TABSHOURA IN A BOX

Project Representative
Nagi Ghorra
Creation Date: 2017
Geographical Reach: Lebanon
Nature and number of beneficiaries: Piloting with around 3,000 students
Contact

TABSHOURA IN A BOX

About the Project

Tabshoura in a box aims at reaching remote areas with interactive school digital resources defying the internet and the electricity unreliability.

Tabshoura's team creates from scratch free, interactive, multilingual, digital activities aligned with the school curriculum learning outcomes, supporting students and teachers in vulnerable communities in order to avoid early dropouts.

LAL pedagogical team links generation, hiring freshly graduate students and teaming them up with senior subject matter experts (SME). The SMEs coach the young developers and structure with them the pedagogical units.

Our methodology is based on a discovery approach The students through several activities and tasks discover concepts and build their own knowledge. Feedbacks, hints, auto-evaluation checklists, give them a complete autonomy in learning. 
 
We also strongly believe in the importance of extra-curricular activities in education. Culture, civic education, arts, Steam approach, soft skills are essential to building a person as a whole. 
 

LAL's technical team research and develop new solutions, finding the best learning systems to deliver content. We only use open sources, such as Moodle, Wordpress and we lately integrated open source plugins created by a Norwegian company, Joubel; H5P allowed us to create richer online content and improve online learning experiences.

LAL's tech team also solves the access problem.  Our award-winning access solution, Tabshoura in a box, is a pocket-size server, based on the raspberry pi technology and inspired by Nicolas Martignoni's Moodlebox. We distribute the boxes to schools and community centers with our content uploaded on a micro SD card. One box hotspots 30 devices simultaneously, both offline and off electricity. 
To deliver our content, we partner with community centers, schools, NGOs, and INGOs. 
We lately signed an accreditation agreement with the Center of Educational Research and Development/ CERD, the official instance of the Ministry of Education in charge of developing the Lebanese curriculum and books. 
Once the pilot and assessment phase are completed, the next step will be to make our content available in Lebanese public and private schools. 

Context and Issue

The education system in Lebanon is under great pressure in part due to the large influx of refugees coming from Syria adding to Iraqi and Palestinian refugees already implanted. Lebanon today welcomes 2 million refugees for a population of 6 million.

The refugee population is often based in rural areas resulting in overcrowded schools, producing a high dropout rate among refugee children and Lebanese students. Moreover, teachers are unable to provide students with quality education based on student centered methodologies and differentiated learning. As a result, refugee children fall behind in both literacy and numeracy, and Lebanese students education is automatically impacted.

How to provide all those children, with meaningful learning adapted to their needs and tailor-made solutions?
Digital can be one of the main responses to the education crisis in public schools, as  it encourages creativity and is flexible and easily scalable.

But digital alone does not guarantee meaningful education. We can use digital and still provide Victorian style teaching. 
One of the main challenges of digital project is to change the mindset of the conventional educational communities through specialized coaching and training.

Our content is based on the Lebanese school curriculum learning objectives and use the same titles and subtitles found in official books to make it easy for a teacher or a student to find relevant content adapted to their needs. We are currently looking for a methodology to help students learn in a foreign language instead of translating content and narrowing the future opportunities for work or studies of the students.

Solution and Impact

Our solution is to support vulnerable students by filling their learning gaps to help them keep up with school and avoid dropouts. In order to provide this support, we work closely with the field, to develop relevant content, closely articulated with the school curriculum and contextualized.

We focus on autonomy, reasoning, problem-solving, 21st-century skills. All those contents are provided to the most deprived areas through our box solution. The box is a tiny server, based on the raspberry Pi technology and inspired by Nicolas Martignoni's Moodle Box (https://moodlebox.net/fr/). After the creation of educational material on the platform, all material is converted to a light version and loaded on a micro SD card inserted in the box. The card allows an easy upgrade of the content when available. The box hotspots up to 30 computers at the same time and can be used in areas that have no internet connection and even no electricity.

The targeted impact is to :
Fill learning gaps of falling behind students (refugees or Lebanese living in rural areas with no internet access)
Improve the way of teaching and learning, especially in deprived areas where schools kept traditional methods by lack of training or incentive to change.


Future Developments

Tabshoura in a box is almost 2 years old. It had many stories of successes and failures but is now ready to be scaled up.
Main future developments include completing the platform content to cover all school levels and to bring it to as many children as possible by fostering partnerships with governments and NGOs to facilitate operations on the field, as well as with leading universities to improve impact evaluation.

Our scaling process includes :
- More content development, mainly completing the 6 years of elementary and developing extra-curricular activities on different subjects matters.
- A teaching methodology to learn sciences and math in a foreign language, mainly English.
- Wider distribution and outreach with more relevant partnerships.
- New partners for outreach and research and development, mainly universities and research centers.
- Replicating our model to other contexts and countries.
- Hence sustainability.


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