mEducation First Step in Myanmar: Paving Cow Paths

mobile-learning-myanmar
In the technology world, “paving cow paths” means automating a business process as it exists in the analog world, without analyzing whether or not that process is effective or efficient. Usually, the term is used pejoratively to dismiss someone else’s work.
However, when working in the education sector, which already has high cultural and pragmatic barriers to adopting technology, paving cow paths may be the easiest way to have technology solutions adopted at scale. By digitizing an analog process exactly, the fear factor towards change is reduced and teachers can adopt the technology without a larger change to the curriculum, often an insurmountable barrier at the school or district level.
And that’s the innovation that Joy Dash Studio are bringing to Myanmar with Ooredoo. Just look at the image above. You can see that they are copying the existing workbooks into the digital realm, with only slight modifications.
Now we can debate how effective the original exercises are, and if Joy Dash is underutilizing the tablet interface, but there is no argument that the Ministry of Education will find these exercises in line with the existing curriculum and support the current learning objectives for the country.
Often in education, conforming to existing practices is the largest hurtle for technologies to surmount. Kudos to Joy Dash and Ooredoo for accepting the status quo and paving educational cow paths.