Updated Jul 13, 2020

Learning Equality - Bringing the Online Learning Revolution Offline


Lauren Lichtman

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Kolibri is an open-source educational platform designed to provide offline access to a curated and openly licensed content library with pedagogical support tools for use in low-resource and low-connectivity contexts.

Stay up-to-date on our COVID-19 response here: https://learningequality.org/r/covid-19

Our educational software and distribution and access model makes open educational resources available in areas without internet connectivity. The Kolibri ecosystem encompasses a set of interacting products, while also having an architecture designed to easily integrate a wide variety of digital inno...

Stay up-to-date on our COVID-19 response here: https://learningequality.org/r/covid-19

Our educational software and distribution and access model makes open educational resources available in areas without internet connectivity. The Kolibri ecosystem encompasses a set of interacting products, while also having an architecture designed to easily integrate a wide variety of digital innovations and make them accessible to audiences they may not ordinarily reach. They include:

1. Kolibri Learning Platform, an offline, lightweight distributed learning platform with tools to support differentiated and personalized learning.

2. Kolibri Studio, a web-based tool for curriculum alignment.

3. Kolibri Content Library, an offline educational library of both formal (e.g. formative assessments, interactive textbooks) and exploratory (e.g. games, reading books) educational materials, supporting a range of ages and grade levels and a variety of subject areas ranging from STEM to tackling cyber bullying and domestic violence, available to all users of Kolibri and Kolibri Studio (which can be browsed in the Kolibri Content Library catalog.

4. Kolibri Content Pipeline, a set of software products that support automated processes to aggregate content from external sources and integrate it into Kolibri Studio, helping to build out the Kolibri Library.

5. Kolibri Edtech Toolkit, a customizable set of resources to support understanding how to implement Kolibri to create effective learning environments in a do-it-yourself model.

6. Kolibri Data Portal, a central online platform for aggregation of Kolibri learner data, to guide and support implementations involving installation of the Kolibri Application across multiple sites.

Global Innovation Exchange

Stage 5: Scaling

Building on lessons from our first-generation platform KA Lite, iterative development of Kolibri has led to its use in more than 198 countries and territories globally to support learning in low-resource environments, including at home during COVID.

Registered in United Statesin United States

Focus Areas:

Education, Refugees, Human Centered Design and 17 MoreSEE ALL

Education, Refugees, Human Centered Design, Basic Education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Secondary Education, Curriculum, Soft or Life Skills, Higher Education, Non-formal Education (OOS/ALP), Literacy, Methods & Learning, Inclusive Education, Parent & Family Engagement, Mentoring/Coaching, Teacher Development and Training, Testing & Assessment, Digital Inclusion & Connectivity, Technology and InclusionSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Mexico, India, Uganda and 26 MoreSEE ALL

Mexico, India, Uganda, Kenya, Jordan, Tanzania, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Guatemala, Ghana, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Cambodia, Bangladesh, United States, Malawi, Rwanda, Peru, Nigeria, Malaysia, Liberia, Honduras, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Paraguay, Myanmar and PakistanSEE LESS

Key Partners
Countries Implemented In


The "online learning revolution" has generated excitement about the potential for broad, free access to educational resources. One of the greatest barriers is approximately half of the world still lacks Internet access. Countries with the least Internet access are the same countries with the least access to quality education in general, including fewer qualified teachers per student and fewer educational materials.



Learning Equality's ecosystem of open products and tools help to bridge the digital divide by providing these low-resource communities with access to digital content normally accessed online. It also makes it easier for educators all over the world to utilize these materials by providing tools to support personalized learning and advanced content management, so that content can be organized, aligned to a local curriculum, and distributed even without Internet.

Target Beneficiaries

This innovation benefits both learners and educators alike in formal, nonformal and informal learning environments across a wide variety of contexts such as rural schools, refugee camps, orphanages, non-formal school systems, and prison systems.

Mission and Vision

Learning Equality is committed to enabling every person in the world to realize their right to a quality education by building technology and tools with a primary emphasis on being usable and effective in some of the most resource-constrained contexts on earth, through supporting the creation, adaptation and distribution of open educational resources, and creating supportive tools for innovative pedagogy.

Competitive Advantage

Kolibri is unique in that it provides educational content offline that can be curated to standards or to meet local needs, while providing pedagogical support to educators. It shines in environments where mini learning hubs can be created to replicate the experience of some tools with LMS functionality available online, but without Internet. How it works? Digital content is first scraped from the web and hosted in a library which runs on a local server. From there, content can be organized by a curriculum developer or any other educator into channels, or lists of curated content, which are then synced to instances of the app installed on local devices. The content is then able to run without any further internet connection, and the teacher is able to work with learners through a special teacher view which allows them to manage classes, view student progress, create exercises, and more. Syncing of both content and data through peer-to-peer or storage devices is seamless.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Given the shifting scope of learning needs during COVID-19, we’ve had to not so much change our products and services, but rather reprioritize. While we have designed for low resource and disconnected environments, we were designing for use cases where there would be some point of social connection for people to physically be together to sync data and content. Reprioritizing includes releasing an Android App, expanding pedagogical documentation, and supporting innovative access such as by MNOs.
Funding Goal600,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted6,500,000
New Implemented CountriesBarbados, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Liberia, Jordan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa
New FeatureIn response to COVID-19: Android App to support learners on their own with ability to share content via messaging services from within the App; Onboarding process to support at-home use case; Additional aligned country curriculum with online servers to support usage; Specific functionality to support telcos in zero-rated access models; Content to support public and mental health and specific languages of need; Kolibri platform in new needed languages

The Team Behind the Innovation

Learning Equality is founded and based in San Diego after a dedicated group of student volunteers at UCSD brought idea of providing Khan Academy videos and exercises offline to life. The team has grown to include software engineers, designers with a background in cognitive science, implementations team members with classroom/on-the-ground education experience, Product Lead who is a former teacher and teacher trainer and those with expertise in accessibility & educational game development.



May 2020
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
May 2014
Key Partnership
Jun 2013
Key Partnership
ORGANIZATIONMotivation for Excellence 
as part of
 Nalanda Project
Dec 2012
New Product Or Service
Initial release of KA Lite