C3 Around the World, Panama Case Study

Digital resources for the educational community: Critical Links, Edupan and MEDUCA

C3 Training – Bocas del Toro, Panama

We spent time with Ariel Medina from Edupan, Panama, who gave us an overview of our project with MEDUCA and how it is changing people’s lives in Panama. EDUPAN helps teachers and instructors to transform traditional pedagogical methods through the inclusion of technology, giving their students the ability to face the challenges of the 21st century. While MEDUCA (Education Ministry) has outlined their purpose to ensure an educational system of excellence, that leverages resources like technology to improve knowledge, learning, and outcomes.

How this project has changed students and teachers lives?

This project exemplifies the MEDUCA mission in Panama. With our C3 Micro-Cloud, we are giving to Panama students and teachers in remotes areas the opportunity to have access to internet-based resources in a secure and immersive way. The main benefit of this MEDUCA Project is to allow the entire educational community to do research and use digital resources such as Wikipedia.  In addition, they now have access to more engaging resources, such as videos about math that complement their theoretical classes. Also, they can now work with technological resources in subjects like science and language from virtually any device.

Are schools in remote places and how remote are they?

This project is being implemented in schools that are located in really remote zones (rural areas or coastal zones) where internet access is only possible using satellite. The long trip that needs to be made to reach those schools is a constraint to both teachers and students; it also makes the implementation of technological projects in those areas very difficult. Within the 500 schools that were impacted by this project, some of them can only be reached by boat, while others by walking for more than four hours to get there.

Many of those schools only have power through solar panels, which makes the installation of communication equipment very difficult. The C3 Micro-Cloud and its low consumption gave the opportunity to offer educational resources without having to change underlying infrastructures in the schools.

What is the main benefit of the C3 solution in this project?

Ariel told us the main benefit C3 brings to those people is enable the access to updated educational content, research resources and the experience of having locally access to things that people only find in internet sites.

Teachers across Panama are working so hard to allow their students to have a better education, some of them: walk for hours to school, travel rural roads where cars can only go to a certain point and follow the rest of the path by horse, or even reach the school by boat.  As with the rest of the world, time is precious! Imagine how difficult it is for those teachers to have time to prepare for classes, or find ways of motivating students, while also having a life beyond the school.

Many of these Panama schools have fluctuating internet connection, while others don’t even have that level of service. The solution that those schools needed was a simple, fast platform that could be installed easily, and give an internet-based learning experience even without a stable, live connection to the internet.  Now – they have that.  Parents, students, and MEDUCA officials can now see how this project (with Edupan and Critical Links) is helping teachers giving their students access to more interactive classes with richer content/resources that’s ready to use with no complications.

Teachers had the opportunity to do C3 training, learning how to use the C3 and share knowledge not only with students but also with other school colleagues. Together with MEDUCA and Edupan, Critical Links is allowing schools and teachers to improve the educational process.  But most importantly here in Panama, we are leading the way to enable access to global knowledge and helping to create more capable future citizens of Panama.

Know more about EDUPAN and MEDUCA:
http://edupan.net/en/
http://www.meduca.gob.pa/

By Critical Links  #connectingstudentstoknowledge

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