Opening the Door to the World Wide Web

July 17, 2013 2:39 pm Published by

When working in the developing world, you often get used to the slow-paced life, and most importantly, the slow-paced internet. However, thanks to the generosity of Kristan and Ben Bakker, JBFC is now able to bypass that all together and start offering first-world technology in our little rural computer lab.

Former Peace Corps volunteer, Ben Bakker, returned to Tanzania in March to visit JBFC as part of a team of teachers from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. During their two-week trip, Bakker and his fellow teachers noticed JBFC’s challenges with bringing advanced technologies to our students. Bakker and his wife decided to help. Kristan Bakker was in Uganda this summer and decided to take a side trip to Tanzania and bring some high-tech gifts with her.

With a couple of Raspberry Pi computers, a router, a couple of cables, and JBFC’s existing technology, the Bakkers were able to help us create a new JBFC intranet system. Kristan is currently in Kitongo at JBFC’s campus to help us set up these tiny little devises that wirelessly broadcast most of Wikipedia, Khan Academy educational videos which will help our teachers teach students about math, science, history, and English, and open source e-textbooks and novels that sync with our brand new Kobo E-Readers. It is all done wirelessly and uses NO INTERNET. So, no we no longer have to worry about sluggish download speeds or unexpected lost connections interrupting the flow of learning. In the Joseph and Mary Schools, our kids now have a whole new world to explore. And you can see the excitement written all over their faces.

What is most exciting about our new intranet system, is that it is able to pull together various technology projects from the past year and half and help all of them work together- from the Bronxville Rotary sponsored computer lab and laptops to  Nina McManus’ Kobo E-Reader project. Nina is a JBFC Ambassador, who attends Bronxville High School in New York. She raised more than $15,000 to bring brand new e-readers to campus this summer.

From all of us at JBFC, we would like to thank everyone who has made these pieces of our technology system possible- from the Bakkers, to Nina McManus, to the Bronxville Rotary! We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

Chris Gates is the Founder & Executive Director of JBFC.

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This post was written by Mainsprings