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A digital drum: to provide information to parents but also to engage children

How to share information with parents about education and how to engage children in some learning activities/ games. Issues of access to information and technology have been highlighted in various research post, here is a project done by UNICEF in Uganda.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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As several posts in this phase highlighted the importance of access to information for parents, but also for children (and potentially for teachers), as well as the difficulty to access this information (and the technological constraints), it reminded me a project I saw at the ‘Design with the Other 90%: Cities’ exhibit at the UN a few years ago.

'The Digital Drum’ is a project run by UNICEF in Uganda to increase access to information. It is a solar-powered computer kiosk made out of rugged, locally available materials. 

The technology behind is simple:
"Consisting of low-cost oil drums welded together, waterproof keyboards, solar panels, and low-power laptops, the durable design ensures sustainability, and with its preloaded content dealing with health and education, the drums will serve as veritable information portals.

On the Uganda context:

"Today, less than 10 per cent of Ugandans use the Internet. Rural communities especially struggle from a lack of access to information, but access also eludes those living in the poorest urban spaces, such as children living in the slum by Kamwokya."

Hence, “the innovative technologies like these actually help create a digital bridge between those who have access to the Internet and those who don’t, in a low-cost sturdy fashion,” explained Sharad Sapra, UNICEF Representative in Uganda.

Excerpts from ​http: //www.unicef.org/infobycountry/uganda_60096.html

These drums can be located in central areas in the villabe building on current social networks and become also places where discussions about education, health, nutrition, between parents, but also between parents and children can take place.

Depending on the local context and on more research, different contents can be created, targeted towards adults or young children, or pre-teens and teens.

How can we use simple innovative technology to provide information access to parents on education as well as basic education opportunities to children?



 

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Thank you for posting this AL. I struggle with ideas on how to bring information to communities in public settings on a regular basis. This is a great example of a solution.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Thanks Bettina. Here is another project on using technology in public settings: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/a-hole-in-the-wall

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