By Jen Vanek, Alison Ascher Webber
For the past year, the EdTech Center has field tested the mobile learning technology Cell-Ed to evaluate its ability to upskill frontline home health aides unable to attend classes and extend and personalize learning beyond the classroom for health care and frontline hotel employees.
Read the draft report Field Testing Cell-Ed: Mobile Learning for All for details on the outcomes and worker stories on the opportunities mobile learning provides. Our review of learner engagement in both blended and 100% distance learning models has shown Cell-Ed’s flexibility to be used in both environments as well as for learners with different learning patterns and challenges. It has also deepened our interest and belief in the potential and power of mobile learning to reach and bring educational opportunities to the millions of lower skill adults currently not able to attend regular classes.
The report also shares lessons learned on how to better support the onboarding of immigrant service workers to mobile learning on different Cell-Ed platforms, including its native app, web app, and innovative platform interactive text and audio lessons. The learning came out of unique partnerships that made the field testing sites possible, such as between United Home Care, an employer in Miami, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, between the Seaport Hotel and World Education, and between various healthcare training funds of locals in the Service Employees International Union.
The EdTech Center carried out the field testing in close collaboration with the Employment Technology Fund, which invests in emerging digital tools for increasing upward mobility and economic stability of low-income adults including Cell-Ed. It was made possible through a grant from Walmart, Inc.
The report also shares direct feedback from learners such as a room cleaner at the Seaport Hotel who said, “I used to be bored at my children’s soccer games and swim lessons, but now I use that time to study on Cell-Ed.”