Welcome to IADT's School in a Box News Update
News Item Number 1.
David Coltart speaks about Zimbabwe's Education System and School in a Box
School in a Box - INDIA
A member of SIAB research and development team visits Chennai, India next week.
Teach For India are collaborating with the research and development team behind SIAB testing a unit in Chennai, southern India. Srini Swaminathan, City Director at Teach For India, Chennai and members of his team are testing SIAB in a number of Teach For India schools in Chennai. Philip Penny a member of the research and development team behind SIAB will spend next week there visiting 11 schools.
Teach For India launched in Chennai in June 2012 beginning in 29 classrooms across Chennai. Over 2011-2012 fourteen school leaders of various low income community classrooms signed agreements with Teach For India. Seven schools are public schools that come under the Corporation of Chennai city and the rest are private schools that take in children from under served communities.
Each school has at least two teachers and in total Teach For India impact about 1100 children across the 29 classrooms, averaging about 36 kids per class.
News Item Number 2.
President Higgins Introduced to School in a Box at UNESCO
President Michael D. Higgins availed of a fortuitous coincidence to learn about IADT’s School in a Box during his recent visit to UNESCO in Paris. Having delivered his address to delegates from 195 member states, President Higgins visited IADT’s stand at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week exhibition and enjoyed a briefing on School in a Box from IADT researcher, Philip Penny.
Mobile Learning Week aims to explore how mobile learning can make a unique contribution to achieving the Education for All (EFA) goals of increasing education access, quality and equality.
IADT’s School in a Box overcomes one of the fundamental obstacles to deploying mobile technologies in developing countries – the lack, or very limited supply, of electricity. Its’ portable solar panels provide the electricity to support an iPad and a projector - creating a powerful teaching and learning tool which can be used even in areas of poor infrastructure. School in a Box is already deployed in South Africa, Nepal and Gabon, while a pilot deployment in Mozambique is planned for 2013 with support from UNESCO.
News Item Number 2.
Himalayan school in the mountainous Humla Region in Nepal receive a consignment of 10 units of School in Box.
Deployment 2 ‘First Phase Roll-Out’ in Nepal - June 2012
From the outset, IADT have recognized the vital importance of developing and fostering relationships with organizations and partner institutions that act as representatives or champions of SIAB on the ground. Choosing the right partner with key personnel who understand the SIAB solution in a ‘holistic’ way is a vital part of the process and great care is taken at this initial stage.
IADT* partnered with Karuna-Shechen www.karuna-shechen.org a non-profit humanitarian organisation that works with a network of local partners and volunteers to provide education, health care and social services in the greater Himalayan area.
This relationship has allowed us to proceed with our second SIAB pilot deployment. Ten SIAB units have been deployed in Humla, the highest (3,500 meters) and most remote region in northwestern Nepal, close to the border with Tibet. The Nepal deployment presents most of the challenges that the SIAB solution was designed to overcome.
David Baugh, digital media expert and Apple Distinguished Educator / Mentor travelled to Nepal to oversee deployment and deliver the Train-the-Teacher program to 11 teachers and 3 teaching assistants. David’s prior experience of living, working and trekking in Nepal stood him in good stead for this challenging assignment.
IADT researcher, Philip Penny is carefully monitoring the roll out and providing support to the school on an on-going basis to ensure the best possible learning outcomes for the students and teachers involved.
* IADT – Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology – a Higher Education Institute specialising in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital age. IADT is located 10km from Dublin City Centre.
News Item Number 3 - UNESCO
Since June 2012, IADT have been in discussions with UNESCO and the US Delegation to UNESCO regarding potential collaboration in respect of a number of further deployments. In August 2012, Philip Penny of IADT and representatives of UNESCO undertook a scoping mission to Mozambique, with significant assistance from the Irish Ambassador to Mozambique and Irish Aid. The visit confirmed the immediate relevance, usefulness and usability of School in a Box in a number of settings.
It also allowed us to build some very positive links with corporate entities who are interested in lending their support to the initiative. We hope to be delivering School in a Boxes and the associated training programmes in Mozambique in the near future.
News Item Number 4
IADT's School in a Box recently showcased at UNESCO educational conference in Paris.