No internet required for this edTech

This Open Source edTech runs without internet

Published on: 05/03/2021
Last update: 08/05/2021

The offline-first Kolibri project - made by the NGO Learning Equality - shows that internet is not necessary for all education technology. Although Kolibri has a vast online community for their Open Source platform, but the learning platform is actually made to work offline for schools and individuals without internet access. The platform has a large catalogue of courses in for instance mathematics, reading, English, and coding.

No wifi needed


Is the development of Open Source Software dependent on access to the internet and the online community? Yes and no. The project Kolibri is on Github. But this Open Source project also proofs that edTech can be offline-first.

Two years ago, 51% of the global population had internet access, according to The World Bank. During 2020, this number increased to 59% (Statista). Where there is no internet access, education has to be entirely offline.


Internet access and education

Internet access and low level of education attendants goes hand in hand. The NGO behind Kolibri, Leaning Equality, states: 'The 60% of the world who could benefit the most from open educational resources and supporting pedagogical tools lack the connectivity needed to access them.'

Diving deeper into this lack of connectivity to internet, it shows that the number one country in the world lacking internet access is North Korea.

However, a closer look on the statistics shows a geographical trend further down the list. Many of the countries where fewest has access to our shared online space are in Sub-Saharan Africa. UNESCO has previously concluded on the topic of education in this region that one out of five children between the age of 6 and 11 is not attending school. The number of active students only decrease with age. Education is according to Learning Equality the key to break cycles of poverty. And this is where the Kolibri project meets the need.



Kolibri is an offline-first learning platform. The platform is cloud-based and runs on any operative system; Windows, Linux, and OSX. The download requires internet once, yes, but the rest of the use is entirely offline.

Coding is one of the subjects in the catalogue of teaching material alongside of mathematics, English, and reading to mention a few. The material can be found in several languages and it is on Creative Commons licens. Through Kolibri, Learning Equality gives a chance to learn and empower anyone. First on KA Lite and now on Kolibri.


Commitment to education

The predecessor for Kolibri, KA Lite, has been used in 200 places across the world. This includes rural schools, orphanages, community centers, refugee camps, prisons, and private homes.

The organisation behind is committed to education. They won’t wait for the internet access to expand. They act now – through open methods of software and digital materials such as Global Digital Library books.

This commitment to open methods and education is one realization of Sustainable Development Goal 4: ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.


Final take-away

  • Kolibri is an offline-first ecucation technology, intented to reach countries with low level of education on a national level.
  • The platform provides a vast variety of courses in for instance coding, mathematics, English, and reading.
  • Kolibri works on any device and is a pedagogical tool for learning and empowering the students.