At Edukid, we are constantly looking for the most effective way to help as many children as possible, without detracting from the personal, one-to-one support that makes our work so effective. In the last year, we discovered a piece of technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way in which children in some of the poorest areas can learn: the Kio Kit. The Kio Kit is a digital classroom in a box; it gives schools the software, hardware and connectivity they need to access valuable resources and share information and learning with schools around the world.
Why is digital technology so important in poor countries?
Approximately 90% of the population in low-income countries are not online. Internet access may seem very low on the list of priorities when compared to food, water and education, but it is our belief that by providing access to ICT, we will be able to provide some of the poorest children in Uganda with skills and resources that are essential for their country to move away from poverty.
Put simply, alongside education, IT is a crucial key to helping children living in poverty. The Information Technology report 2015 cites ICTs (information and communication technologies) as “vectors of economic and social transformation”. The report asserts that improving a community’s connectivity and global access to services could create business and employment opportunities, while changing the way people around the world communicate.
What is the Kio Kit?
Imagine a set of tablets, designed for Africans, in Africa. They are water and dust resistant, scratch proof, and can withstand being dropped from a height of 70cm onto hard ground. In short, they are perfect for repetitive use by small hands!
As a standalone tablet, the Kio is fantastic, but Brck have taken the concept to the next step, and the next! The Kio Kit, which comes in a robust, portable case, contains 40 Kio tablets, audio headsets, and the Brck: a mobile modem and Wi-Fi router connected to a portable server. The case itself doubles as a power station, which can be connected to mains or solar power and can charge all forty cases in as little as four hours.
How it works
Amongst its learning resources, the Brck’s server stores textbooks, games and Wikipedia for schools; the server is updated automatically with new educational materials. When a child switches on a Kio tablet, they have instant access to this wealth of resources; when a lesson comes to an end, the tablet is placed in a slot in the suitcase, where it charges wirelessly. In the event that a tablet is taken from the Kio Kit, it will cease to work, as it can only be switched on within a set radius of the server.
The Brck Kio Kit will instantly bring a digital classroom to any setting, anywhere in the world. Just one kit will directly benefit 200 children, not to mention the added benefits of shared learning and Skype contact between children from different cultures. It is our aim to provide Kio Kits to schools in Uganda and Cambodia, to help broaden the possibilities for the children we support, and to help each teacher to access an incredible wealth of information and resources.
At £5,000 each, the Kio Kits are not cheap but, due to their robust design and automatic software updates, they are expected to last a long time and the long-term benefits for the communities we help far outweigh their financial cost.
If you would like to find out more about the Kio Kit, or would like to make a donation, get in touch, or text KIOS01 followed by the amount you would like to donate (e.g. KIOS01 £10) to 70070