Our team traveled to India on a two-week project [in October 2010] as part of the Intel Education Service Corps (IESC). The program offers a chance for Intel employees to teach children and teachers how to use technology in the classroom using the Intel-powered classmate PCs and its educational software.
Our first school was approximately 30 minutes outside of Hardoi in a small village. The school is named Udaan and focuses on girls in grades 1-5 who have dropped out of school. Udaan gives these girls a chance to catch up in their primary education so they can reintegrate into traditional schools at their grade level. Udaan means ‘to fly’ in Hindi. It was described to us that these girls had limited exposure to computers, with some perhaps never operating a PC on their own before.
Our technology objective at this school was to deploy 16 classmate PCs (CMPC), a wireless network, and assist with any lingering technology issues they had with existing PCs. The CMPC is a small netbook reference design that Intel created for education use in places just like this school. It’s sturdy and durable, and cleans up easily in these remote dusty conditions.
Our training objective was to provide introductory computer training to teachers then students, introduce them to games and applications to gain basic control over mouse and keyboard functions, then finally providing the teachers with long term tips and techniques to use the computers for education. The first day in Hardoi we unpacked the computers and began configuring the CMPCs . We spent a few hours getting 15 systems configured as student systems and one configured as the teacher system. Training began with the teachers and students that afternoon.
Day Two in Hardoi brought more training for the students and teachers. We built on the lessons they learned the first day with new skills and applications introduced. We discovered that these girls in fact had had no previous computer experience before our training began.
I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity by Intel for such a once in a lifetime journey. I wish the girls the very best in their journey and may it be as life changing as it has been for the team.
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