The Foundation’s core learning path is the Introduction to Computer Basics course (ICB). In 2003 the curriculum was created to help e-illiterate people become acquainted with computers through a 20-hour course. The content is entirely customizable to the local culture to have the most educational impact.
To ensure equal distribution of resources, the course is also only offered to a maximum of 20 students. Currently, the ICB course is available in 7 languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Additional language options can be made available if such a need arises in the future.
Students learn how to overcome their fears and reluctance to use computers while approaching the technology independently during this 20-hour course. The learning objectives are achieved through different classes that teach the students how to use: the Internet as the main source of information and knowledge; the email as a communication method; Microsoft Office as a value-adding skill; and social media, as a virtual community/ information exchange place.
The ICB course offers two different sets of supporting training materials. One set addresses the students’ needs, while the other addresses the trainers’ needs. The students’ manual explains the key learning objectives of the course. The trainers’ manual guides an efficient and effective course presentation. The final assessment taken at the end of the 20-hour course is used to both analyze and reflect upon the Program’s effectiveness. Students, who attend at least 80% of the modules, are rewarded for their work and dedication during classes with certificates of attendance.
Therefore, the course has a lasting impact on the participants’ lives long after completing the Program. Life after graduation allows them to access more qualified employment and create a real impact within their close and extended communities. Our Program graduates’ data has revealed that they pass along the newly acquired competencies to their immediate families and friends. The reason most often stated for this behavior being that after completing the Program, they want to share and spread the knowledge that gave them this uplifting empowerment feeling.