Technology underpins the Bridge model. It facilitates the innovation necessary to radically transform and improve teaching and classrooms in the developing world—making education more affordable and accessible at the same time as increasing quality.
Many of the countries that Bridge works in are low-infrastructure environments, meaning that typically there is intermittent power and low network connectivity. Our cutting edge wireless technology platform has been designed for use in this context.
As such, synchronisation of our smartphones and teacher guides is possible wherever there is 2G, the mobile standard which the International Telecoms Union declared ‘near ubiquitous’ in 2016—making it the most accessible standard globally. Statistics from 2019 show 2G is available to 97% of the global population.
Every aspect of the design is intended to make learning a science, with a feedback loop that drives continuous improvement. Our platform processes 100 million data points every year, and this data is used to make evidenced based decisions about what’s working, or not.
Using a combination of smartphones, the cloud and teacher guides, we’re able to:
- Deliver world-class lessons virtually anywhere, from the remotest village to the biggest urban slum
- Make classrooms open and transparent; we—and our Government partners—know what is happening in each and every classroom and lesson during every second of the day
- Track attendance and comprehension of pupils and teacher
- Get feedback on lessons and learning in near real time, allowing adaptation and iteration for improved learning outcomes (an evidence-based approach to learning and teacher training)
- Train and coach teachers systematically and comprehensively using the latest pedagogy
- Run a digital network to upskill teachers using targeted training and support
- Reduce the administrative burden placed on teaching staff, giving them more time to focus on what matters—actually teaching—and giving support to individual pupils
- Scale easily without compromising quality, using research and development based on our own data and centralising many functions that would be expensive and time-consuming for individual staff or academies
- Operate a completely cash free system of payment that minimises corruption and ensures employees are paid
It’s not just the software that’s designed for low-infrastructure environments but the hardware as well. Our teacher guides are designed to be ‘offline first’ with a battery life of two weeks. This means that in communities where access to electricity or internet is sporadic, or where teachers have to travel to reach the nearest connection, the time they must spend doing this is kept to a minimum.
Teacher guides can load the next two weeks of lesson plans in advance and after 30 days old lessons plans are deleted automatically. We can remotely monitor battery life and downloads of lesson plans to monitor activity—flagging up any repairs that might be necessary, problems with connectivity or suspicious behaviour.
Where we are direct government partners our technology dashboard enables governments to have a real insight into what’s happening in every school and classroom. For many countries simple things like the number of children in a class, their academic progress, the presence of a teacher and any lesson delivery can be unclear. Information is reliant on occasional inspectors visiting schools—where possible—and recording data on paper. What an inspector sees could be dramatically different to the day-to-day reality.
It’s not just in stable government systems where our approach is effective. Due to the resilience of our design, the model is very flexible and can be implemented quickly and at scale. We’re able to set up schools swiftly in temporary locations such as refugee camps without needing expensive or complicated hardware. The schools we set up are as efficient and as effective as those we support or run in permanent communities.
Our technology is what enables us to deliver a high-impact, scalable, and entrepreneurial solution that addresses one of the most urgent demands of the developing world—affordable, quality education.
It’s changing lives.