Bridging the Digital Divide at NPH Honduras
A new project introduces tablets and computers to our home and promises to increase our kids’ technical skills and make learning fun.
September 20, 2019 - Honduras
At NPH Honduras we strive to give our children and youth the best possible platform to achieve success and seek employment in the future. More than 300 children attend our school at Rancho Santa Fe, as well as over 100 high school and university students, many of whom will soon be looking for careers and jobs while living in our homes in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.
With the digital revolution taking place all around the world, job candidates are increasingly required to have strong information technology (IT) skills to be successful in a competitive job market. Despite the slower advancement in technology associated with developing countries, Honduras is no exception.
With over two million internet users and increasing accessibility to technology, IT skills are growing in demand (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). At the Rancho Santa Fe school, students receive an average of 90 minutes of IT lessons a week, helping them hone a wide range of skills using common programs such as Microsoft Office.
School staffer and former volunteer James Kryzminski, however, was concerned that students weren’t gaining enough practice as they did not have access to the technology that children from more affluent backgrounds might have, ultimately placing them at a disadvantage when entering the job market.
Kryzminski explained, “In the rural setting where we live, it is not always easy to find education technology assistance outside the classroom. Throughout my time here, I have been seeking a way to create a comprehensive, innovative, and sustainable solution that allows our children to learn independently.”
After researching different IT platforms and resources, Kryzminski discovered “a solution in secure, low-cost technology,” which would be used to create labs in our homes.
By his own initiative, this California native hosted crowdfunding pages and wrote blogs to back the project. Once the funds were raised, Kryzminski purchased the technology, arranged for it to be securely shipped to Honduras, and then went about setting up the tablets with software with help from the IT team at NPH Honduras.
The computers and tablets have online access, special educational programs like Kolibri and Khan Academy, and step-by-step instructions in Spanish for both child and adult learners. The educational programs teach language learning, problem-solving, writing, and reading, among other subjecta. Many apps not require internet and all are fully secure.
Across Rancho Santa Fe, there is an average of three tablets in each home, as well as a desktop computer and printer shared between the homes in case children need to print homework. There will also be tablets and computers for the special education department and a computer in each high school and university home.
The computers and tablets are good quality and suited for the age range where they are being used. Each device will be fully equipped with accessories, such as chargers, headphones, routers, and SD memory cards.
Caregivers in the homes will be responsible for the equipment, ensuring that it is well maintained and setting a schedule for our children to use it. Furthermore, they will receive training from our IT teachers and volunteers. Maintenance will be handled through our IT department.
Ultimately, by providing educational electronic tools for our children, we help them enhance their skills, adapt to the digital era, obtain a greater understanding of technology, and, most importantly, enjoy their learning experience.
Fourth-grader Kenia looks forward to learning to use the devices. She says, “I think it’ll be a good program, because we can do our homework and learn about things that we didn’t know about.”
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Are you interested in supporting NPH with digital projects throughout our homes? Are you interested in volunteering at NPH? Visit nph.org to learn how to apply.