This weekend our friends at World Vision launched a new initiative to provide technology and training to students and teachers in Africa. Called Spark a Child’s Digital Future, this program will enable primary schools with ICT resources and the required training and support for a sustainable program.
Intel, Microsoft and British Council are working closely with World Vision on this initiative to provide training and on the ground support to complement World Vision’s extensive educational programs in Africa.I’m very excited about this initiative for several reasons. One, it builds on the six Intel Education Service Corps (IESC) teams that have helped World Vision set up Intel classmate PCs in Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. For this work the US Chamber of Commerce nominated Intel for a “Best Partnership” award last month. And two, I worked with a World Vision microfinance project in Mauritania when I was a Peace Corps volunteer going on a decade ago. That experience is what inspired me to pursue a career in international development and technology.
When I was in elementary school in the 1980s, my classrooms tended to have a single computer if we were lucky, and they were typically looked at as a kind of appendage, something to play games on if I didn’t feel like going to recess. Through this program, students in the poorest parts of Africa can use technology in ways that I never dreamed of at their age, taking pictures and video with their webcam, inserting them into presentations, drawing pictures, composing stories for a literature course….the sky is the limit so long as teachers have a foundation in basic PC skills and training on integrating technology into their curriculum, two things that Intel has been working on for years.
To contribute to the enablement of African schools with the technology that many of us take for granted, go to the Spark a Child’s Digital Future home page.