THE HAITI INTERNET INITIATIVE AS STUDENT-LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Wentworth Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, has a longstanding tradition of hands-on education. It also maintains a strong commitment to community service and service-learning. The 2010 tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti galvanized many to action and created an opportunity for Wentworth to mobilize its resources towards providing assistance to the struggling island nation. The Haiti Internet Initiative was formed with the goal of providing short-term and long-term needed technology. The Haiti Internet Initiative recycles used servers and network devices into networks created by Wentworth students in the Computer Networking Systems major. These networks will be deployed in Haiti to be used to support educational goals and job creation. It will also address the issue of the “Digital Divide,” or the limited access to technology based on poverty. While the project hit snags, it will be an ongoing project at Wentworth and further iterations are expected to address and decrease them. This is an experiential model vital to producing engaged and prepared students in higher education. The Haiti Internet Initiative is yielding benefits in student involvement and rebuilding Haiti while providing a means for organizations to gain tax benefits through donations of obsolete equipment that may otherwise wind up in landfills.
Keywords: Haiti earthquake, service learning, technology donations, Digital Divide.