Cable Needed for New Computer Center in Kenya

 
$2,575
$0
Raised
Remaining
Jun 9, 2014

Cable installation is completed!

Working on the final touches for the cable
Working on the final touches for the cable

The cable installation at the Learning Resource Center is now complete! All 20 mac mini computers at the computer lab are now connected and can share information. We have additional 7 laptops that will come in hardy in our training program. There are also more connection points in the computer lab and also within the offices to allow more computers to be connected in future. All these computers can access the Internet through a GPRS router connected to the ethernet switch.

A group of 120 students and teachers who have been learning computer literacy skills were among the first to benefit from the cable connection. These students were able to learn the use of Internet as a communication tool and also for research. They were also able to learn how to send and receive  email messages. Some of the teachers had the opportunity to create their own email accounts! Another group of 200 5th  grade students from 5 different schools  benefitted from the cable through a online tailored  learning resource (Exceed Academy) developed by Avallain Africa and Jacarada designs.

"I am happy to learn how to use the Internet for research and communication. I will now be able to access more teaching materials for my students and also to communicate with my friends" Mrs. Alice, Teacher Makaalu Primary School

We also had our The School Fund (TSF) Secondary students use the Internet for their geocaching club to log in caches, check GPS coordinates and to follow some of their "trackable" items.  This would not have been possible without the Internet at the LRC.  Just this past week, TSF students met with college students from the U.S. to learn about entrance requirements and scholarship availability for university and they all used the Internet to search for this information.

The cable connection will be a great learning opportunity for students and teachers from our enrolled schools. Although the Internet connectivity is a bit slow, we are exploring ways to make it a bit faster by installing a dish, but then we would be required to pay reccurrent montly fees for the Internet.

We are very grateful to you all for making this project a success and how it benefits our 55 partner schools in Wamunyu!

The GPRS router providing internet at the LRC
The GPRS router providing internet at the LRC
A class from Nyaani PS doing Exceed Academy
A class from Nyaani PS doing Exceed Academy
Wamunyu ABC. The excitement of online learning!
Wamunyu ABC. The excitement of online learning!
A class from Kambiti PS doing Exceed Academy
A class from Kambiti PS doing Exceed Academy
One  way our students make use of the Internet!
One way our students make use of the Internet!
A class from Miini PS at the lRC
A class from Miini PS at the lRC
KC Geocachers club at LRC using the GPS
KC Geocachers club at LRC using the GPS
Mar 10, 2014

Cable installation in progress

Assembling 9U cabinet
Assembling 9U cabinet

Finally, the cable installation is in progress! The process began when we secured a suitable contractor. In liason with the contractor, we were able to procure supplies needed for the work -  rolls of data cables, a 9U cabinet, face plates,  ethernet switch, trunkings, UPS, RJ 45 connectors, wall box connectors among other things. With the materials on site, the contractor began by assembling the cabinet to run the wires through, installing the trunkings, and laying the cables  within the computer lab of the LRC building. A total of 38 connection points have been set up at the computer lab meaning a maximum of 38 computers can be connected to the internet at the lab at the same time. Currently the lab has 20 mac mini computers with an ultimate hosting capacity of 40 computers. Other rooms within the LRC building are also being installed with the cable and networked which will allow us to spread out the computers if we need to. Another 10 connection points have been established in other rooms within the LRC building making the total connection points 48! The process of testing the cables and wall connection switches is now occurring. The contractor  is working hard to ensure that work is completed in good time.

Once the cable installation work is finalized, this will mark a big stride in our efforts to provide skills for the 21st century. Many of the missed opportunities by our students and teachers (as  highlighted in the previous progress report) will turn into reality. The Center will become the hub of communication and online research among students and teachers in our 54 enrolled schools. Book club discusions via Skype  (which in the past have been a big frustration) will now be feasible.

We are excited to highlight that the completion of the cable is coniciding with the inclusion of five of our enrolled schools  in a pilot project called 'Exceed Academy Africa' which is part of Avallain Africa and Jacarada Designs (the producers of Young African Express). The 5 target schools will get e-learning modules delivered to standard five. We are starting to get tailored educational resources on-line. 

The current 120 students and teachers in training at the LRC on computer skills will be among the first group to benefit from this cable project.These learners are very excited to see the cable project get underway and cannot wait to experience the power of the internet.

 "I am happy to see the laying of network cables in the Kenya Connect LRC. My dream to use the Internet as a research tool will soon come to fruition"

Mr. Francis Muli - A teacher at Kambiti Primary School

We remain most grateful to you our supporters for making this great learning transformation happen among our schools.Thank you!

Some of the supplies purchased
Some of the supplies purchased
Applying adhesive on the trunkings
Applying adhesive on the trunkings
Mounting trunking on the wall
Mounting trunking on the wall
Laying the cables
Laying the cables
More cables to make for the 48 connection points!
More cables to make for the 48 connection points!
Winding up on laying cables
Winding up on laying cables
Drilling points for patrices
Drilling points for patrices
Installing cable in other rooms of the LRC
Installing cable in other rooms of the LRC
Mounting wall connectors
Mounting wall connectors
Working on the plugin sockets
Working on the plugin sockets
Terminating the cables
Terminating the cables
Terminating the cables with modules
Terminating the cables with modules
Working on the swith box
Working on the swith box
Working on the ethernet switch
Working on the ethernet switch
Students of Makaalu PS in class session
Students of Makaalu PS in class session
Dec 10, 2013

High Hopes and Expectations for cable connection!

Teachers under instruction
Teachers under instruction

As we mark the first anniversary since the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center opened its doors to the public in November 2013, we are happy that approximately 200 students and teachers have graduated with computer literacy skills. Another 120 students and teachers are currently undergoing intensive training while over 600 others have visited the center for daylong visits. These groups have greatly benefited from instruction and technology at the center, but there have been many missed opportunities without a good Internet connection. Using a single computer connected with a safaricom modem and a projector, these students and teachers are learning Internet browsing and email skills. The students are gaining skills but it is limited given the set up. We are in great need of a cable to connect all the computers to the internet. 

As another example, Nyaani Secondary School is another school that has missed out on a great opportunity. Over this year, the school has made many attempts to do a live book club discussion via Skype with their Partner school - Arundel High School in Maryland, USA. Due to the slow and unreliable Internet connectivity however, the students have been disappointed on more than one occasion. Their first book of discussion was The First Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith and they are now currently doing The Giver by Lois Lowry. They continue to try and connect with their friends in the States but can't quite make it the rich cultural exchange event for which they had hoped. 

"We are hopeful that the cable connection will boost Internet speed and energize our book exchange with vibrancy and greater one-to-one connection with our peers making the book exchange more productive and meaningful."

Evans, book club member.

At the same time, Arbutus Middle School and their partner school in Kenya - Nunga Primary School have been working on a collaborative science lab experiment. Live collaboration on this initiative was limited by slow internet connectivity and therefore Arbutus MS had to create a video to aid in instruction. Link here. 

We remain most grateful to all the donors who have supported the cable project so far. We are hopeful that we can attain our goal some time very soon. Again, thank YOU for your great support. Wishing you Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Skype session for Nyaani book club students
Skype session for Nyaani book club students
Computer class for Sofia PS students
Computer class for Sofia PS students
Computer instruction class for Makaalu Sec. School
Computer instruction class for Makaalu Sec. School
Computer instruction class in progress
Computer instruction class in progress
Kambiti students during a past graduation ceremony
Kambiti students during a past graduation ceremony

Links:

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Organization

Project Leader

James Musyoka

Wamunyu, Machakos Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Cable Needed for New Computer Center in Kenya