March 9, 2019 Mala Bawer

2019 Plans and 2018 Accomplishments by Jim Teicher, Founder & Director

The solar-powered CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform

CyberSmart Africa spent the past year refining and enhancing the solar-powered CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform, based on ten years of working directly with teachers and schools in Senegal. This is the first practical model for massively scalable school learning also taking into account lessons learned from numerous education, government and business leaders, including the French Minister of Education, The US Ambassador to Senegal, the UN, UNESCO, The World Bank, and numerous others.

Introducing SmartSenegal.com – An AI Social Network

My biggest lesson learned from teachers in Senegal is that they need to save time because they are under  tremendous pressure to teach all of the curriculum. CyberSmart’s introduction of SmartSenegal.com uses artificial intelligence (AI) and is specially designed to help teachers do what they are already doing — only faster and easier. Teachers are already heavy users of social networks to meet their professional needs; but existing networks are not uniquely designed for teachers. We are adding features that teachers have told us will make their jobs and their lives easier.  For example, a knowledge bank of teaching resources allows teachers to share learning content, and commerce features will help them save money.

2018 Community Service Activities

Even though our focus is on educational technology, we are fortunate to have numerous opportunities to serve students, teachers, and  their families.

Feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree” Millions of people around the world continue to view the internationally acclaimed feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree produced by CyberSmart Learning Institute and filmed in the village where I started my work in Senegal over ten years ago. The film speaks to the power of education and its life changing consequences.

Delta Airlines partnership  Delta Airlines partnered with us to give rural village students a tour of the gleaming new Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, providing them with a concrete example of where their education might take them — perhaps on a Delta flight to New York!

American jazz  We hosted the first live American jazz content ever to take place in a rural Pulaar Senegalese village to the delight of hundreds of villagers.

Classroom renovation Our annual  classroom renovation initiative turned into an exercise in student empowerment and democracy-building when students voted on the color of their classroom walls. A vibrant pink won, and teachers report that the students are more motivated as they prepare for the elementary school passing exam.

Student healthcare  We were again pleased to team-up with Maine (USA)-based Partners For World Health to facilitate medical treatment for hundreds of children and their families in Sinthiou Mbadane, Senegal.

About the Author

Mala Bawer Mala Bawer is Co-founder and Executive Director of CyberSmart! Education. She is widely recognized as a leader in the planning, development and distribution of online professional development in 21st century skills. see more https://www.cybersmartafrica.org/about/