In 2008, we set-up a pilot program in a semi-rural central coast region of Kenya, introducing a computer center and lab program at a primary school (US elementary plus middle school level equivalent). Over the next two years, we experimented by introducing computer hardware (desktops, laptops and a LCD projector), connected Internet wireless technology, expanding terminal use through a process called N-computing, experimenting with education software, and determining program staffing needs.
In 2010, we undertook an informal process of evaluating and assessing the overall impact of our pilot program, talking with school administrators and teachers about the overall impact of this program. While we had begun with a fairly hands-off program approach, this pilot effort had become an exercise in learning through Murphy’s Law, Adaptive Management and unwelcome understanding of Tech-support Corruption issues in Kenya (it seemed at times, that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.). We were therefore very pleasantly surprised when English teachers related that levels of student language comprehension — both written and spoken — were much improved, with Science and Math teachers also relating similar advances in student national exam scores in those subject areas. Teachers unanimously agreed that the introduction of the computers and Internet connection was beneficial and contributed greatly to the overall academic advancement of their students. From our demonstrated technical chaos, had emerged some level of academic success.
While we only managed limited school-to-school interaction and communications between this primary pilot school program in Kenya with schools in the U.S., we had gained an important understanding that more guided academic exchanges, engaging students and teachers at a higher level, would be needed in successful future exchange programs.
In 2012, ISSP was established to continue this challenging mission. Tony Silard and Jonathan Berkey are once again teamed-up to launch this new vision, with a wonderful education mission: developing international networks of teachers and students from both developing and developed world classrooms, with the vision of creating an internet-linked global classroom, one school at a time, starting with Africa Link and Power Africa Schools.