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Renaissance To Roll Out Laptops to Africa

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Education technology developer Renaissance Learning and non-profit Generation for Change and Growth will deploy some 5,000 refurbished AlphaSmart laptop computers in Northern Kenya in an effort to reach students in areas with high rates of illiteracy.

The computers were donated by about 400 schools in North America as part of a program called "AlphaSmarts for Africa." Schools that donated the computers will receive discounts on the purchase of new NEO/NEO 2 computers.

"We are pleased to provide this donation in conjunction with our school partners to help improve literacy skills of students in Kenya," said Greg Wright, senior vice President and general manager for Renaissance Learning's Electronics Division, in a statement released Monday. "Given Kenya's lack of reliable electricity, the AlphaSmart laptops are a great fit because of their ability to run 700 hours on three AA batteries."

Renaissance said the areas to be served have illiteracy rates as high as 93 percent. The units are being refurbished now and are expected to be distributed by Generation for Change and Growth in mid-July. GCG will also be providing teacher training in Kenya with a focus on using the systems in a classroom setting.

Further information about the program can be found at CGC's site here.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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