Best practice implementation models. Project Reconnect provided important lessons on how managed Chromebooks and computer-assisted learning can support and foster integration. The implementation models of the Project Reconnect grantees provide inspiration for other nonprofit initiatives planning to use computers and computer-assisted learning in their work with refugees.
Internet Access. Initiatives with managed Chromebooks are only recommended for environments where internet access is available or will be provided as part of the initiative.
Responding to changing refugee needs. Implementation approaches differ from grantee organization to grantee organization, and often even from site-to-site; from the initial arrival of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany to when refugees are starting new lives in their host communities. Initially grantees focused their initiatives on providing shared access to online resources through Internet cafés in welcome centers and large refugee homes. During this phase refugees and asylum seekers needed information about the asylum application process, about taking their first steps in Germany and starting to learn the German language. As refugees transition into communities, they continue to need to deepen their knowledge of the German language, prepare for jobs, for apprenticeships, and professional training. They study job-specific vocabulary, and try to fill in gaps in their education. In this phase, Chromebooks are also used to support literacy classes or help refugee children catch up in school and transition into regular classes.
Lessons for future projects/grants similar to Project Reconnect.
Design programs to be device-independent
Provide organizations with additional financial support for resources needed to implement IT initiatives
Integrate support for connectivity installations
Provide handouts on data security, privacy and government regulations to grantees (more to come after M&E meeting June 12th)