Dutch children can already do a lot on the computer. That is different in developing countries. SolarSchools wants to change that.
We distinct "learn to use" and "use to learn".
Learn to Use: Computer skills offer access to a good job. Children in rural areas usually have not the opportunity to learn these skills. Due to the solar panels, computer education can be provided on the countryside.
Teaching computer skills starts with the discovery of the computer. What is a screen, what is a keyboard, how does a mouse work? For most of the children this is the first introduction to the computer.
In Cambodia the language and the writing make it once more difficult. It is a real art to type Khmer on a normal "qwerty keyboard".
Use to Learn: At SolarSchools, we want to go a step further. You can use computer skills to learn other subjects better, such as English and mathematics. In the Netherlands this is already common, in developing countries it is still in its infancy.
The SolarSchools exchange project, offering children the opportunity to communicate with each other through social media, we see as a special way of "Use to learn".
Use of Open Source software
The computer education within SolarSchools has Open Source software as starting point. Therefore it is not necessary to purchase expensive licenses. Fot this purpose the computer are equipped with an Edubuntu operating system, a sister of the well-known Ubuntu, especially for education. We also use Open Office.