Students in Zambia will have much-needed computers, thanks to the hard work of Christopher Shively, assistant professor of elementary education and reading, and his son, Bryce. The Shivelys recently obtained computers and software to be used by students in Zambia.
The idea to donate computers to the Zambian schools began when Shively heard Hibajene Shandomo, associate professor of elementary education and reading, speak. Shandomo, who works closely with the professional development schools in Zambia, told a group of Buffalo State faculty and student teachers about the need for more computers in classrooms there.
Shively suggested that his son take part in a computer-donation project to help the Zambian students. Bryce contacted his school administration to start the project, asked permission from the custodians to store the donated laptops in secure places, and began accepting donated laptops from his school community. According to the Orchard Park Bee, Bryce even created a new commercial to help get the word out.
Shively, a former technology director, knew that after they cleared the used computers, the machines would just become bricks without any software or information on them. So he installed a free educational software called Edubuntu onto the computers. Thanks to the Shivelys’ efforts, Shandomo received three working laptops to take to Lusaka, Zambia, on her annual trip with Buffalo State student teachers.
Shandomo said that although some schools in Zambia have Internet access, many don’t have computers, so the donations will support student learning. “The computers are a quick and efficient way for students to make connections,” Shandomo said. “They can connect with other students around the world.”
Anyone interested in donating should contact Nancy Chicola, chair and associate professor of elementary education and reading.
Pictured: Libala Basic School, Buffalo State's partner school in Lusaka, Zambia.