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Class Fourteen: Long Live the Internet! March 15, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 9:17 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Today was a happy day! Mathieu and Huy (local volunteer) went to District 1 and bought a TP-link router for $30. Then Huy and I drove to the Ba Chieu shelter to install the router so that the girls have wireless Internet. It was so random, that both founders Daniel from New Zealand (IVHQ) and Phuong from Hanoi (VPV) were visiting the shelter at that same moment. They were visiting their projects. I let Daniel try the XO. He browsed the web, opened several activities and took a picture. Both Phoung and Daniel were very interested in the program and inquired about the ways they can continue the program after I leave. Minh, Ken and Andy were there a well. They couldn’t believe we bought the router so cheaply and asked for the shop’s address, so that they can buy two routers–one for the Peace House and the other one for personal use.

Andy said: “it is probably the first shelter in Vietnam that has wireless Internet”. It is because there are a lot of shelters/orphanages with no computers, few with one computer (no Internet) just for the staff to use, and very few with a computer and Internet connection. Usually there are no financial resources to have computers and Internet beyond clothing, food, etc. I found out that the computer in the girl’s shelter was donated by the Minister of New Zealand, and somehow the shelter is able to fund DSL Internet connection, which is very advanced! Thanks to the teachers for being so up-to-date with the technology!

In the evening only 4 girls were present. I decided not to show them more of Scratch but teach them major Internet skills.

  1. First, I told them about my experience using Internet years ago, and how I was excited and spent whole nights secretly browsing the web, clicking on random websites and learning about other countries, jobs, schools, etc.
  2. We went through safety rules on-line: do not trust strangers, because sometimes people pretend to be someone else and can take advantage of inexperienced young girls on-line (whether it is a chat activity, emails, etc.). I told them about incidents via craiglist.org in the States and how they should never give their real address and phone number to other people, unless they know them very well. And always be cautious: not give out  a lot of info …
  3. We saved the help@laptop.org address to write to if something is wrong with their computers. I told them that it is OK to write in Vietnamese as it is possible for the help group to use Google translator to translate their letters into English.
  4. I made them save my address in Contacts, and each other’s email addresses. They saved me as a Teacher.
  5. Next I asked Thao to send us en email with Terminal command to switch between languages in the Write activity. And Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste.
  6. Then they wrote me one more letter, as I wanted to make sure they remember how to write and send letters via mail.yahoo.
  7. Next, we discussed different possible uses of the Internet: to create a blog, create a model portfolio, cooking class on-line, learn English, get books, make friends…
  8. At last we again found my blog (not available through wordpress, as it is probably banned, but googled it) and they saw their pictures from our class out on the International Women’s day!
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One Response to “Class Fourteen: Long Live the Internet!”

  1. Clytie Siddall Says:

    This is great stuff! You’re setting up some useful pathways for your students. 🙂

    Regarding point 3, I wrote to the OLPC Help team and the OLPC Localization list and suggested we need a specific mechanism for non-English help requests. Machine translation is not always effective.

    Please tell your students that if they get stuck, and aren’t getting a response when asking for help in Vietnamese, they are welcome to email me (clytie AT riverland DOT net DOT au) and I’ll advocate/translate for them. They can also ask for help on a Vietnamese Linux mailing list like this (just choose “Vietnamese” in the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the page). We have a growing free-software community which can offer a great deal of support to new users and experienced users alike. (I’ll also send you a personal email which you can show to your students as an introduction from me.)

    I hope this helps. We don’t have a great many support resources in Vietnamese yet, so we need to make the best use of the ones we have.


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