OLPCorps HarvardCornell Ghana

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Project Overview

Team Members

We are a team of three international sophomores; Zeina from Jordan and Jovana from Montenegro attend Harvard University and Kenneth, from Keta, Ghana, attends Cornell University. As students majoring in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science respectively and who are trying to pursue careers that apply technology to development, we are very eager to work with organisations that adopt similar ethos. As a member of the local community and with extensive contacts, Kenneth has facilitated and guaranteed the connection with our local partners.

Team Member College Major E-mail Address
Kenneth Krieger Cornell University Computer Science kk522@cornell.edu
Zeina Oweis Harvard University Electrical Engineering and Computer Science zoweis@fas.harvard.edu
Jovana Sljivancanin Harvard University Applied Mathematics/Economics jsljivan@fas.harvard.edu

Project Location and Time Period

Rife with underprivileged villages, the Keta district in the Volta Region in the east of Ghana (see Google Map of the location), has been chosen as our location. We have chosen the 6th grade level (average age of 11) at two schools: Ketasco Primary School and Roman Catholic Primary School, to ensure that the students are young enough to meet the OLPC “low age” core principle and the students’ ability to speak, read and write English fluently. The schools chosen have the basic electricity and water supply needed. Having the two schools in close proximity will encourage the cooperation between both. Born and raised in the region, Kenneth, has provided important local contacts.

As the schools will be in session June through August, we will aim at incorporating the laptops into the school curriculum. We will also have an after-school 45-minute class dedicated to XO laptop skill training.

Local Partners

Freda Koasi, the Municipal Director of Education from the Ghana Education Service is our local support person. She will be in charge of ensuring continuity of the project after our work is done and we leave. They have also agreed to receive and provide safe storage for the 230kg package at their offices before deployment. As a native of Keta, Kenneth, with many extended family members still living there, will assist us in coordinating long-term monitoring and sustainability of the project.

Pilot Preparation

The pilot preparation stage is going to take up the time period from the second week to the sixth week of the project. We will ensure that the technical components are ready to use before the children receive their laptops to avoid any complications.

Teacher Training Program

For two weeks, this stage will ensure that we have a strong network of teachers from both schools to sustain the project.

Laptop Testing and Server Setup During the teacher training program, we will be working on setting up the server located between the two schools to serve as a backup and software installation resource.

Parents Workshop

Although the students will have complete ownership of the XO laptops, having parents who are dedicated to the program, will ensure that the XO laptops stay in the hands of their children. Over two days, we will hold an introductory session for the parents.

Students Training Program Along with the trained teachers, we will lead two weeks of in-class demonstration using the two classroom XO laptops.

Laptop Deployment

After the student training phase, we will start the laptop deployment. With identification tags and the classroom cabinets we will facilitate the teachers’ duty of checking up daily on the laptops and the safe storage of laptops during school time.

Incorporating XO laptops into The Classroom

Computer literacy is an essential factor of narrowing the technology gap between underprivileged students and those in the developed world. By incorporating the XO applications into the classes, we hope that the students will be more eager to learn while acquiring essential computer skills.

We are working with the Municipal Director of Education on digitizing sections of the school curriculum, and other novel applications that we can incorporate into the Ghanaian Education Service curriculum. The XO laptop usage can be extended outside the classroom by having the students use their newly obtained computer skills to assist their families in their local businesses.

Evaluation Phase

Evaluating the program and the progress of the children will be done during the last week, as well as introducing the students and the teachers to the feedback blog.

Post-deployment Sustainability

The institutions and organizations we are in touch with would be potential sources support for the sustainability of this project.

By setting up a student personal blog, we will keep on receiving feedback about the program after our departure. Periodic feedback from the teachers-committee will also guarantee the effectiveness of this program post deployment.