Catalyst Fund, Network News

Catalyst: TabLab

Name: Transforming rural education through technology & coaching
Location: Boulder, Colorado & Worldwide


250 million children, about 40%of the world’s total, cannot read, write, or do basic math by age ten. The problem is worse in rural areas, where up to 75% of children do not have basic literacy or numeracy skills. Too many students in developing nations – particularly in poor, rural communities – are not learning the skills they need to progress in school, find employment, and succeed in life.

Solution: TabLab partners with rural schools to tackle both educational equity and quality. Each school receives a local trainer, who is certified to guide selected teachers at partner schools through TabLab’s two-year professional development curriculum. Schools also receive a ‘Tablet Lab’ –  a rolling case with 20 tablets and a micro-server containing 500GB of educational content that works offline and off-the-grid. Trainers utilize the tablets to facilitate and measure teacher progress, and teachers use the tablets to facilitate and measure student learning.

What makes this approach different? TabLab uses a unique combination of teacher training and thoughtful technology to ensure that the two are aligned and properly used by each of the schools they service. TabLab works at the local and  the national level, provide long-term individual coaching at the  district level to TabLab expert teacher training with the goal of changing teacher behavior and educational quality from within education systems.