Serene. Full-of-Life. Promising. Words to describe the community of Lubang, Mindoro. This small, and remote island is home to approximately 28,000 thousand people or Lubanguenos. It is also the birthplace of something special - the first OLPC and eKindling deployment in the Philippines.
In partnership with former employees of the National Computer Center, the municipality of Lubang and OLPC Friends, eKindling is working towards bringing the transformative benefits of XO laptops and innovative learning practices to the children of Lubang Integrated School and Maligaya Elementary School. When all things are said and done, educators and students will use 100 XO laptops to enhance their learning.
Most children, and even adults on this island have little or no exposure to technologies. Internet was only made available two years ago. Yet, many still cannot access the internet due to high connectivity costs.
However, during eKindling's first assessment visit to the island, Tessa Yuvienco and I observed the massive potential and innate talents that each student and educator possessed despite the absence of learning technologies in the classroom. We knew that this will be amplified once we introduce the XO laptops into their learning experience.
However, this goes beyond injecting learning technologies into classrooms. According to Mayor Johhny Sanchez of Lubang, this is about developing a "champion mentality" in the youth, the self-realization that they are super-children that can be the managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We whole-heartedly agree.
Through such learning technologies, we want to transform these children into digitally-literate, leaders that can solve the problems of the 21st century. Lubang island is filled with children that can change his/her community and the world.
But there's a lot more work to be done. We understand that the XO laptop is a tool, and we need to train the educators on how to facilate learning with it. Thus, selected educators will undergo a training/support program that will enable them to use the XO laptop and its learning activities to its full potential.
We also understand that this is part of the bigger picture of community building. Thus, involving the parent-teacher association and other community members early in the process is integral to the success and sustainability of the program. Tons of work! But work that is well-worth it.
Indeed, the future is brighter for the children and people of Lubang. However, there are communities throughout the Philippines and the world, where such transformative learning technologies are still absent. Hopefully, through your help as supporters, volunteers, entrepreneurs, marketers, funders, educators, designers, etc, we will reach these communities and afford them the same life-changing technologies and opportunities.
Ryan Letada's post OLPC and eKindling Philippines Rural Deployment: Birthplace of Something Special is republished here with permission