Benita Rowe is the COO of Ustad Mobile, a startup mobilizing education for all. Ustad Mobile develops low-cost open source software to improve school monitoring and deliver content to mobile devices - from low-end feature phones to smartphones and PCs - offline. Benita has 10 years of experience providing educational institutions and multi-stakeholder partnerships with guidance on digital learning and teaching with technology in both online and offline environments.
Mike Dawson is the CEO and co-founder of Ustad Mobile, a startup mobilizing education for all. Ustad Mobile develops low-cost open source software to improve school monitoring and deliver content to mobile devices - from low-end feature phones to smartphones and PCs - offline. Mike has 15 years of software development and system administration experience in adapting technology with and for various stakeholders (including United Nations agencies, US donor agencies, Oxfam Novib and others) to increase access to education in challenging environments, including 7.5 years in Afghanistan.
Ustad Mobile provides a free, open-source mobile learning app that enables conflict-affected and marginalized youth to access and share educational content offline.
The app is designed for limited connectivity, works on almost any Android phone, and does not require a mini server or Wifi access point. With support from the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme, thousands of online, open educational resources, such as Khan Academy, are being adapted for offline use and sharing by youth in Jordan and Lebanon. The peer-to-peer sharing functionality of Ustad allows one user to download content and share it offline with any other user nearby. The app also supports a mobile data collection system enabling teachers to use attendance and social-emotional assessment data to improve their practice.
The app is currently being used in Afghanistan to deliver employability skills training to public university students. Ustad is working on a pilot project together with Plan Jordan and Lamsa World to support teachers, parents, and children affected by the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and low-income Jordanians.
Location: Afghanistan, Jordan, and Lebanon.