Bridging the digital gap in off-line Guatemalan rural schools

Delivering the best education content available on-line to rural schools beyond the current reach of internet.

Asociación Mundo Posible

Education

Our story

The Challenge

Internet has made a great contribution to the quality of education in developing countries; however, in Guatemala less than 3% of public schools have access, increasing the knowledge gap and limiting opportunities for students to thrive academically and to reduce poverty cycles.

What we do

Mundo Posible’s mission is to contribute to improve the quality of education and reduction of poverty by facilitating technology tools to schools and rural communities, involving local skills and talent.

Our main tool to accomplish it is RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hot Spots for Education and Learning), a digital library with some of the best educational resources from the web, including Wikipedia, Khan Academy and many more, available in an off-line format through low cost servers that distribute a free wireless connection.  RACHEL can instantly turn a graveyard of unused/underused computers into a learning center, and any teacher, student or parent can also access the content through their smartphones, since it can support up to 50 devices simultaneously, without any internet or telephone fee, ever.

Along with every RACHEL installation, we provide a training program for teachers to learn how to access the content and to use different methodologies, including “self-organized learning environments” (SOLE, conceptualized by Sugata Mitra), with their students in every subject.

Our Goal

Our goal for 2018 is to reach at least another 50 rural schools to deploy RACHEL and train their teachers, with support from donors and partners that include the Ministry of Education, with whom we just signed a cooperation agreement, and other local institutions and organizations.  This will contribute to our longer term vision, which is that every rural school in Guatemala has access to high quality digital resources.

We have already secured the funds to cover 12 schools in the western highlands of Guatemala, as well as the funds to carry out an impact study throughout the school year to measure students’ improvement in language and mathematics, and changes in teacher practices.

Why it matters

In Guatemala, public schools have historically shown low averages in mathematics and language grades, and we believe that RACHEL, along with a teacher training program, can contribute in a significant way to improve these results.  Education, as we know, is key in the developing process of any country, not only accessible but of high quality.

From 2014 to 2017, we have installed RACHEL in more than 160 schools and have trained more than 1,200 teachers countrywide.  According to some teachers’ testimonials, modules such as the Khan Academy math videos and the different resources for research/reading have helped students improve their performances.  However, as mentioned before, an impact study will be carried out next year in coordination with one of the most respected universities in terms of research and technology in Central America, to confirm the real impact of RACHEL in the classrooms.

We need your help

In order to deploy RACHEL and train teachers in 38 schools, to complete or minimum target for 2018, we need $30,000.

Funds will be used to cover the costs of the RACHEL servers, the traveling expenses for deploying it in public schools, the training of teachers and follow up visits to monitor and evaluate its usage, resolve any technical issues and strengthening teachers’ skills.  The average cost for each benefited school is around $800 depending on the equipment they have, but any amount would help us reach more and keep supporting thousands of students and teachers in rural Guatemala.

Please help us spread the word by sharing the link of this campaign.  For more information about what we do in Guatemala and other World Possible chapters in Africa and the US, visit our website at worldpossible.org

Thank You!