Jennifer Olson, Erik Goodman, Susan Wyche
(previous years included Kurt DeMaagd)
Faculty and students in the ICT4D Global Corps began their service-learning project in 2008 to build a sustainable broadband network in Tanzania. They teamed up with the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Dodoma to design and implement a rugged, solar-powered and Internet-enabled computer lab at the Baraka Primary School in rural Tanzania. One PC runs six independent seats, significantly reducing initial costs and ongoing energy use. The system was designed to address the challenges of a harsh environment, and the lack of a power grid. For most students at Baraka, this was the first time any of them had ever seen, or even heard of a computer before.
After this first installation, students in the ICT4D Global Corps have linked the Baraka satellite dish to additional schools using Wi-Max and WiFi wireless technology to create a network of connected schools. The computer and power systems are constantly being improved to become more rugged, efficient and sustainable, and to provide additional educational resources. The growing opportunities in telecommunications and mobile applications are also being explored. The program is expanding with a focus to create more content for the network. The content will emphasize access to information and educational resources including cognitive games, e-commerce, health, agricultural and market data, and social support.