Doing the right thing with technology

Aug 9, 2008

"Sometimes doing the wrong thing with technology is better than doing nothing," says research associate at the South African-based Shuttleworth Foundation, Steve Song. And, he suggests, when it comes to technology, the unexpected should be encouraged to happen.

Another first off, I'm by no means a technologist (After writing the whole post, I find it quite irrelevant, but I'll just keep it here for your reference ^ ^)

But for the past month, I've been working with several friends from SEALNet on a project proposal that basically brings technology to education. There have been a lot of discussions going on, either between us, or between me and myself.

Until I sent our the ideas to different people around the world and from within Vietnam, I hadn't been entirely convinced by our own ideas.

For now, the direction has been set and it's just a matter of time before the project gets up and running.

So what do I get out if all of this thinking, doing research, and planning?

Passion. For almost ten years I have always been passionate about technology and all, including things that are not technology-related. I guess that's what keeps me going :)

A sense of direction. Oh my, this is hard. Until recently I hadn't known what to do with my life. It's improved now though. However, since when such a complicated person as myself knows where to head for next, different paths keep coming up, and it's an overwhelming task to choose the next destination. ahhhh

Creativity. Am I kidding? I've been telling myself that I'm entirely not creative at all hahaha. But come to think of it, I'm creating something.

Risk-taking. Oh dear, I'm a crazy risk-taker sometimes (though at other times I'm such a coward hahaha). Most of the time when we want to do something, "What-if questions" keep coming up. But the sentence in italic kept me from asking such questions ^ ^

During the research, I've found several cool stuffs on the web, I guess I should share one of them with you. Here it is:


Extract from the site:

About Us
We are a bunch of guys who love animation and want to share our passion with the world! The problem is that animation requires very specific skills. Animators need to learn Flash or other advanced software before being able to create anything. They also need to know how to draw. That's why we created GoAnimate, a platform that allows people to express themselves through animation without having to learn to draw or install any software.

Seeing is believing, have a look at their "how it works" from their site:

How GoAnimate works

They've really achieved what they set out to do. My admiration extends to those passionate freaks :)) So check it out wont regret it.

Ah, there's some other thing i wish to share with you too. The feedbacks from people that I sent emails to. I guess those are what keep me going too:

The use of open source software and WEB 2.0 technologies for such a project is an excellent idea that would provide the students with a modern outlook.
On a technical level I would be available to help and maintain such project if you require any technical assistance.

This is from the chairman of the ICT For Development Working Group, a newly founded WG at the NGO Resources Center, whose mission is to improve NGO's productivity through the use of ICT applications.

I also agree that learning collaboration and sharing is much more important than learning a particular tool. Also kids can continue using the online office and the document they created even if they don't have a computer. You can also teach them that offline application exist but they are in the generation who actually will not care about offline stuff so they will prefer the online ones.

This is from the chairman's predecessor. This is why I decided to switch the entire program to a web-based curriculum :)

And other encouragements from different people that help shape my vision and direction. Thank you!

Oh, if you still think this is not a long enough post, here's something interesting for you to watch:

Here are the comments from Matt:

If you've a chance, watch Dr Randy Pausch's Last Lecture -- it's long, but you won't regret it a bit. He just died recently, but in the face of death, he taught millions of people how to live. He talks a lot about achieving your dreams..

I guess these words speak for themselves. So if you are wondering what to do with your life, or have one hour of free time, I highly recommend that you watch it, for your own sake, and perhaps for others' too.

Check out Matt's blog also, there's something interesting over there!

Matt's Blog

If you happen to belong to the population who doesn't know who this guy is, he was my teammate in SEALNet Project Vietnam 08, one of the finest seventeen kids (sorry Matt, blame it on your age hahaha) you've ever met. He didn't need to finish grade 12 to go to Uni. Oh well, can't tell you all so check out his blog hehehe :P

That's it!