The BlueBox Project

Fall 2020 Practicum Applications are now open:

Apply Now

About Us

Guided by our mission, vision, and values, we strive to share opportunity and bring innovation to poor and marginalized communities.

The BlueBox

The BlueBox is a small digital library containing preloaded educational material to facilitate education in the most remote areas of the world. Even without Internet, the material on the BlueBox is free and accessible to any device that connects to the BlueBox hotspot. Using either a wireless or a wired connection, communities, teachers, and students can connect to the BlueBox and view the materials in any installed web browser on their device. A solar version of the BlueBox can also be deployed in areas without electricity. The BlueBox is a Raspberry Pi-based system that contains educational resources including open-source textbooks, Khan Academy videos (tutorial videos in math, science, and many other subjects), Wikipedia for Education, Project Gutenburg (thousands of books), OER2Go materials from World Possible (educational games, reading, music, and much more), the learning management system Moodle (locally designed online courses and training), and more.

Vision, Mission, and Values

Vision

To create educational opportunity for all with the assistance of local partnerships through innovative technology.

Mission

To assist local partners in education through delivering innovative educational technology in a creative, sustainable, and affordable manner.

Values

To teach others, share gifts, pursue justice, and show concern for the poor and marginalized in the world through the dissemination of affordable educational resources.

History

In 2015, Charles Braymen, associate professor of Economics and Finance at Creighton University, sought to fulfill a need for both greater access to educational materials and mobile device charging in parts of developing countries. After finding open-source educational resources from World Possible, Braymen worked to find ways to deliver these effectively and sustainably to different parts of the world.

The original educational resources were stored on an image that had to be installed onto a computer. As this required electricity, it was not a sustainable or reliable option. Therefore, Braymen initially conceived a solution to this problem with the idea of storing educational resources on a Raspberry Pi. He then developed the first BlueBox prototype in partnership with Creighton University’s RaDLab. This solar-powered box has been installed in various countries throughout the world.

Since inception, the BlueBox project has partnered with numerous organizations around the world to add and modify content according to the needs of surrounding communities. Such partnerships have led to placing BlueBoxes in refugee camps around the world with a future goal of implementing a structured language learning course.

Furthermore, a service-learning course was developed and is now offered at Creighton University. This multi-disciplinary service-learning course enables students and professors to collaborate and design the latest BlueBox technology. The course includes the deployment of BlueBoxes to various schools and churches in the Dominican Republic and training of teachers and students.

With constantly changing technology, the future of the BlueBox is unforeseeable and its opportunity and outreach is vast. The success of the BlueBox would not be possible without the many partnerships and talents of those involved.

Leadership

With a strong leadership team dedicated to furthering the vision, mission, and values of the The BlueBox Project, this project is expected to flourish and bring educational materials to students and communities around the world.

Charles Braymen

Ph.D., CFA Economics and Finance

Charles Braymen has been a professor with Creighton University since 2011 in the department of Economics and Finance at the Heider College of Business. He currently teaches classes in international economics, international financial management, and courses in the graduate of finance programs. Charles Braymen’s idea to develop a practicum for undergraduate students stemmed from his desire to embrace the diverse skills of Creighton students and create a lasting impact on the world. He emphasizes the importance of working with local partners to compliment current needs and learn how to adapt the technology of the BlueBox to its environment.

Dustin Ormond

Ph.D. Business Intelligence and Analytics

Dustin Ormond has been a professor with Creighton University since 2014 in the department of Business Intelligence and Analytics at the Heider College of Business. He currently teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the areas of database and cybersecurity. Dustin Ormond’s passion for learning and developing technology has led him to join The BlueBox Project where he immediately saw how a small contribution could enable people to receive the education they need to empower themselves and improve their society.

Impact

The BlueBox Project has grown dramatically since its inception and will only continue to grow.

Coverage

Demand for the BlueBox has dramatically increased due to its impact on the world. We strive to educate the world and experience joy in hearing how people are impacted.

Have additional ideas?

Let Us Know
Content

The BlueBox Project continues to expand with more offerings of free educational resources from a variety of sources. We are constantly seeking additional content for the Bluebox.

Want to contribute?

Reach Out
Partnering

We are always looking for more partnerships. We have partnered with schools, communities, churches, and non-governmental organizations around the world.

Interested in a partnership?

Contact Us
10

Countries

6

Partnerships

17

Content Providers

30

Students Involved

Practicum of International Development

This interdisciplinary, service-learning course enables students to creatively collaborate on projects that have a tremendous impact on the world.

Creative

The practicum course challenges students to enhance The BlueBox Project by proposing ideas and then self-selecting into groups to tackle these ideas. Past ideas include building a BlueBox app, creating the BlueBox website, seeking additional partnerships, adding new materials or enhancing existing materials, and creating a Moodle course.

Global

Students in the practicum course learn to support partners operating around the globe. This includes communicating with school and community leaders, training people how to use the BlueBox, examining cultural and economic conditions, and gathering and incorporating feedback, dialogue, and surveys from site visits.

Service-oriented

One major underlying aspect of the practicum course is that it has a major service-learning component. Students are expected to incorporate their knowledge to serve communities throughout the world.

Collaborative

The practicum course involves many stakeholders from developers to end-users. Students learn to collaborate with peers, faculty, community leaders, school administrators, and partners across the globe.

Multi-disciplinary

The practicum course integrates students across multiple disciplines including business, art, and science. Students enhance their own discipline-specific knowledge through engagement with interdisciplinary teams, technology, language training, and project and environment analysis.

Fun

The nature of the practicum course requires students to connect with their peers beyond what is expected in a typical course. Through shared experiences, students develop long-lasting friendships by proposing and working on exciting ideas, traveling abroad, and playing together.

Interested?

Fall 2020 practicum applications are open:

Apply Now

Practicum Photos

  • All
  • Fun
  • Setup
  • Visit

Practicum Student Testimonials

Since fall of 2018, our students have worked on interdisiplanary teams to make the BlueBox come to life. Here are a few testimonials of their experience:

Practicum Sample Travel Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary of the travel component of the practicum course.

Sa

Day 1: Saturday

  • Travel from Omaha to Santiago
Su

Day 2: Sunday

  • Mass (optional)
  • Tour of ILAC and Santiago
  • Equipment Preparation
  • Reflections
Mo

Day 3: Monday

  • Site visit to a school
  • Reflection
  • Equipment Preparation
  • Dinner in Santiago
Tu

Day 4: Tuesday

  • Site visit to two schools
  • Lunch in comunidad
  • Pack for Dajabon
  • Reflection
We

Day 5: Wednesday

  • Site visit to Batey Liberdad (Haitian community)
  • Site visit to Batay Dos (Haitian community)
  • Afternoon at the beach
  • Travel to Dajabon
Th

Day 6: Thursday

  • Visit with Jesuit Refugee Service in Dajabon
  • Tour of Dajabon
  • Site visit to Casa de Cristo (Haitian shelter for children)
  • Reflection
Fr

Day 7: Friday

  • Dajabon Market Day
  • Tour of Codevi (factory on Haiti and Dominican Republic border)
  • Return to Santiago
  • Final reflection
Sa

Day 8: Saturday

  • Travel from Santiago to Omaha

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