Basic Literacy & Numeracy

Digital Tools & Resources


Partner in Colombia Tests New App to Improve Digital Literacy

June 6, 2023


Internationally, ProLiteracy has worked for decades to improve basic literacy levels and create social change by teaching literacy lessons in the context of issues that are important to the community.

Our Literacy for Social Change model continues with our partner program in Colombia, Fundación Bien Humano, which focuses on family literacy. The program works with children, adolescents, and mothers to teach basic literacy instruction with a thematic focus on social, emotional, and psychological issues connected with the family. It also serves women domestic workers with little to no education who often travel from indigenous communities to the city of Medellín in search of employment. To further its efforts, Fundación Bien Humano recently introduced a digital literacy initiative for adults with the goal of empowering them not just with literacy, but by giving them the skills to access important information related to laws and rights.

Fundación Bien Humano and ProLiteracy will work together to implement a literacy program based on the use of the digital app Podemos Leer.

ProLiteracy developed Podemos Leer to provide basic Spanish literacy instruction remotely without internet connection, giving learners in remote or disadvantaged areas access to digital instruction. Lessons are based on the Laubach Way to Reading method, a time-tested curriculum that has enabled millions of adult learners to become literate in more than 300 languages. As they work with the app, the learners’ digital capabilities and confidence will also improve.

There are two objectives for field testing the app:

      1. Implement a comprehensive literacy program for adults to improve reading, writing, math, logical thinking, and social skills.
      2. Evaluate the methodological, functional, and applicable scope of the Podemos Leer app as an educational resource to support the improvement of reading, writing, and numeracy skills of the target population.

The app’s field testing will take place over seven and a half months across three population groups. The first group, a mix of men and women from disadvantaged neighborhoods in and around Medellín, will meet in person for three hours once per week. The second group from rural Antioquia will be made up of adults with low literacy or no formal education who will work independently from their homes with weekly guidance from instructors over the phone. A third group will consist of women weavers over the age of 60 in Aguadas-Caldas who did not finish primary school. These women are from families with a long tradition of art weaving as a cultural expression and economic activity. The Escuela Normal Superior Claudina Munera will partner on the project to provide instructors.

Through the pilot we expect to gather information and data about the functionality of Podemos Leer and its results as a support resource to improve the literacy skills of population groups from different contexts. With that information, we can help more groups like Fundación Bien Humano reach more people in need.

Podemos Leer will be available to the public later this year.

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