Today we are launching the Digital Schools experiment in the Bas-Rhin Prefecture in the east of France, in partnership with public and associative players. The goal is to help young people with educational difficulties by rectifying the inequalities that penalize them. How? With adapted learning methods and access to digital tools.
Solid international experience for a first in France
We have taken this initiative in France to provide a response to dropping out of school and to inequalities that have been exacerbated by the health crisis. How? By adapting the principle of the Digital Schools that we have been deploying since 2014 in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. These 1,000 schools have already trained more than 500,000 students in 16 countries. School results are improving and absenteeism is decreasing throughout the network.
At the heart of the program, the digital education kit
Our kit facilitates access to educational content adapted to more individualized learning: mobile classrooms that provide quality computer equipment and, more importantly, access to royalty-free educational content adapted to the needs of educators and their students. This includes Wikipedia and its youth version, Vikidia, books for learning by Bayard Jeunesse, the complete series of “C’est Pas Sorcier” (a French science education programs for children), review quizzes on all subjects from first to fifth year of primary school by Nomad Education, the Khan Academy (an innovative application for learning Mathematics and science through video content), and Youscribe Audiobooks with more than 100 audiobooks for classic literature.
Each digital kit is made up of 10 tablets, a laptop, a Bluetooth speaker, a projector and screen and, above all, a server to be fitted out as needed with copyright-free content.
The potential of digital technology for dropouts
These educational kits generate new interest in drop-out students and allow them to learn differently. The kits give them the desire and confidence to learn by familiarizing them with digital tools that are already part of their lives.
In this protected and controlled digital environment, everyone has access to reliable and verified sources with partner publishers and content distributors. They allow young people to forge a solid culture of documentary research and learn to cross-reference information at an age when critical thinking needs to be learned.
In France, we have pooled our experience with that of the various players in inclusion and education in the Grand Est region of eastern France and in particular the Bas-Rhin area.
The experiment will be deployed in around a hundred structures in the Grand Est region: associations to support students in difficulty, associations for regional development, social-cultural centers, and National Education.
They will receive a hundred digital kits including 1,000 tablets for a total cost of €350,000.
In the Bas-Rhin area, more than 700 young people will be able to benefit from digital support.
The success of the experiment will be judged according to the feedback received from the facilitators and their students, which will determine the conditions for the possible extension of the project throughout the entire country.