So I've decided to take on the new challenge. A US$30,000 grant for a project proposal that brings innovative technological solutions and internet applications to change lives.
Perhaps if it were at another time, I wouldn't even pay attention to the opportunity but it was just so in time when SEALNet Project Vietnam 08 was nearing its end.
As the co-leader of the Computing Component, I felt so excited to work on this new proposal. I've been a fan of technology and i feel that years of reading technology news and books has finally paid off.
Basically, the idea is to build a public computing library that runs on the educational version of Ubuntu, a Linux variant. Linux is an unknown to many but it's truly an OS of choice for developing countries like Vietnam and feel that if it is introduced properly, differences can be made. With a wealth of educational applications already there to serve, there's virtually no cost at all to run the system.
Then, the second focus is on E-learning 2.0, or using web 2.0 technologies to educate the children. Yes, I'm talking about the children, and about innovative technologies. The children should know how to blog, use Google to search for information, iGoogle, online collaborative tools such as Google docs, etc. Basically the idea is to bring power of 2.0 to the classrooms.
Until this point, the cost is $0.
What should be there in the computing lab is of course the computers. I've discovered the thin-client theory. It works in a way that thin clients (computers without harddisks) pull everything from the server computer (even the operating system itself) and display them to the users. As a result, the thin clients can be built from very low-cost components or from old computers, which means these can be obtained from the community or corporations who have computers that they wish to throw away. With approximately $3,000, such system can be set up.
Most of the investment will go to training. This involves empowring teachers and staff with the skills necessary to teach the children new knowledge and to maintain the system as a whole.
Lots of work needs to be done. I need to find a local organization to work with since I myself is not eligible to apply for the grant.
However, I'm very positive.