Company introducing 'Internet boxes' for online learning


Company introducing 'Internet boxes' for online learning

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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PIONEERING e-learning across the Caribbean, One on One Educational Services Limited — a Jamaican-based educational technology company — has found a solution that it says will allow students in remote areas to access educational content without the Internet.

The company will be introducing 'Internet boxes' that will allow students without Internet connection the ability to browse the Internet for educational content while offline.

“Educational content from the Internet is preloaded to the box and this allows the students to browse while offline. With this box, students can also access educational content on YouTube and stream directly from the box,” Ricardo Allen, founder and CEO of One on One Educational Services, said.

Through a partnership with the Ministry of Education, Allen is hoping to secure an additional 2,200 boxes before the end of the year.

Since the closure of schools, which was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, One on One Educational Services Limited has played an integral role in ensuring the delivery of content to students across the Caribbean, offering free, live online classes for students up to the secondary level, online access to syllabuses from the Caribbean Examinations Council, and the ability for teachers to create and host private classes to engage students virtually. The organisation has also supplied its technology to entities locally and regionally, including the recent signing of an agreement with the University College of the Caribbean and the University of Bahamas, to enable the institutions to host classes online using its e-learning technology.

In addition to the Internet boxes, the entity, according to a release, will be distributing more than 200 specialised tablets, headsets and microphones to teachers to encourage the educators to use the platform.

One on One received funding from Sagicor Bank, under the Development Bank of Jamaica's Credit Enhancement Facility – an initiative financed by the Inter-American Development Bank aimed at increasing access to credit for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that lack adequate collateral to secure loans.

Reflecting on the growth of the business since 2014 and its ability to respond in a time of crisis, Allen expressed gratitude to Sagicor for its steadfast support over the years.

“Sagicor has placed us in a position where we can respond to the market quickly during this period. When we started, we knew where we wanted to go even though the market was initially a little slow to respond, but over the years, we have made the right decisions in putting people and technology in the right places, and now we are in a much better position to respond to the changing times, especially amidst a crisis,” he is quoted as saying.

Speaking of the company's development, Howard Smith, manager, SME Business Banking at Sagicor Bank, said: “We are committed to supporting the growth of SMEs and we at Sagicor Bank are very proud when we see our local businesses flourishing.”

Sagicor Bank, according to the release, has, over the years, bolstered the efforts of SMEs through funding and has contributed to the economy's growth and the employment of numerous Jamaicans across various industries through its targeted approach.

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