First Mobile Learning Center Opened!

Happy about "their" learning center: the team of the 5th capability program and the bright red "book tuk"
Happy about “their” learning center: the team of the 5th capability program and the bright red “book tuk”

Five exciting months have passed since the team of the Capability Program 5 team started to develop a completely new idea: establishing a mobile learning center in the area of Angtasom, Cambodia. On March 20, the first BOOKBRIDGE mobile learning center was ceremonially opened. Public officials and a sea of excited children took this unique opportunity to check out the educational offerings and tablet computers. By Albert Grossmaier, participant of CAP5.

At the end of October 2014, the team of the Capability Program 5 (CAP5) started a journey to develop a completely new and innovative business model of a mobile learning center for the area between Takeo and Angtasom, Cambodia. The difference to the existing learning centers is that the mobile learning center brings education to rural areas by the use of a tuk tuk (the traditional Cambodian means of transportation) and provides books and tablets for teaching English and other contents. The mobile learning center consists of three or more micro learning centers that basically are classrooms where courses take place.

Two girls playing a learning game in the new mobile learning center
Two girls playing a learning game in the new mobile learning center

Income generated through mobile course offerings
The new business model generates income through course fees and value for the existing learning centers in Angtasom and Takeo as well as the local community by providing new and appealing technology in the form of tablet computers. The mobile learning center uses the existing learning center Chansom Senmongkul in Angtasom as hub. The “book tuk” daily starts here to bring teachers, books, and tablets out to the micro learning centers.

Government representatives cut the red ribbon to officially open the learning center
Government representatives cut the red ribbon to officially open the learning center

New community hero: Sreydieb Long
Sreydieb Long, former English teacher at the existing learning center in Angtasom, will run the business as BOOKBRIDGE Community Hero. Sreydieb has proven to be the perfect choice for this job. Sreydieb will fully start the learning center after graduating from university in April 2015. We are proud of her! Together with her, the CAP5 team identified and secured a location for the first micro learning center, refurbished it completely, and prepared it for teaching activities. After many ups and downs during the location search, Ang Raka primary school was chosen as the first location to start with. As Ang Raka is situated west of Angtasom, it even has the potential to expand the operating range of the existing learning center in Angtasom.

Technical challenges
In order to provide a mobile IT solution, the CAP5 team had to find innovative answers to the electrical autonomy of the tablets, as well as to build a small, robust, easy-maintenance IT infrastructure that enables the synchronization and sharing of content between a cloud server (raspberry pi with internet access) and the tablets.

300 students had come to the opening ceremony
300 students had come to the opening ceremony

At the grand opening ceremony, community officials and around 300 children were in attendance and were eager to try out the tablets and the provided electronic learning material. Swiss Robert Erdin who already invested in another BOOKBRIDGE learning center will stay in Cambodia for seven months. As BOOKBRIDGE fellow he will support Sreydieb to develop her business. He may even be the very first driver of the «book tuk». Without his commitment such an innovative undertaking would hardly be successful!

The CAP5 team is grateful for the support and investments from Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, founder and CEO of Suitepad GmbH who donated the tablet pcs, and Robert Matthäus Maier, founder and CEO of Visual Meta GmbH. Without them, the whole project would not have come to life!
Special thanks also go to Joanna Hafermayer, our business coach, and Heike Rudolf von Rohr, our leadership coach and active participant in Cambodia, for their professional support. Good luck and all the best to “our” learning center!

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