- A reliable, sturdy laptop that is relatively fast (no more than 1-3 years old).
- I will be multi-tasking, so I need a lot of RAM (2 gig or more)
- Microsoft Office software
- DVD playing software
- Preferably Windows XP, but Vista is completely ok
- Macbooks are less susceptible to viruses... which run rampant in this country.
Here's the situation:
Today I spent most of the day across the Essequibo river visiting two primary schools and talking to head teachers about ways we can build capacity and technical training in their schools.
Problem number 1: BEAMS program is a foreign funded program that has poured money into the Ministry of Education by means of purchasing laptops, printer/faxes, desktops, whole computer labs, data projectors, and a ton of programs. The problem is that no one ever bothered to train teachers or hire technical support to manage and maintain these expensive tools.
Problem number 2: Internet is slow and scarce. I can access it at the office, but there are only two computers that are connected and they are constantly being used. Internet cafes are costly and less reliable.
Problem number 3: Fuel is astronomically expensive. This inhibits my ability to travel into the interior to visit schools and perform teacher training sessions.
Most of my work can be done offline and saved on a thumb drive and then uploaded onto the Internet when I'm in the office and at a connected computer.
I can also:
- Spend time at home setting up power point lessons
- Writing music for literacy lessons
- Drafting grant proposals
- Showing educational films to students
- Creating literacy games using powerpoint
- Answering emails and writing blog posts on my off time
If you have a laptop in mind you might be willing to send me, please email me at:
Finally, an extra perk to having a laptop is this: I can borrow our data projector and a white bed sheet and head into the interior. There, I can show school kids episodes of Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Land of the Lost Jaguar, etc. What a great way to usher in technology with global awareness, no?
Keep me posted friends and family. I'll make good use out of it, promise!