About the Project
The Open Learning Exchange program uses affordable, portable and scalable technologies that do not require Internet and can be powered locally. The approach is especially effective in remote, marginalized and unstable environments with limited infrastructure and resources. The program has demonstrated success in Ghana, Nepal, Mexico, Rwanda, and Peru.
The Open Learning Kit provides substantial open educational resources. The low cost and portable Kit is contained in a hard case on wheels that can be locked and easily moved from one location to another. It contains the Basic e-Learning Library that provides access to a wealth of multimedia learning resources. BeLL members use 7 inch color tablets, using a Wi-Fi router, to access the Raspberry Pi server’s thousands of free books, video and audio materials. A video camera, projector and laptop are included, supporting group meetings and the creation of local materials.
OLE engages two, full-time skilled teachers and a tech support person to lead the program and to develop sustained local leadership. The staff is trained in coaching, and are mentored throughout the program.
The system provides access to high quality open learning resources, supports and builds skilled local leadership, and frequent, near real-time communications to provide new learning resources and demonstrate effectiveness.
An important feature of the BeLL is its personal learning management tools which enable students to plan and track their own progress up their personal learning ladders. The content for pre-literate children will include picture books and materials designed for their levels as well as basic readers that will enable them to begin to read. The BeLL also will enable teachers to modify their courses to meet the specific needs of students and to create their own courses.
The program thus functions as a catalyst for a more active, engaging learning environment into the formal school system. In addition, the program includes parents and the camp leadership and community as a whole as they develop ways to use the Open Learning System for their own benefit. It promotes gender equality, the empowerment of women and a pathway for meeting the MDG goal of universal primary education.
Open Learning Exchange International is a social benefit organization (501c3), established in 2007 to support quality basic education for all. OLE International works with like-minded organizations throughout the developing world to develop, promote and scale powerful Open Learning Communities that address the specific needs of those communities with a focus on the needs of young girls and children. OLE will seek to integrate the program with the work of the International Rescue Committee; it currently operates four womens’ centers in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, and works with UNICEF to care for unaccompanied and separated children.