Genius Plaza—an education-technology social enterprise working to ignite the genius in every child—launched the Genius Explorers program at Virtual Educa 2017, the international conference on education, professional training, innovation, cooperation, and development taking place in Bogotá, Colombia. Genius Explorers is an English language program with courses for students ages seven to 16. The blended learning program allows students to become protagonists of their own learning using digital and print resources to learn English and create their own games, e-books, videos, and exercises.
Earlier this year, Genius Plaza conducted a pilot of the Genius Explorers program in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala to evaluate how its blended technology method, developed by certified language arts teachers, could improve learning.
Third-grade classes using Genius Plaza saw a median percentage impact of 76% increase in performance. Those schools who saw greater impact offered five days of classes, versus two or three. For eighth graders, the median percentage impact was 37%, attributed to similar factors and challenges with reporting. Schools with the smallest increases were higher-performing and lower-poverty schools. Schools with the greatest increases were lower-performing, higher-poverty schools.
“The research we conducted during the pilot program indicates the Genius Plaza platform had a significant impact for students who are most in need,” said Dr. Madlene Hamilton, a research and policy analyst who has worked with Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, and George Washington University and who worked with Genius Plaza in conducting the research.
“The commitment and passion demonstrated in each of the schools we worked with continue to inspire us to provide the best-quality content to communities around the world, especially the most underserved,” said Ana Roca Castro, founder and CEO of Genius Plaza. “We gathered key learnings from the pilot, which we incorporated into creating this final program, and we are confident that we are offering a solution that will help students learn English effectively.”