Digital Learning at the Matter Innovation HUB

The Matter Innovation HUB (MIH) program provides a sustainable, active learning environment, and opportunity to gradually shift to student-centered educational approaches.

September 30 2020 by

Jonathan Locast

The MATTER Innovation Hub is run by MATTER, an NGO out of St. Louis Park, MN. MATTER has been working for decades globally and domestically by helping initiatives, centered around health and nutrition, and education. Jamf is a partner of theirs for the Innovation Hubs.

This program started when Jamf brought some technology down to Haiti. Quickly the program shifted beyond just providing technology, to helping improve instruction and provide a learning environment. This shift happened because simply providing technology did not feel like enough to create beneficial and lasting change. Jamf felt as though we needed to do more to really make the change we wanted and impact the larger community.

What this means, is that the Innovation Hubs are NOT a technology project. It is more about adjusting the current behavior that prevents a certain population from succeeding. At its core, Jamf is seeking to bring an inclusive program to the world that fits student’s needs.

The problem with the initial attempt down in Haiti was that it didn’t offer a mobile solution. The second attempt was to build out a shipping container with solar-powered panels and everything a classroom would need on the inside to facilitate learning. This would allow the project to go just about anywhere. It was at this point that MATTER became involved and took on this initiative.

In 2018, we were able to fund, facilitate, and mobilize a version of this in Zimbabwe. The success of this second round led to a bit more funding from Jamf Nation, partners, individual donations, and Jamf itself in the form of monetary funds and volunteer time.

The success of this second round has led to Gorgi Dieng building a smaller version in Senegal, a building designed and build by Jamf that caters to active learning, and a second center to replace the original hub in Zimbabwe. This freed up the original hub to now be moved to another location in Zimbabwe. Additionally, some of the funds from Jamf’s IPO have been allocated to funding a hub in Victoria Falls who are breaking ground.


It should be noted that Jamf’s goals are not to simply allow students to pass their local, standardized tests. It is to truly prepare them for life, prepare them for critical thinking, and offer them the opportunity to understand and use technology necessary to succeed in modern life.

Evaluations and Alternative Forms of Assessment:

  • TPaCK
  • SAMR
  • LOTI

As mentioned above, by following these formats, and a few others, we have chosen to bring critical thinking, creativity, and real-world skills to children around the world. We have altered the methods of teaching to focus on problem-solving, and we are working toward providing a foundation for life beyond school and outside of assessments.

How? By using Apple’s programs and STEM programs, and the very types of tasks and projects that make up the foundations of the work we do every day:

  • EveryoneCanCode
  • EveryoneCanCreate
  • Sphero Coding & Robotic
  • Osmo Learning

How do you measure the results of these programs? How do you measure the success of a student’s growth in creativity, problem-solving, or critical thinking? You watch. You observe. You assess based on their success and you guide them toward the next steps forward by arming them with the tools they need to take on new challenges.

Through these programs, Jamf is actively getting boys and girls involved in every aspect and detail, as though they have done it for years. It has created a complete change in mindset and that is one of the major goals of the whole program. People who have never touched or been involved with things like this suddenly feeling empowered and confident that they can do anything, achieve whatever, collaborate with one another, and learn if they set their mind to it – regardless of gender, economic status, or another potential inhibitor.


There are so many cool things going on all over the world, but it is important to remember that the tech is just enhancing the lesson, it is not the central focus. How we teach them and how were work with them is the most important learning experience.

But what are the technical details that make up a hub?

  • iPad devices – teachers, adults
    • Shared iPad devices
  • A few MacBooks
  • Apple School Manager
  • Jamf School
    • A few locations on Jamf Pro
  • Apple Classroom
  • Jamf Teacher App for Lesson creation

The best part about this is that this classroom setup is exactly what we would urge all of our education customers to be looking into as well. Apple devices, Apple programs, Jamf for MDM, great partners like Sphero, and bringing it together with fantastic lesson creation through the Jamf Teach application.

Domestic Version?

Many of these locations are in Africa and spread in other parts of the world. But it came to our attention, that these areas are not the only locations in need. In fact, our own home city of Minneapolis has it’s own equity problems and shortcomings when it comes to education equality. That’s why, In addition to adding something in Victoria Falls, we are putting two locations in Minneapolis.

We are happy to announce that working with Urban Ventures, Jamf has built two domestic Versions – A mobile hub and an innovation Hub right in Minneapolis.

To help with the mobile Hub, Jamf will be hiring 5 Cristo Rey interns to help as onsite facilitators.

For more information feel free to check out MATTER or contact us to find out more. You can reach out to:

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