As the Dell Youth Learning project concludes, the Solar Learning Lab will continue to provide numerous benefits to Tiempo De Juego (TDJ) its beneficiaries and the local community in Cazucá. The project focused strongly in Year 2 and 3 to ensure that TDJ had ownership of the lab, so that the transition when the project ends would run smoothly.
The Digital Citizen Curriculum and other professional tools have been available thanks to a collaboration with Sistema Nacional De Aprendizaje (SENA). SENA are a local government institution and have provided free training on technological skills, enhancing skills of students so that they are more competitive in the job market. More specifically, their programme has focused on creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking through the use of technology.
The lab has been hosting classes every Monday - Saturday, covering content related to a number of topics, including Virtual Reality, Digital Illustration, Makaia content targeting local Primary school students and SENA content that aims to provide young people who have graduated from high school with career skills.
- Over 600 Direct Beneficiaries
- 17% Of Direct Beneficiaries Were First Time Computer Users
- 93% Of Beneficiaries Completed Programme
- Over 40 Days Of Educator Training
- Over 1,200 Indirect Beneficiaries
- 29% Of Indirect Beneficiaries Were First Time Computer Users
I like to learn new things about programs like excel, word, power point, paint, wondershare filmora and video games
- Erick Santiago Mejia Salamanca, Student
Statistics about the project
When students were asked to identify their level of ICT skills, most students answered favourably. No students classified their skills as poor, 2% classified their skills as 'slightly poor', 14% classified their skills as 'average', 34% classified their skills as 'slightly good' and 50% classified their skills as 'good'
- 41% responded that the first time they had used a computer was in the Solar Learning Lab
- 73% agreed they feel more comfortable as a result of the lab, to share their ICT knowledge with friends and family
- 65% of students who use the lab have completed school or work tasks in the lab
- 78% of students stated they use the lab for school-related work, with 22% using the lab mainly for personal work
- 92% of students are more comfortable with ICT exercises, keen to pursue further education, and gain a job that uses technology
- When looking at the types of software used in the lab Word Processing and Internet Browsing were clearly popular categories, with 70% and 66% of students selecting these option respectively. Spreadsheet and presentation software was also popular, with just over half the sample using this software.
- In a separate question, students were asked which extra activities they enjoy in the lab and unsurprisingly, 74% of students selected gaming
Overall, the results for Year 3 of the project indicate that another cohort of students has successfully benefited from using the ICT lab for a range of classes and programmes. Students predominantly aged 8 - 11 have been learning basic ICT skills and delved deeper into video editing, production, the use of spreadsheets, safe internet browsing and a range of other tasks.
The experience in Solar Learning space has been very rewarding and motivating, since it has allowed me to teach my students and has also allowed me to learn several things about each of them, recognising their different points of view, their wisdom, their understanding, their strongest skills and those that need to be reinforced.
- Luz Angela Rojas Ballesteros, Trainer
TDJ has had timetables in place for the Solar Learning Lab over the past few years, providing structure to the training of beneficiaries. The diversity of programmes has been essential to the success of the lab; by not focusing solely on ICT literacy, beneficiaries of the lab have been able to improve their general ICT skills, but also use the computers for research, video editing, as an office space, to access the web, healthcare training and a range of other activities.
TDJ has and is strongly committed to the success of the lab and this will allow the Solar lab to continue benefiting Cazucá and the youth of TDJ into the future.