The ST Foundation’s key program is called Digital Unify (DU). It aims at spreading the benefits of digital technology, by providing free of cost both the technology as well as basics informatics training courses to those who have no knowledge of how to use a personal computer and access the internet. Its key beneficiaries are disadvantaged people who have never used a computer before.
In details the program consists in the setting up of computer training centers (DU Labs), collaborating with local partners such as secondary schools, NGOs, local administrations and in parallel offer free informatics education to different publics. Training centers are set up following specific guidelines (i.e. the Model Lab Approach) that suggest a specific layout and equipment: standard hardware features and defined characteristics, which make it suitable to be used worldwide in all DU labs. They typically consist of 11 PCs, internet connection and, when needed, a Photovoltaic System. Once the training center is set up the Foundation through the “train the trainers” course prepares local partners to run independently, under the guidance of the organization. three of learning paths:
1. ICB Course
It’s the historic course with which the Foundation has begun deploying its activities in 2003, the so called Informatics and Computer Basics (ICB) course. It is presented to groups of a maximum 20 students with a suggested minimum age of 14 years old and it’s fully adapted to the local contest to be more efficient from a pedagogical point of view. At present it is available in 7 languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Its scope is to help beneficiaries win their fear of computers while presenting the basic competences needed to use computers independently. The topics addressed in the course are related to understand how to: surf on the internet, send an email, create word documents, perform easy calculations using a spreadsheet and use the “social media world”.
2. Tablets for Kids
The Tablet for Kids (T4K) is a relatively new course. It was born in India in 2015 for tackling the digital divide issue in younger generations and more in detail for children aged 9 up to 13 years old. The training material was designed to provide children with an intuitive understanding of the potential of ICTs, helping them to develop basic ICT skills and in parallel to have a positive attitude towards informatics through fun. At the end of the course kids will have developed complex skills (i.e: searching the Internet, writing, calculating, and explaining) together with basic skills (i.e.: taking pictures, shooting videos, drawing and creating music).
3. Advanced Courses
They are the latest learning path created at the Foundation with the precious support of the Indian team. They have been introduced as the natural evolution of the ICB course and they consist of an in-depth presentation of 60 hours of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook.