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Penn GSE Digital Seeds


Semillas Digitales (Digital Seeds in English) is a collaborative project that supports the use of technology-rich instruction and broader pedagogical innovations to improve the quality of education in coffee-producing communities in Nicaragua. The project serves as a catalyst for collective participation and innovation among teachers, teacher supervisors, students, community members and other educational stakeholders. Our educational facilitators directly support and work alongside students and teachers as the programs establishes roots, cultivates connections, and collectively grows in ways that are in harmony with each school and the community contexts that shape it.

Our Partnership

Nicaragua-based partners of Semillas Digitales are the Seeds for Progress Foundation, the Mercon Coffee Group, CISA Agro, and the Ministry of Education. The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) is the project’s U.S.-based partner. Our partnership is guided by an intentional focus on active collaboration, mutual capacity building, and reciprocal learning.

Our Objectives

Semillas Digitales has eight primary objectives:

  • Facilitate pedagogical and instructional innovation through the development and enactment of ongoing, teacher-driven professional development processes and one-on-one teacher accompaniment during planning, instruction, and evaluation;
  • Promote a holistic educational model in which educational stakeholders co-generate spaces for learning and innovation, with the teacher playing the central role of facilitating the conditions that foster the integrated development of students in harmony with their environment;
  • Improve the overall quality of schooling so that it contributes directly and comprehensively to the development and cultivation of students’ specific content mastery and critical thinking skills, knowledge(s), attitudes, and dispositions
  • Improve communication, coordination, and collaboration among administrators, teachers, students, community members, and other educational stakeholders as a means to enrich the school environment, strengthen connections between school and community, and optimize interactive learning and idea exchange;  
  • Facilitate the exchange and application of methodological strategies (such as constructivism, differentiated instruction, blended and project-based learning, and culturally relevant pedagogy) that develop reading, writing, and mathematical skills and digital literacy—with an emphasis on the first three grades of primary school;
  • Support the inclusion of data-based evaluation, decision-making, and instruction through a comprehensive, rigorous, and participatory monitoring and evaluation system;
  • Develop the practices, abilities, processes, and conditions to integrate various information and communication technologies (such as laptops, PC tablets, cloud technology and the Internet) into the educational environment and broader learning experiences of teachers, students, and community members;   
  • Establish and strengthen partnerships with and among a range of various educational communities and stakeholders as a means to build capacity, facilitate local community participation, and improve program sustainability in and across schools and communities.


Seeds for Progress Foundation Logo
The Mercon Coffee Group logo