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Episode 190, Saturday April 27 at 7 pm Eastern

Attend Episode 190 of Silver Lining for Learning (SLL) and learn about the mission and history of EDvantage Digital Learning Systems (ELDS). In particular, you will discover how ELDS provides digitally operated one room schoolhouses for underprivileged out-of-school children. It operates the Digitally Operated One-Room Schoolhouses (DOORS) Network that provides free international quality and inclusive education to underprivileged Out-of-School Children at their doorstep and suited to their socio-cultural and financial challenges and limitations.

More about the organization and our guests below the video


EDLS Documentary:

Team Composition for the Podcast
1. Dr Jon Mason (Australia) – Principal Advisor and Director EDLS Australia Chapter
2. Dr Abha Gupta (USA) – Head of International Advisory Team EDLS
3. Faisal Bin Badar (Australia) – Founder EDLS
4. Alya Iqbal (Pakistan) – Head of Operations EDLS

Dr. Jon Mason is an Associate Professor in Education within the Faculty of Arts & Society at Charles Darwin University in Australia, where he has been for 12 years. Previously he worked as a consultant in digital learning and knowledge management in the government and education sectors, engaging in a range of international standardization activities since 1998. Earlier appointments included a number of senior roles for limited, a ministerial non-profit agency formed in 1997 for the purpose of leading collaborative projects focused on ICT for the Australian Education and Training sector. Jon serves on several journal editorial boards and is a member of the executive committee of the Asia Pacific Society for Computers in Education. His research interests span most things related to how we engage ‘with & within’ the digital environment with specific interests in questioning, sense-making, and the cultivation of wisdom.

Dr. Abha Gupta is a seasoned educator, researcher, and author specializing in reading, literacy, and language education. She has been a Professor and Graduate Program Director of Reading Education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Presently on sabbatical at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, she is focusing on two forthcoming books that pivot on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as Effective Teaching Strategies for ESL educators. Her research delves into the integration of yoga in educational frameworks and innovative applications of technology in language instruction. Leading the International Advisory Board of EDLS, she fosters collaboration and advancement within the educational sphere. For several years, she has also engaged with a school for underprivileged communities near New Delhi, spearheading academic studies on the repercussions of Covid-19 on educational inequalities and the enhancement of academic performance through therapeutic breathing techniques during her tenure as a Visiting Professor at Stanford University. Besides her academic endeavors, Dr. Gupta has co-edited two volumes, “Empowerment of Women, Language and Other Facets” and “At-Risk Population: Socio-linguistic and Educational Issues.”  Her research findings have been presented at several national and international conferences, while her consultancy role for Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the American Institute of Research (AIR) in Washington, DC, highlight her commitment to fairness in educational assessments. At the International Literacy Association, she has notably co-chaired the National Task Force for Urban Diversity and contributed to the National Title One Committee. Beyond academia, she finds fulfillment in practicing and teaching yoga, offering complimentary classes to local and national communities, alongside her editorial contributions to a yoga therapy newsletter.

Faisal Bin Badar, the brains behind EDvantage Digital Learning System (EDLS), is revolutionising education for underprivileged children worldwide. He has over 30 years of diverse experience across industries like education technology, systems engineering, business and project management, and entrepreneurship. With his PhD in Education Technology in the final stage, Faisal’s vision is to provide free, quality, and inclusive education to those who need it most. Through the innovative Digitally Operated One-Room Schoolhouses (DOORS) model, he brings education to the doorsteps of marginalised communities, overcoming socio-cultural and financial barriers. Faisal’s leadership extends beyond academia; he leads a dedicated team of 45 full-time members and collaborates with over 50 global experts and volunteers to ensure international standard education delivery. Faisal’s vision doesn’t stop at education; he aims to empower entire communities by providing employability skills to women and youth, fostering self-sustainability. With a heart for transformation and a commitment to ethical leadership, Faisal is shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

Alya Iqbal is the Head of Operations for the EDLS Pakistan Team at EDvantage Digital Learning System (EDLS), where she passionately oversees EDLS operations to provide quality education to underprivileged out-of-school children. With a background in education and cost and management accounting, Alya brings extensive expertise to her role to lead the EDLS Pakistan Team. Alya’s areas of expertise include operational management, financial analysis, and educational leadership. She is driven by a commitment to continuous improvement, constantly seeking ways to optimise processes and maximise outcomes. Alya is not only dedicated to her professional endeavours but also motivated by her faith, striving to align her work with a higher purpose. Her ultimate goal is to serve and make a meaningful impact in the world through her role at EDLS.