250000

Students 2018

10000000

Students 2020

Partners

Our valued partners have included

usaid-logo

United States Agency for International Development. A successful multi-school proof-of concept was completed under USAID.

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Senegalese Ministry of Education

Earth Institute Logo

Earth Institute at Columbia University

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United Nations Development Programme

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The Women’s Health Education and Prevention Strategies Alliance

  • We look forward to an ongoing collaboration … with the possibility of rapid and effective uptake throughout Africa.

    Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • …. in the end it is usually the most practical solutions that find traction with teachers and students over time. 

    Michael Trucano, World Bank EduTech Blog post about CyberSmart Africa

Videos

Film

When we arrived in West Africa in 2006, we introduced 21st century learning to a village school by extending their traditional storytelling customs through digital storytelling. Inspired by the students' digital stories, a young film director (the son of founder Jim Teicher) wanted to collaborate with them.

The result is an internationally acclaimed feature film, capturing the emotions of the traditional and modern worlds colliding and the life-changing power of education.

The film has impacted millions of viewers around the world, headlining the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and premiering on TV5Monde Afrique, the major television station reaching 12 Million in 48 countries.

Team

Our social enterprise's world-class team of expert advisors, consultants and collaborators.

Jim Teicher, Founder CyberSmart Africa
Matt Berg, Advisor
Momar Dieng, PhD. Advisor
Pape Momar Sow, Advisor
Helen Abadzi, Advisor
Jules Aw, Pedagogical Consultant, Senegal
Mounirou Cisse, Teacher Advisor, Senegal
Arona Toure, Teacher Advisor, Senegal
Sarah Nehrling, Project Manager, Senegal
Linda English, Advisor
Julia Frazier, PhD. Advisor
Mala Bawer, CyberSmart Education (USA)
Roland Dietz, Business Consultant
David Saphier, Business Consultant

 

Contact

  Phone: 1.908.221.1516  

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