Our organization serves the needs of the educational community by supporting teachers and school administrators with some of the same technology used in the US, but optimized for use in remote locations such as villages in Africa. Exactly what that entails comes from our visits to Africa and spending time with students, teachers and administrators in urban and rural communities.
What we found is that these students don’t need the “nice to haves” such as VR glasses and role playing games, but instead need things like access to books (many schools do not have access to more than a few books for the entire school), subject instruction in areas like the sciences, world history and advanced mathematics and remote access from their homes.
Our overall plan for one of the countries we are working with is to accomplish this in three phases:
Presently, we are locating pilot sites and are seeking funding for the “Limited Pilot” phase.
Education Pilot Overview
In Phase I of an eNeighborhood education implementation, we are setting out to locate a small number of schools to implement our education package in each of the countries with which we are working. These pilots are intended to:
- Make sure we have a clear set of localizations – this step involves translations of the user interface labels and directives and making sure that any local code values are correctly mapped to a common, standard set;
- Illustrate how the solution can effectively enhance student academic progress and
- Provide current cost data for running a school system with respect to local data access rates, transportation, and other logistics
An ideal candidate for such a pilot will:
- Currently have little or no computer technical capabilities – typically, one of the teachers maintains any technology in his or her spare time
- Be a junior or senior secondary school with 200 students or more
Education Pilot Facilities
This pilot will consist of hardware (computer, networking and solar energy), software and support services.
- Identity Management – if there is no national ID system in place, we have access to a product can be used to assign and manage ID numbers for students, staff, schools, assessments and any other item that requires unique identifiers.
- Online Education – this application combines student administration and online learning optimized for delivery to remote areas where the ability to manage IT equipment is limited, landline Internet services is not available, and the cost of wireless 3G/4G is very expensive.
- Student and class management for keeping track of students, classes, attendance, test and semester grades, etc.
- Classroom sharing – using closed-circuit videoconferencing, schools that are missing teachers for certain subjects (teacher shortages in remote areas) such as advanced science, computer programming and foreign languages can electronically share a classroom with another school who has such a teacher.
- An online library of eBooks, optimized for use in remote areas