My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Tablets in Jamaican Schools by September 2014 – e-Learning Project II Public Education Campaign needed to be successful

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tablets in Jamaican Schools by September 2014 – e-Learning Project II Public Education Campaign needed to be successful

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining are gearing up their  e-Learning Project II to launch Tablets to some 38 Schools in a Year-long Test Pilot as stated in “Preparation for tablets in schools progressing – Technology Ministry”, published Friday, June 13, 2014 8:07 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

In his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Friday June 11th 2014, State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, made it clear that they were getting ready for September 2014, the start of Academic Year 2014/2015 which starts September 2014 and ends June 2015.

According to the horse's mouth, the JIS (Jamaica Information Service) in the article “Government Gets Ready to Roll Out Tablets in Schools Project”, published June 12, 2014 By Alecia Smith-Edwards, The Jamaica Information Service the following preparations are being made:

1.      CMS for delivering Education material has been identified by the Contractors
2.      Public Education and Awareness Campaign has been launched
3.      Schools and parents being educated on how to use and care their Tablets
4.      Tablet in Schools Policy Manual for High Schools has been developed
5.      Teachers are been trained in basic ICT (Information and Communications
6.      Teachers are being trained on how to utilize tablets in teaching Technology) skills

By September 2014, the one year Test Pilot Launch of Tablets for e-Learning Project II will go live. Four (4) Contractors having already been signed on Tuesday March 11th 2014 to the tune of JA$800 million taken from the USF (Universal Service Fund).

This is money was made available via a Levy from the Telecom Providers to aid with projects related to e-Learning and the building of CAP (Community Access Points) in High Schools and Communities.

e-Learning Project II Initiative – Traditional Media has interviewed me on Defense against the Dark Arts

Coincidentally, thanks to the popularity of my blog article entitled “Ministry of Science and Technology signs four Contractors in March 2014 to procure Tablets - Test Pilot Project in September 2014 means Teachers can monetize e-books”, I’ve already been called for interviews by Traditional Media on the Subject of Tablets and Children.

Nationwide News 90 FM, located at 27 Mannings Hill Road and home of Miss Kitty, has already contacted and interviewed me on Radio in two (2) separate occasions with regards to how to protect children from Adult Content online:

1.      Friday May 2nd 2014
2.      Friday June 11th 2014

On both occasions, I was interviewed on the Technology Now program at 9:30am by host Vernon Derby. I did extensive research on the topic, which I eventually composed into a how-to article on making Tablets and smartphones kid-friendly as detailed in my blog article entitled “How to Lock down your Child’s Tablet or smartphone and Apps to Block, Protect and Notify you of your Child’s whereabouts Online - Defense Against the Dark Arts”.

Previously I’d also done articles on how to care your Tablet in terms of cleaning its screen as described in my Geezam Blog article entitled “How to make your own Cleaning Fluid and Cleaning Tips for your Smartphone or Tablet”. I also did a handy how-to on replacing a cracked screen as explained in my Geezam Blog article entitled “How to Repair a Broken Screen on a Smartphone or Tablet”.

The Contracts which were signed at the PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) will see some 27,000 Tablets used to provide Tablets, CMS and other services as detailed in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Science and Technology signs four Contractors in March 2014 to procure Tablets - Test Pilot Project in September 2014 means Teachers can monetize e-books”.

If it is a success, e-Learning Project II will be expanded to the rest of the island in a bid to reach some 600,000 Teachers and Students at High Schools islandwide over the next five years as was planned originally.

To make it more universally accessible, therefore, Book Publishers are being urged to make their Book available in e-book Formats i.e. *.pdf and e-Pub compatible with these Tablets as described in my blog article entitled “Crowdsourced, Teleworking Flex-work Publishers needed for UWI and High School Students with Tablets in 2014 - How Jamaican Writers can make money via ePub Publishing Books”.

Thus opportunities are now available for even Teachers to publish their material in e-book format and make money from the sale of e-books, albeit it may also lead to an explosion of e-book Piracy in the High School System as stated in my blog article entitled “How to become an e-book Publishing House via e-book Piracy - Tablets in Schools sets the Stage for Rampant e-book Piracy”.

Tablets in September 2014 – Public Education Campaign needed to make e-Learning Project II a Success

Parents will be availed to afford these Tablets as they'll be priced at around JA$5000 to JA$9000. All told, this is a VERY BIG one year Test Pilot Launch which generates the following metrics of interest to anyone following this project:

1.      38 educational institutions
2.      27,000 Tablets
3.      24,000 students
4.      1,200 teachers

The 38 educational institutions involved in this Tablet Test Pilot, whose names are yet to be known, are distributed as follows:

1.      6 pre-primary schools
2.      13 primary schools
3.      5 all age and junior high schools
4.      12 high schools
5.      1 teacher’s College
6.      1 one special education institution

In addition to Tablets, the four (4) contractors will be installing and distributing the following Teaching aids for Teachers as part of Tablet Test Pilot rollout:

1.      Laptops
2.      Interactive white-boards
3.      Projectors
4.      Scanners
5.      Printers
6.      Wi-Fi Internet

Thus, it'll enable any High School to turn any Classroom into an interactive Teaching Room and even an IT (Information Technology) Class to teach Computer Studies and Programming concepts as I'd predicted in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Science and Technology yet to announce Tablet Contractor - 400,000 Tablets for E-Learning II Project in 5 years as Test Pilot to end June 2014”.

It’s now World Cup 2014, which you can follow via the links in Omar Samuels Geezam blog article “Your #WorldCup Package”. For the record, I’m bringing German, Netherlands, Brazil and France and I’m predicting a France-Netherlands finals.

I’m doing this article from my home in Milk River in-between making Glow-In-the-Dark Ice Cream as stated in my blog article entitled “How to make Glow-In-The Dark Ice Cream from Scratch - US$25.95 Zoku Ice Cream Bowl makes Avatar The Last Airbender Frozen Novelties”.

So I excitedly await the fall in the price of phablets, smartphones and eventually Tablets by August 2014 as predicted in my blog article entitled “Council of Trade and Economic Development allows GOJ to remove CET on smartphones - How CET removal from Phablets is the Perfect Storm for CET-Free Tablets by Emancipation Day”.

Already smartphone prices are falling, with Telecom Provider Digicel predicting a bumper crop of smartphones in June 2014 as predicted in my blog article entitled “Digicel poised to sell 20,000 Mobile Devices in June 2014 - GOJ's CET removal means JA$4000 to JA$6000 smartphones are Possible”.

By December 2014, Tablets, not spartphones will be the gift of choice for many Jamaicans this Christmas 2014!

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