Independent, evidence-based research proves that children's learning is being transformed. Realtime remote monitoring of their progress ensures learning is taking place and fed back to their teachers.
In September 2013, Dr Nicola Pitchford from the University of Nottingham, UK, conducted a randomised control trial to assess the improvements in children’s maths ability after using onebillion apps for 30 minutes per day for 8 weeks in their oneclass. The evaluation took place at Biwi school in Lilongwe, Malawi, with 400 children from Standard 1, 2, 3 and 4 classes. A ‘red’ group used the onebillion ‘Masamu’ maths apps on tablet devices for the duration of the study, whilst a ‘blue’ group used non-educational tablet apps and a ‘pink’ control group continued with normal pedagogical practice.
The study showed that children who used the onebillion apps made significantly greater gains in performance compared to the control (normal practice) group in both mathematical concepts and curriculum knowledge.
Differences in the percentage gain over time for girls and boys across Standard 1-3 for the Masamu Tablet Intervention group and the Normal Practice control group on a combined measure of maths ability
After just 8 weeks of using the Masamu tablet intervention children tripled their specific maths curriculum knowledge, with Standard 2-3 children raising attainment levels to a higher level than the average shown by Standard 4 with normal pedagogical practice.
The Masamu tablet intervention is effective in raising mathematical standards even in low achievers… Over the 8-week intervention period, 78% of low achievers who received the Masamu tablet intervention improved their maths ability to a level typical for their Standard, whereas only 17% of children who received Normal Practice raised their maths attainment to within the normal range.
Developmental trajectory of maths curriculum knowledge for the whole sample at pre-test (without intervention) and at post-test following the Masamu Tablet Intervention
A similar trial carried out in a UK primary school by Laura Outhwaite and Dr Pitchford also showed significant learning gains over a six week period. Children's maths curriculum and maths concept knowledge increased markedly over the course of the study using the onebillion apps.
This study was carried out across two foundation classes in a typical mixed-gender primary school in Nottingham. Children were assessed at pre-test using a specially developed assessment app, designed by Dr Pitchford, which measured a variety of skill areas such as short term memory, visual attention and non-verbal IQ as well as curriculum and concept knowledge. This test was then repeated at the end of the 6-week intervention.
The increase in educational attainment demonstrated was compared to a typical maths development trajectory based on other children receiving normal pedagogical practice. The results for children in all school years was above the expected level according to the development trajectory for both curriculum and concept knowledge. This increase in maths knowledge compared to standard practice was shown by the study to be statistically significant.
Results showed foundation pupils’ learning gains made in curriculum knowledge were equivalent to 18 months of standard pedagogical practice.
Post-test scores compared to the expected maths development trajectory.
We are committed to continuing to monitor children’s progress in Malawi and beyond. All the tablet devices used in oneclass schools are linked with our server, meaning that we can keep track of each topic completed and certificate earned by every child using our apps. Each child is individually registered and data is securly collected on their progress. We can track which app and which topic the child is currently working on, quiz scores, when they complete a topic and how long it takes them. We therefore gain an accurate picture of which topic areas children struggle with the most – allowing us to reassess our software and find ways to improve, as well as monitoring the results in the schools we work in in Malawi.
We aim to use the information we gain from remote monitoring to continue to improve our educational apps. Our tracking process allows us to keep up to date with what is going on in each school: making sure the apps are being used and that children are progressing, and identifying areas where we can improve. We also stay in contact with teachers in Malawi – enabling them to let us know about any issues or comments, and us to provide them with feedback from our data stream.