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Re: Visiting the VVV next week - Please connect with Tuyen



Hi Nancy,

Le 11/07/2010 08:53, Nancie Severs a écrit :
Hello Quynh,

Thank you once again for your valuable suggestions!  Tuyen can advise you or
help with your transportation to the Vung Vieng Village. 0983950407 &
0336250475 are the two phone numbers I have for Tuyen. Nguyet will know if
these have changed since January. Please contact him with some advance
notice so that he can assist you!

The phone numbers are still good (at least the first one). I have
contacted Tuyên and will see with him, once in Halong what can be done.
I would like very much if you had a chance to meet Mr. Dung, the owner of
Indochina Junk, LLC, even if just briefly. Because I do not speak Vietnamese
(apologies to all) I was handicapped in explaining the depth and breadth of
the educational potential of the XOs and the Open Learning Environment
(OLE).

Mr. Dung believes that the floating village children need a quality
education. He helps the school financially. He bought the desks for the
school house! His boats transport the teachers to the VVV, and more. I
believe this gentle man genuinely cares about the famiies in the villages
and hopes to better their lives by ultimately employing some of the children
when grown, in the tourist industry. Mr. Dung is very supportive of the XO
laptop project. He asked me the most difficult question: How will the
children use the XOs to learn what is required in school? And he said,
"certainly my daughter Thu (then about age 8) was captivated playing games
on the XO (on the boat trip to deliver them to the VVV.)  But she goes to
school all day and has homework in the evening. Our children must study and
learn. They have no time to just play games."

Well, I think that Sugar and XO can be great for children before they
actually go to school, and of course for the first school year. XO
(actually the Sugar environment) is to be considered as a complementary
education tool, like learning while playing. Actually playing is a form
of learning. I think Mr Dung can certainly understand that.

Ms. Hong (age 19) helps the children with the XOs in the VVV. Before I
brought the XOs to Vietnam she had never used a computer. She learned on the
XO quickly. Then, I invited her to stay at my hotel in Hong Gai for 1 night.
There, we used the XOs on the hotel wireless and set up a gmail account for
her. She learned about the internet and email. This week, when she was on
the mainland, I had an email from her!  The skills that the VVV children are
learning are easily transferable to PC's in high school, or in net cafes. On
the mainland, Vietnamese children are exposed to computers by middle school
or before. Without exposure to technology, the children of the floating
villages, already from poor families, are being left behind. They will be
less able to compete for good job opportunities as adults.

There are actually solutions for places without internet, which is to
establish a server loaded with content retrieved from the internet for
offline activities and to which the XO machines couls connect. The main
challenge is to select and build the offline activities themselves :
somebody has to make decisions (ie the teachers, the education sector).
This demands committed people and some organization skills.
Is Ms Hong a permanent resource person at the VVV site ?

I am hoping that a conversation with Mr Dung, and/or the leadership of the
Floating Villages Cooperative could explore ideas of how to involve the
local school ministry and to train teachers to augment their curriculum to
include using the XO's in the classroom. It may help them to know that the
Vietnamese Government Education Ministry supports the technology training
and is keen on the free, open software that the XOs are designed for.

It will be difficult to sensibilize higher authority levels, at least at
the ministry level. I think a grassroot level with significant results
will have more powerful effects in this case. The Viettel initiative of
freely connecting schools could be worthwhile to work out, as this means
publicity for them and it's also the kind of good publicity they may
like to have. For that we need to have a local voice rising up (VVV
village chief, VVV school headmaster).

Enjoy beautiful Ha Long Bay. Please bring my warmest personal regards to all
of my IJ and VVV friends!
My sincere thanks,
Nancie
Thanks for the info and the insights you've provided. I'll try to do
whatever is within my reach once in Halong.
Regards

--
M. VU DO Quynh
AUF (Tổ chức hợp tác ĐH Pháp ngữ)
Campus numérique francophone (CNF) de Hanoi
Nhà D, ngõ 42 Tạ Quang Bửu
Tél.: (84-4) 38.68.48.85 ; Fax: (84-4) 38.69.45.09
http://www.vn.refer.org/vietnam/