IET Team Behind Project to Help Syrian Refugees Reclaim Right to Education

IET professionals with backpack
Among those who worked on the technology for Article 26 Backpack are, from left to right, Shawn DeArmond, web architect; web developers Carson Black and Jeroen Post; and project manager Erie Comer. (Karen Higgins/UC Davis)

By Bill Buchanan, Information and Educational Technology

"A team from Information and Educational Technology is behind a very human project that launches this week to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon reclaim their right to education.

Web developers did the custom programming for the Article 26 Backpack, a cloud-based platform to help refugees document and share their educational credentials.

Keith David Watenpaugh, a professor in the College of Letters and Science and director of the Backpack project, is in Lebanon to help 300 to 400 refugees set up virtual “backpacks” June 15 to July 3.

“A lot of what we do is important, but this was another level of helping our fellow human,” said Shawn DeArmond, supervisor of the IET web development group. “This is a way to do some real good.”

The technology is not a backpack, except in the digital sense. It’s a web app. “It’s a secure way for refugees to digitize and store their information, and then share it with admissions officers, potential employers, or anyone they want,” DeArmond said."

Read the full story at UC Davis News.

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