SDG: Goal 4 – Quality Education
45.6% of the world population does not have access to the internet and is hence not able to access open online educational resources (Internet World Stats, 2018). As a result, a knowledge gap widens between the ones with internet and the ones without internet (World Possible, 2018). How can educational content be distributed to communities without internet access? This is the main challenge addressed by the non-profit organisation World Possible.
First, the contents of educational websites like Wikipedia, Khan Academy, and, Project Gutenberg, are repackaged for download and offline use. Second, the materials are made available in an offline area with RACHEL. RACHEL stands for Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education & Learning. RACHEL is a portable plug-and-play server which stores the offline educational resources and via a local (offline) wireless connection makes the contents available (Gomez, 2017).
Schools without internet in over 40 countries have been equipped with RACHEL and can now access a vast digital library of educational resources (World Possible, 2018b). Both the knowledge as well as the motivation of the children attending these schools seem to have increased. Now they do not have only their notebooks and physical books to learn from, but they can run exercises and look for information on their computers. Watch the video below to learn about the impact of RACHEL in the rural areas of Guatemala.
One of the children who has been educated via RACHEL is Diego from Guatemala. Since the age of ten, he volunteers himself at World Possible to help other schools without internet use RACHEL to access the wealth of digital educational resources (Internet Society, 2018).
Gomez, A. (2017, November 15). The future of offline access to Wikipedia: The RACHEL example. Wikimedia Foundation, Retrieved from https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/11/15/offline-access-wikipedia-rachel/
Internet Society (2018). 25 under 25. Retrieved from https://www.internetsociety.org/25th/25-under-25/awardees
Internet World Stats (2018). World Internet Users and 2018 Population Stats. Retrieved from https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
Njoroge, P. (2016, August 29). Musings on Kitale: What it means to introduce technology in learning. Retrieved from http://blogs.africanmathsinitiative.net/patrick15/2016/08/29/musings-on-kitale-what-it-means-to-introduce-technology-in-learning/
World Possible (2018). The challenge. Retrieved from https://worldpossible.org
World Possible (2018b). RACHEL-Plus 3.0. Retrieved from https://store.worldpossible.org/products/rachel-plus