In November of 2019, we realized our year one goal. An all volunteer Alberta based team of six travelled to Dominica. Working for two weeks with the IT team from the Ministry of Education on the island, switches and wireless access points were installed in a number of schools and at the Dominica Association of Teachers providing each site with building wide wireless access. As well, each school received class sets of Chromebooks in weather safe cases and digital projectors. When all the phase one installations are complete, more than 30 schools will have the learning technologies needed to provide teachers and students with the kind of educational opportunities they deserve. The new value of the equipment provided was in excess of $1.5 million CAD.
We realized our goal with the support of many generous donors, volunteers and contributors. We were grateful to have received a Rotary International Global Grant and to have worked with the Rotary Clubs of Lethbridge East, Portsmouth Dominica and Bracebridge, Ontario.
In 2020, we received another year of funding from Rotary International and a large number of quality used devices were donated to help us achieve our year two mission. However, the plan to send another installation team to Dominica in November was derailed by travel restrictions because of the global pandemic. Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education ICT team, a decision was made to ship the donated technologies which included more than 2000 Chromebooks as well as switches, wireless access points, digital projectors, and weather safe cases. The shipment arrived in November and was installed in schools across the island by the Ministry ICT team in 34 schools.
As a result of our amazing partners, our three-year plan was achieved one year early! In just two years 3,300 Chromebook computers were delivered and installed along with 676 Ubiquiti wireless access points, 74 Ubiquiti Cloud Key Controllers, over 120 switches, 550 power bars, 115 Epson digital projectors and 106 weather safe pelican cases impacting more than 10,000 students in more than 66 schools in Dominica.
More information on the installation is available here:
We adjusted our strategic plan and are now focusing on providing additional professional development both for the Ministry ICT team and teachers. Several technical courses have been offered. Our annual IT for Dominica Summer Institutes, which pivoted to online in 2020 and 2021, provided training to large groups of teachers. As a result of our partnership with the Alberta Technology Leaders in Education (ATLE), about 100 teachers, school level administrators and education officials on the island attended their online Convergence Conference in both 2020 and 2021 free of charge. Many teachers on the island took advantage of free memberships with the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), gaining access to resources and training related to integrating technology in their classrooms. These opportunities for professional development have been particularly important as the pandemic forced schools in Dominica to move online in the spring of 2020 and again in the fall of 2021. In January 2022, a Chromebooks for Teachers Initiative using both residual funds from our Rotary International Global Grant and funds donated directly to our foundation, provided Chromebooks to more than 60 teachers representing schools across the island.