A digital solidarity start of the school year

The start of the new school year often rhymes with change. For us, it highlights the continuity of our actions in two areas: digital and solidarity.

 

rentrée 2015numérique et solidaire

 

A priority: digital education

Facilitating access to education is our key goal. To do that, we develop and support a range of programmes and online content. The French version of Khan Academy, launched a year ago, is a popular and widely-used resource. As of the end of July, the platform was used by 114,737 students, 11,959 teachers and 19,106 parents. The content and exercises, which were translated and adapted from the original English version with the help of Libraries Without Borders, provide an excellent online supplement for primary and secondary school students.

Khan Academy is part of the kit provided to digital schools. The offline version, KA Lite, is installed on a Raspberry Pi server, along with other content: Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Project Gutenberg and Edupi, a content management application that we developed.

Discover our infographics on digital schools

digital schools infographics

In Madagascar, for example, 28 more schools will receive teaching kits (a Raspberry Pi and tablets to access the content) over the course of this school year. This equipment is vital for schools where educational and digital resources (books, internet connections, IT equipment) are severely limited or simply do not exist. The programme, launched in 2014, expanded from serving 20,000 students to 40,000 this year.

Solidarity FabLabs: a new type of training

Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue higher education. The Solidarity FabLabs programme offers people who have left school an alternative way to train for digital careers. We support 32 Solidarity FabLabs in France and worldwide. This new type of educational space offers struggling young people access to digital training, including Arduino programming, 3D printing and more. These workshops go far beyond theory to focus on hands-on experience. In Bordeaux, for example, the young people at the CapSciences FabLab made and used a drone.

The Solidarity FabLabs programme is young. It was started less than a year ago, but is already showing results. Some young people like Audrina use the FabLabs to complete their training or change jobs. They see them as a way to learn alongside passionate people who are good teachers.

Read our interview with Audrina

Audrina Toulouse Artilect start of school year

Autism: digital technology helping make progress

Learning is also important for people with disabilities. Our programmes provide support for professionals and the families of people with autism. Several different sites and applications with different goals are available: facilitating communication, educational modules, etc. For example,

that helps children learn as though they were in school.

View the video on digital programmes

vidoo digital education start of the school year

To catalogue all of the resources available for people with autism, we funded the development ofapplications-autisme.com. This website, created in 2014, serves as a search engine which can be personalised to meet each family’s needs. It helps them find the right resources and access reviews by parents as well as professionals. We also provide support for specialised institutions. Since 2013, we have helped fit out 160 structures by providing funds for over 2000 tablets or smartboards.

Digital technology is going to be more essential than ever before in the 2015-2016 school year. It is a tremendous asset for learning and solidarity. So that everyone can learn, get training and blossom.

 

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