School in the Sky

Brigham Young University, USA

A cloud-computing based education system for very poor areas that links to U.S. students and retirees as mentors and teachers.

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sgarvey
sgarvey
April 3, 2020 10:52 pm

Thanks for the presentation. How did you develop training materials for mentors? Also, how is your program different from Granny Cloud?

schoolinthesky
schoolinthesky
April 5, 2020 2:26 am
Reply to  sgarvey

Thank you for the question Dr. Garvey! Our mentor training materials have been developed using research on best practices, our own experience, the experience of others, and prior high school entrance exam questions. During our online training, prospective mentors are initially screened by the administrator through our website. Then, they watch a short video developed by two of our team members based on their experience working with 12 middle grade students in Ghana for the past 6 months. Following the video, mentors are provided links to other websites that have cultural awareness tips. Next, we ask mentors to take an online training… Read more »

salexander
salexander
April 5, 2020 8:42 pm

Hello, You mentioned that many mentors are better educated than the Ghanian student’s classroom teachers….how are teachers incorporated into this process? Do you see a potential benefit of your program as helping better prepare teachers as well? Also, if you are successful and more students pass the entrance exams…is there enough capacity to serve the additional students as they progress to the next level of education? Thank you for your presentation!

schoolinthesky
schoolinthesky
April 6, 2020 4:16 pm
Reply to  salexander

Hi Ms. Alexander, thank you for the question! Yes, in Ghana the requirement is that teachers only need to complete one grade level higher than the students they teach. Because of this, many middle school teachers have not completed high school. As for supporting teachers, we believe that introducing teachers and students to Khan Academy and other global resources will help them enhance their own subject matter expertise as well as teaching skills. As for mentor capacity in serving additional students, we currently have recurring campaigns in three primary venues: (1) retirement communities in Utah; (2) high school students who… Read more »

agoldstein
agoldstein
April 6, 2020 12:50 am

Congratulations on your program. how will you have enough resource both mentors and schools? How will you reach this target?

schoolinthesky
schoolinthesky
April 6, 2020 3:48 pm
Reply to  agoldstein

Hello Dr. Goldstein, thank you for your question! Based on partnerships with low fee schools networks like Edify and engagements with government schools in Suhum and elsewhere, we already have a significant demand from various types of schools in rural areas throughout the country. If we can provide evidence based outcome and impact results in the coming school year, we will have other low fee private and government schools seeking partnerships with us as well. We have local Ghanaians on the ground who are passionate about education and are anxious to recruit schools for our program throughout the country. Recruiting mentors is… Read more »

sjonak
sjonak
April 6, 2020 3:16 am

Hello folks! How much bandwidth is actually available in these rural areas to do a video call without serious buffering issues?

schoolinthesky
schoolinthesky
April 6, 2020 4:07 pm
Reply to  sjonak

Hi Ms. Jonak! Thank you for the question. There is plenty of bandwidth available in many rural areas. We only focus on areas that have at least 3G cellular coverage. The following website allows us to filter these areas in Ghana based on the network provider: https://www.gsma.com/coverage/#415 With a mobile hotspot, up to 10 computers/tablets can have video call at one time on a good day. There will be occasional connectivity issues, just like we occasionally have connection issues here in the United States. From the experience of our team members in mentoring, connectivity has not been a serious issue… Read more »

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