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Progressive Learning

This is not a book

Category Archives: Equity

Until more educational and pro-social children’s media gets picked up by other networks, we need PBS KIDS. Desperately.The house eliminated funding for public broadcasting.  You can help by joining 170 million Americans for Public Broadcasting.

Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS, wrote an article in the Huffington Post today.  Everything below is a quote from her.

“PBS member stations are America’s largest classroom, available to all of America’s children — including those who cannot attend preschool. And a growing body of research shows that public television programs help children learn more effectively, starting from a very young age.

For example, a study entitled G Is for Growing found that children who watched Sesame Street in preschool spend more time reading for fun in high school, and they obtain higher grades in English, math, and science. A study conducted by Shelley Pasnik of Education Development Center and William Penuel of SRI International showed that preschool children who participated in a curriculum incorporating PBS KIDS video and games into classroom instruction were better prepared for kindergarten than those who didn’t. Independent research also demonstrates that PBS multimedia content is accelerating learning for kids and closing the achievement gap. Recent research reveals that kids who played with the PBS Martha Speaks app made significant gains, increasing vocabulary as much as 31 percent in a two week period.

In short, PBS content for children is proven to teach key educational skills, cultivating and challenging the critical thinkers and innovators of tomorrow. These programs, which are available to virtually every child in the nation, are a jump-start for learning at a time when America’s education engine is threatening to stall. And this promising investment in America’s future is available for an annual cost of about $1.00 per American.”


So many great technology and development projects in Kenya as of late!  On October 15th, 2010 Computer Aid International and Computers for Schools Kenya launched their first mobile solar powered internet cafe!  In the press release:

Six solar panels have been fitted on the roof enough to provide 12 hours worth of electricity everyday. The panels will last up to 25 years. The container can be placed and used anywhere on the planet, with no mains electricity or wired connectivity needed. To function it only requires power from the sun and the internet access is acquired through cellular data connection, wifi or VSAT.

Tony Roberts, CEO of Computer Aid, said “the solar Internet cafe is an exciting new project for Computer Aid that enables us to reach even the most isolated rural communities. Computer Aid is committed to removing the barriers to ICT access in developing countries. The solar powered Internet cafe is just one of a number of projects we are working on to provide ICT solutions for rural communities. We are planning to set up several more solar Internet cafes in sub-Saharan Africa over the coming year, and we’re keen for sponsors to get involved and help us expand this solution that illustrates commitment to social development and the environment”

According to Dr Tom Musili, Executive Director of the Kenyan based charity CFSK, “the solar internet cafe will provide ICT solutions to schools and community centres in the areas of Kenya that don’t have mains electricity or any form of physical infrastructure to drive development”. He is optimistic that after the launch, which will include loading the container on a truck, it will enable them to reach community centres in the remote areas of Garissa, Wajir and Moyale. Dr Musili would also like to see this initiative duplicated in the rural areas of Neri, Taraka and Mingi.

More about this exciting project can be found on Computer Aid’s website.

Images of the mobile cafe are available here.