Education innovations catalyze learning, literacy and workforce development.
Education innovations catalyze learning, literacy and workforce development.

Our Approach

Code Innovation is focused on leveraging emergent technologies to improve the quality of education around the world. We emphasize the use of technologies for systems strengthening and educator training and support. While some technologies exist to replace teachers and to engage learners independently, Code focuses on programs and technologies that improve approaches to education in group settings and technologies that enable a shift towards more progressive pedagogical techniques—such as team work, student-lead sessions and engagement with the surrounding community.

Ministries of Education across the world are open to technological initiatives and this offers an incredible opportunity to reshape and invigorate outmoded ways of learning and teaching. Anticipating the shortcomings of technology (and the infrastructure needed to support it) can significantly increase a school’s sense of resilience and self-sufficiency. By ensuring that tech initiatives are engineered with an ample and sufficient quantity of offline and electricity-free curricula and by training teachers to adapt to the circumstance of the day without compromising the narrative flow or sequential integrity of a development program, Code helps educators to acclimate to technology in a realistic way that is not burdened by infrastructure shame or predictable excuses.

Perhaps our favorite characteristic of technological interventions in the field of education is the degree to which they enable valuable monitoring and evaluating opportunities. Statistics can be gathered with an ease and frequency unavailable to conventional programming and Code aims to leverage partnerships with academia to ensure that the sharpest and most expert minds are at hand to shape these studies and the analysis of their results.

Advising GOVERNMENT Ministries

Code has interfaced with Ministries of Education around the world, frequently in post-conflict settings such as Palestine, Liberia and Rwanda. We are motivated to help Ministries pick through the overwhelming array of new educational hardware, software and program models. Many reputable and innovative education programs are ill-suited to low-income environments or to situations without regular oversight and infrastructure and we consider it vital to help government decision makers to have the best possible experience of integrating new tech into existing curricula.

We recommend as a convenient and well-presented reference for innovations in challenging settings, UNICEF’s Child Friendly Technology Framework, a document to which we contributed.

Code Director Nathaniel Calhoun has also been leading evaluations of virtual schools for Departments of Education that operate in rural American settings. For more information on virtual school evaluations, please click here.

Advising Social IMPACT Entrepreneurs

In 2013, Code Director Nathaniel Calhoun began serving as the Global Grand Challenge Adviser on Education to the Global Solutions Program of Singularity University, interfacing with small teams of entrepreneurs dedicated to using exponential technologies to better the world. SU is remarkably networked and resourced within Silicon Valley and exposes students and faculty alike to technologies at the bleeding edge of innovation—often before they are revealed to the general public. SU is particularly interested in the potential of Artificial Intelligence to contribute to the education of young people who lack access to teachers. Participants are also active in the maker space and in the innovation of superior learning platforms.

Code’s simultaneous proximity to private sector innovations in Silicon Valley and public sector lessons in best practice from low-income countries ensures a richly informed perspective when it comes to selecting and developing technology-supported educational initiatives.

PLATFORM COMMUNITIES and Mobile Learning

In 2013, Code began developing mobile education applications to supplement and substitute for traditional outreach, advocacy and education efforts. We are currently working with partners and stakeholders in East Africa to develop self-learning applications for project facilitators around community-based micro-loan and savings groups.

E-Mentoring

In the last decade, online mentoring has transformed from its experimental roots into a growing trend in both the public and private sectors. Different technical platforms and program models share the same two basic ideas: there are many people who would like to offer their time and energy as mentors without leaving the comfort of their homes and offices; and there are many people around the world who need the personalized guidance and support of a mentor, but who do not know where to find or how to connect to a suitable mentor.

Code Innovation has been at the forefront of instructional, curricular and program design for e-mentoring since 2005. We’ve been involved in e-mentoring across the United States and East Africa and we continue to design and improve online mentoring projects with an aim to bring them to more under-resourced communities.

Development initiatives routinely prioritize in-person trainings, on-site workshops and expensive conferences to bring knowledge and best practices to their stakeholders and they often struggle to provide adequate follow up. Staff turnover (or trainer disappearance) causes relationships to be severed between program coordinators and program recipients and these breaks in continuity adversely impact otherwise healthy initiatives. It’s time for NGOs to consider investing in more robust and sustainable systems for retaining and developing their local stakeholders.

E-Mentoring

  • Builds relationships around a sustained personal component that is rewarding to both mentors and mentees;
  • Leverages the convenience of asynchronous, digital interactions to connect highly motivated and qualified people with the communities that need them most;
  • Has been demonstrated to improve the self-confidence and problem-solving abilities of U.S. junior and senior high school students;
  • Offers an exceptional level of continuity and stability to stakeholders accustomed to program lags and training shortfalls.

Code Innovation specializes in advising organizations on how to incorporate an online mentoring component into new and existing initiatives. Over the coming months, we will be adding various case studies to this portion of the website to share the successes of the leaders in this field and to suggest the incredible breadth of applications of this fundamental concept: there are people with appropriate expertise who are happy to volunteer their time (from the convenience of their own homes and offices) to connect personally with your stakeholders in order to make your program succeed year over year.