African Christian College desires to equip men and women for excellent service, who are globally aware, and have the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary for the rapidly changing world of Africa. Though the digital divide remains significant on the continent — especially in Swaziland — our students will be returning home to “wired” communities using mobile and online technology in increasing ways.
The following numbers represent the available technology for students learning in the 21st century classrooms of our college:
- 24 desktop computers in the ACC computer lab
- 15 computers working on the first day of classes
- 43 students enrolled for 2013
- 11 years since these computers were “new”
- 2 dot matrix printers
- 0 KB is the amount of internet access data available to students
Something had to change.
A plan was implemented to upgrade the technology on campus to better equip our students. To do so would require additional funding beyond our current financial abilities. A dream was hatched and shared. Generous congregations and individuals responded with gifts for updating and upgrading the technology on campus.
43 students were sharing 15 computers to complete assignments for their classes. The computers being used were very old, very slow, and were in need of regular repair. In February 2013, every student was given their own new laptop computer for completing assignments and for personal use. Upon completion of their studies at ACC, the student will keep their laptop and be able to use it in their kingdom service. Needless to say they’re very thankful and excited.
The laptops were made possible by generous gifts from the Las Cruces Church of Christ in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA and the Southern Hills Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas, USA. The Las Cruces Church also committed to US$10,000 each year as part of the ongoing need for our growing student population. Their commitment made possible the ability to distribute these laptops.
At the bottom of this post you can view a thank you book created on the new laptops by the students for this great blessing!
An old dot matrix printer has been tirelessly (well, except when it takes one of it’s “breaks”) serving the students for almost ten years. With increased abilities to use tables, images, graphs, and fonts; this old printer has proven unable to “keep up with the times.” Three new printers have been ordered for use throughout campus — in convenient locations — that will better serve students. We chose printers that were capable of enduring several years of frequent use and had the lowest possible maintenance costs for replacing ink and possible repairs. These are set to arrive before the start of the second module in April.
The printers were made possible thanks to generous donations from an individual donor in Tennessee.
Wireless Internet Access
By providing access to the internet, students and faculty will have the ability for online research, increased communication with home, better classroom management opportunities, and access to online journal databases required for accreditation. Our rural location in Swaziland has severely limited our ability to provide affordable internet accessibility on campus. We are still working with officials to secure internet access on our campus. Our plan is to provide wireless access throughout.
This requires not only data fees with service providers, but up front equipment costs for our campus-wide system. We are thankful to the Westview Church of Christ in Greeley, Colorado, USA and the Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tennessee, USA for their support of this part of our technology upgrade.
Finishing the goal
Our technology upgrade plan cost US$28,000. At this point, $25,075 has been donated toward this effort. If you are interested in supporting us toward the remaining $2,925 of this project, please make an online donation for “technology upgrade” or send a check to African Christian College, PO Box 70033, Albuquerque, NM 87197 USA or PO Box 331, Manzini M200, Swaziland.