Emerald Data Solutions’ “Computers for African Learners” Program Enhances Student Learning and Awareness

As featured by eSchool News, Tech & Learning, TMC.net and The Park Record, UT

Laptops and Educational Software Has Enabled Kenyan Students to Receive a Better Education and Expand Their International Awareness

Earlier this year, Emerald Data Solutions™, Inc., the eGovernance pioneer and developer of BoardDocs® paperless meeting solutions, launched “Computers for African Learners” with a donation of laptops and educational software to Kenya’s Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT). The program, founded by Emerald Data Solutions’ President Ari Ioannides, was created to improve student education in Africa and increase student opportunities for achieving an enhanced lifestyle.

The computers are being used by Maasai students at Campi ya Kanzi, an ecologically responsible complex in East Africa. Built in partnership with the Maasai community of the 280,000-acre Kuku Group Ranch, Campi ya Kanzi has a unique commitment to community development and environmental sustainability through ecotourism.

“This program and the donation of laptops by Mr. Ioannides has enhanced the Maasai children’s ability to receive a well-rounded education,” said Campi ya Kanzi owner and MWCT founder, Luca Belpietro. “The computers have not only expanded the students’ learning scope, they have also provided a platform for increased social skills and knowledge of the wider world.”

The laptops were pre-loaded with educational software, including Encyclopaedia Britannica® Student & Home Edition and Scientific Learning® Reading Assistant™. Each student is allowed laptop use for 40 minutes, 3 times a week. In that short time, the students have mastered the programs and are producing unprecedented creative and written work.

Liz Everett, teacher at Kanzi School, commented: “They have taken to the computers, as the saying goes, ‘like ducks to water’! Each student can independently turn on the computers, find the program they need to use, open past projects and save their work, as well as shut down the computers safely at the end of each session. Recently, they researched current topics for a ‘World Cup Countries’ project.”

Ms. Everett also reports that the Campi ya Kanzi community at large has been equally impressed with the computers. “Everyone is asking to be trained on the laptops as well, so that they can catch up with the amount of knowledge that the children are gaining!”

To learn more about MWCT, visit www.maasai.com.

About Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust
After creating Campi ya Kanzi as a community eco-lodge, in 2000 Antonella and Luca Belpietro founded Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) to preserve the Maasai wilderness, wildlife and cultural heritages through community-based conservation projects, providing an economic stake in conservation to the Maasai landowners of the greater Mt. Kilimanjaro ecosystem. In just one decade, MWCT has grown from a small group employing 10 local Maasai – to a significant organization, currently employing 200 local people.

About Emerald Data Solutions
The experts at Emerald Data Solutions, Inc. have been providing technology solutions to public and private organizations since 1989. Our past clients have included the State of Georgia, BellSouth and Turner Broadcasting. Currently, Emerald Data Solutions is exclusively dedicated to the development and delivery of BoardDocs eGovernance solutions. BoardDocs was initially developed in 2000 for Marietta City Schools, and since the national introduction of BoardDocs in June of 2002, more than 400 organizations have chosen BoardDocs for their paperless governance solution.

Our staff includes a former school district technology director, former school board clerk, former database administrator for the DOE’s Yucca Mountain Facility, former Fortune 50 executive trainers, top developers and certified support analysts. We have trained thousands of board members and administrators so we understand school districts and how board materials are collected and distributed.


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