MIT’s Connect Learning Initiative wins UNESCO prize for e-learning

CLIx The Connected Learning Initiative.jpg

In this edition, the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for Innovation in Education is awarded to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase access to quality education.

Photo: UNESCO / The GENIE Program & The CLIX Program.

The Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) has won the King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education from the UNESCO. The initiative is an innovative effort to improve the professional and academic prospects of high schools students from underserved communities in India. CLIx incorporates thoughtful pedagogical design and leverages contemporary technology, including online capabilities, to provide quality educational content and experiences at scale. The initiative offers English, mathematics and sciences online courses designed to augment traditional secondary school curriculum. Partnering with state and local governments, the project reaches 460 rural schools, 2,000 teachers and 35,000 students in four Indian states, with plans to double those numbers by next year.

The CLIx platform is based on the Open edX software developed by MIT and Harvard which powers the popular MOOC provider edX. The technology not only delivers thousands of hours of lessons and practice, but also supports the professional development of teachers and is a powerful research tool with data collection and analysis capabilities used to foster evidence-based decision-making practices that shape the curricula as well as policymaking and funding.

The initiative is a joint venture between Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and the MIT, seeded with capital from the Tata Trust. Vijay Kumar, associate dean for open learning and principal investigator for the project stated: “It takes a village — an ecosystem of collaborating organizations focused on a systemic effort to bring about any meaningful positive change in education."