In October of 2009, Epic Change connected Shepherds Primary School to the internet for the very first time. Students who had never even had access to a library were given access to an entire world of information. Children whose voices are seldom heard were given the opportunity to speak, in real time, to people, like you, across the globe. To our knowledge, it was the first classroom of its kind, a classroom in which primary school children in Africa are using twitter to share their lives with, and learn from, the rest of the world.
During that same month, Epic Change volunteers held a one-week social media immersion class with Mama Lucy’s then seventh-graders. Since then, use of technology by students in this pioneering program has flourished, despite the fact that bandwidth limitations and electricity shortages have made it challenging for the class to access the internet consistently. Kids at Mama Lucy’s school now us their Nooks to access Khan Academy videos, use Facebook to post photos and chat like teenagers across the globe, and search the internet on their Amazon Kindles as an integral part of their coursework.
You can find many of them on Facebook on the Shepherds Schools Facebook page and, when they’re online, you can find them on Twitter below.
Impact: WiFi and solar power have now been installed at both the primary and secondary campuses to support a permanent technology lab at the primary school, and a growing library of Nooks, Kindles and laptops in use at the secondary school. To address bandwidth issues, students at both campuses now also have offline access to the entire Khan Academy video library on various devices. Perhaps most importantly, students at Mama Lucy’s schools have effectively used social media to connect with and inspire a community across the globe, culminating most recently in a community-funded trip across the US for two lucky students to meet their friends and fans.
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