Monday, 24 February 2014

Unleashed Indigenous Kids: Malaysian Style?

Even for smaller deployments we have to deal with the reality of achieving 1:1 and to meet all the core missions of OLPC. I witnessed this first hand in the dLEAP (digital Learning & Education Asli Project) deployment when I returned to launch with local partners, and to kickstart the schoolserver infrastructure. All the younger children had the symbolic procedure of their name written on the XO. All XOs were registered with the XSCE 5 registration procedure. For older children we had to make the decision that they will share the remainder XO available - 2 children to 1 XO.

What pleased me most is the spirit of the older children helping to deployed and to take charge of some logistic for deployment preparation. Kids were organised to flash, charge and taught skills to manage some future  technical expertise support. I found myself teaching the children about the schoolserver concept, details of account management to unix command to a few kids who showed leadership and initiatives.

I am proud of children accomplishments and hope they drive the project forward for months to come. 

In a new pre-deployment visit we left a few XOs to the children and went on a visit to see/bath baby elephant. Coming back hours later they were still engaged. Yes, we left the "crank" to them and let them organised themselves. Peeping into the  images on the XOs we found new younger visitors. Their "V" sign gesture is indeed heartwarming.

Why should we believe in the children? If they can trek/live in the jungle as their playground, I am sure taking care of themselves with modern technology is much easier. With digital technology we must empower them with new knowledge,skills and attitude. The process is the critical message and I hope adults understand the importance of setting the right environment for change by children for children.

 As I reflect on the 3 days of handson deployment I ask: " how can we can engage children with their own deployment and if we can rethink deployment to avoid tethering children indirectly"

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