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Class Eighteen: Making Progress March 26, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 12:27 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The teachers informed me  that the girls love the computers and are happy to use them. And I knew immediately that the teachers are now interested in them, too.  They don’t know how to use the XO, so I gave them a crash course on how to start it, launch activities, close them, use the Internet, and more importantly, check the journal for what the  girls do. They looked super excited and empowered. Yen opened yahoo email and sent me a letter. Then I showed them picture-taking, speech, etc. We discussed viruses again and Zerlene explained that there are almost none in Linux in comparison to Windows. Yen and Thanh felt relieved.

I also told them about the exam on Thursday and the judges who will come to the exam. Those who pass will receive Teacher Certificates and they will be able to teach other girls in the shelter. The teachers liked the idea and supported it completely. I also asked for their permission to communicate with children from other countries with my supervision. This will improve their English and they will learn to use discussion boards/walls on-line.

The teachers asked about OLPC. I said that the organization always improves computers and its programs. That is why I taught the girls to get updates frequently; it will be part of homework assignments. People like me go to different countries to teach these computers in schools, sometimes with hundreds of children.   But Ba Chieu is lucky, as they are the first place in Saigon to have 5 of these computers for free. Other schools find out and would want to have these computers too, but may have to buy them for $229 each. So Ba Chieu will become famous. At that moment Zerlene took a photo, and she said we were probably making history at that moment. We all laughed.

I was so glad Lan came to translate, as she was correcting the local volunteer and helping her translate. Zerlene successfully set up a secure connection for the shelter and the teachers created a password.

It was already 8:20PM when we finished discussion with the teachers and they told me that the girls upstairs were anxious and asking “Where is our teacher?”

So we had to do several things today:

1. Install language pack

2. Learn where to get Sugar Activities and download FBReader as an example

3. Finalize Facebook accounts at

I already created their profiles using one general password. So all we had to do is to reset passwords, confirm accounts by email and upload pictures. They took their pictures first and added each other as friends… Several girls were still working on it, but I had to leave as it was already past 10PM. I could feel that it was a lot of progress in one day! I thanked everyone –the  teachers, Yen, Zerlene and Lan.


3 Responses to “Class Eighteen: Making Progress”

  1. Mel Chua Says:

    Activities at may be more up to date (and include more new Activities) than – but I’m not sure about compatibility with the version of Sugar you’ve got running on those XOs, so you may want to check it out and try.

  2. Carol Lerche Says:

    Send me some mail if you are interested in 4 more XOs for the girls.

    • verhovzeva Says:

      Thank you, Carol. I finished the Ba Chieu project and 5XOs are enough for that shelter, but there is another one that is in need of the computers, also in Saigon. It is “Little Rose Shelter”. There are girls who are at high risk or victims of sexual abuse and trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. The Vietnam-Singapore student assosiation is running this volunteer project to help the girls get computer training. They are looking for up to 20 Xos or less to start the training.
      Let me know if you are interested to help.
      thank you, Marina.

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