The use of the PCs in the comfort of a classroom provides a safe space for girls to develop social networks amongst themselves. Outside of the home, schools are one of the only places girls may meet with other girls in a social setting. The secure environment provided by the school helps girls in developing their confidence without fear of outside intrusion. Thus, schools provide the only safe space, outside the home, for girls to meet with each other, learn together and share ideas. The ease of access to the internet and computer training should help girls link with their counterparts globally, enabling them to expand their worldviews. Through these connections, girls can develop methods for engagement in civic action projects, further increasing their social networks and development of leadership skills.
The CARE-Intel collaboration has helped in fostering positive change via the following outcomes:
- Increased computer literacy among students, which provides them with better skills for future studies and employment.
- Strengthened teacher and staff capacity to help integrate technology in instructional design and the curriculum.
- Active social networks, especially for girls, as the laptop computers will help turn a classroom into a safe space in which to guide their own learning and enhance communication skills.
CARE has provided computer training to teachers and students. The computers have been used for classroom instruction and after school for extra-curricular activities such as computer clubs. CARE helped in enhancing learning opportunities and leadership skills particularly of girls, proving great opportunity for girls to network and practice extra-curricular activities.
CARE has helped enhance learning opportunities and leadership skills in India through expanded computer use. The acquisition of the computers significantly increased resources and learning opportunities for students as it helped in bringing the computer-to-student ration close to 1-1. The extra resources helped in solidifying students’ reasoning and analytical skills and the computers also provided the students with opportunities for extracurricular activities such as developing social networks online.
Teacher training workshops aimed at providing school-based academic support to instructors. While most of the teachers in the schools have a basic knowledge of computers, the trainings intended to ensure they are using the technology to its full potential in the day-to-day teaching-learning process in the classroom using the teacher-laptop and classmates.
Acquiring leadership skills through computers further empowers girls by building their confidence, enabling them to make informed decisions about their lives. Girls were also given the opportunity to develop social networks using the computers in their classrooms. Within this framework; Computer friends groups have been formed under the supervision of the IT teachers in the schools.
Ultimately, the CARE-Intel partnership is leading to increased instructional capacity of teachers, computer literacy skills for students and the creation of girls’ active social networks.