13 Feb Technology in Mind with Haiti’s EIM Institute
This blog is one of this year’s Alumni Project Fund proposals. Throughout the next few weeks, we will be rolling out the project proposals on our blog. If it’s an idea that strongly resonates with you and that you support, hit the ‘like’ button on the Facebook post we share about it or leave a comment at the bottom of each blog entry. Whichever project receives the most votes and comments will automatically advance to the final round of grant selection.
Let’s bring the English in Mind (EIM) Institute into the 21st century and give its teachers the modern technology they need to enhance their teaching methods and connect their adult students to the larger world.
In Haiti, most people have limited access to modern technology. At EIM, each student is given a photocopied version of their Cambridge textbook in black and white. As the copies don’t always come out evenly, it’s often difficult for students to follow along with exercises, especially when pictures are involved. This past year a projector was purchased for the school, which has been used by Schneider, an advanced teacher, and the only one who owns a reliable laptop. The feedback from Schneider’s students has been overwhelmingly positive as it more easily allows them to follow along with the full-color digital copy of their textbook. Not only this, Schneider has also been able to bring in additional materials (online essays, news articles, English videos and more) to project in class and help them go above and beyond the standard curriculum.
WHAT IS THE ENGLISH IN MIND INSTITUTE?
EIM is an adult, English school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It’s Haitian taught and administered with 197 students at 5 different levels, all following a Cambridge University ESOL syllabus. The objective of EIM is to provide motivated adults in Clercine, and Port-au-Prince as a whole, with the highest quality English education and certification, in order to help students find jobs, attend university and connect to the larger world. Currently, EIM has garnered a reputation for being one of the most challenging schools in the city, with a curriculum that extends into Advanced levels that many other institutes are unprepared to teach. Over the 3 years that EIM has been in existence, we’ve seen dozens of our students gain meaningful employment as teachers and translators, as well as promotions within their current jobs due in part to their English level.
Equipping each of EIM’s teachers with a projector and a tablet device to connect it to will drastically enhance EIM’s curriculum and improve exam results.
CONNECTION TO OPERATION GROUNDSWELL
In the summer of 2012, Operation Groundswell launched its first ever programs to Haiti. Focusing on education and working primarily with EIM, the program was a huge success for both the participants and EIM students as the cross-cultural dialogue served as a fruitful opportunity to interact with and learn from native speakers. But beyond pronunciation and vocabulary, EIM students felt connected to something larger with OG and has even gone on to create their own 10-day programs, which continue to fill up and thrive. Though OG no longer runs programs in Haiti, the inspiration lives on!