Wishing Upon a Star…

Appropriate IT Development Academy
Education for Life

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Appropriate IT Development Academy (AIDA)

Dear Friends,

A new year is upon us. When we look back to the beginning of 2011 for Appropriate IT, I remember feeling like we were wishing upon a star. We had an audacious idea of what we wanted to achieve – enable under-privileged young women become full participants in the global economy. What was not clear was how we will achieve this goal. What a difference a year can make.

It is with much fanfare (and a little exhaustion from all that work) that we are proud to announce our new initiative – Appropriate IT Development Academy. The Academy (a.k.a AIDA) creates learning opportunities in software development for disadvantaged youth, combining it with employment skills such as team work, communication, and lifelong learning as well as life skills including empathy, facing change, and causing change.

The concept and sample curriculum were pilot tested in the first Development Academy in October in India. 17 young women gathered in RVS College of Engineering, Coimbatore for an intensive course on website development with WordPress (see below for more). We look forward to the second Academy in May 2012, where mobile and app development courses join the roster alongside website development.

Buoyed by our experience, we have already launched an ambitious plan for the future. In 10 years, Appropriate IT Development Academy will grow to encompass 100 locally-owned training centers across India managed by 200 women entrepreneurs and will impact the lives of thousands of youth.

The first steps of the 10 year plan are already in the works. Our first training center (a physical location…yay! yikes!!) will open in Coimbatore in 2012. An exciting advisory board is shaping up while conversations with partners and investors are also making progress (check out Appropriate IT’s website for upcoming announcements).

While wishing upon a star has helped, it would not have been possible to come this far without the wishes and support of many, like you, who have shared parts of this journey with us. So, thank you for the learning, experience, support, friendship, and fun.

Here is wishing you peace, joy, and prosperity in this New Year. And, more importantly, may we all find more stars to wish upon…

Warm Regards,
usha venkatachallam
Founder & CEO

The winners...

Appropriate IT Development Academy

AIDA 2011: 17 young women. WordPress. 4 social issues. And who won? The team that built a website on dowry took home the top honors. See more updates and links to participants’ work at Appropriate IT’s Facebook page (if you “like” the page, you will automatically receive future updates). View a photo slideshow of AIDA 2011.

Get Involved

Appropriate IT Development Academy

Immediate Impact

Joyful that if we try again and again, it will be easy to learn” “loved it” “technology is one of the easiest things to understand and work on” “confident” “thought technology is quite difficult, today I felt it was easy once I learned” “happy” “scared to use technology, now I ask myself why I got scared” – Reactions from participants

Awesome Experience

“What I find tough to describe but really think separated out this training was the approach and integration of several aspects.” – Sangitha Krishnamurthi, visiting external observer in her blog post Empowering Our Girls

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