"Cell-Ed tackles one of the world’s most intractable problems: teaching adults the basic skills they need to better their lives. Skills such as reading a child’s homework, communicating with confidence or dividing numbers. One in four US adults doesn’t have these skills, leaving them unemployed or underemployed." (About Cell-Ed)

Navigating the Obstacles to Achieving Adult Literacy

Adult illiteracy has a profound impact on many lives in the United States and all over the world. Most adults looking to improve their literacy are encouraged to take traditional classes, but cost and other obligations often get in the way of attendance. Lack of consistent internet access can even make online classes impossible for them. Cell-Ed aims to provide a more accessible way for adults to gain literacy and other needed skills. Their team has invested in thoroughly understanding the needs and limitations of their learners and, after several iterations, has built a product that actually works for them.

A Mobile-First Learning Program

It’s one of the few programs that provides literacy lessons that users can access anytime on their mobile phones. Adult learners are guided through micro-lessons on a chosen topic, such as literacy or numeracy, with content provided via video, audio, images, and text. Lessons last no longer than three minutes so that users can do them during work breaks and other free moments of the day. If they get stuck, they also have access to Cell-Ed coaches who can provide additional support via text or phone. For an annual license fee, Cell-Ed provides its service to community-based organizations, government agencies, and businesses, which in turn provide it to individual learners.

Cell-Ed highlights the importance of considering accessibility when building new education technologies. If we build solely from our perspective, we may be leaving many people out. Cell-Ed appears to have taken into consideration the needs of a group of people who are often overlooked. Time will tell if their solution is effective.

Image: via Cell-Ed