Ipads Under Trees

Aug 21, 2007
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(Note to Mods. I am posting this on the North Coast Thread in hopes that some readers who do not usually peruse the Community Support thread will see it and be interested in participating. If you prefer to move it, feel free to do so.)

Strength for the Journey, a small charity group, is preparing to launch a new North Coast project, Ipads Under Trees. Equipped with Ipads loaded solely with educational apps and plastic chairs, we will go to some of the poorest areas between Sosua Abajo and Montellano, allowing children who wish to take part to use the Ipads and play the educational games. It is an opportunity to boost learning in children who might never otherwise have a chance to touch technology.

All Ipads have been donated, most new. Strength for the Journey will purchase the chairs. We will go to each site, set up the chairs, pass out the Ipads, and when the time is up, pack up and leave.

Our group is looking for several individuals willing to donate a couple hours each week going to the learning spots and supervising the project. We would like volunteers who are here on a long term basis and who can be reliable. No car is necessary, but it may be helpful Only a very basic understanding of technology is needed. You will not be teaching, as the intent is for children to learn through exploration.

Secondly, as the project gets started, we are looking for someone willing to be a videographer and/or photographer so we can tell (and show) our story and experiences online.

Since this is volunteer work, we regretfully cannot pay you for your time. Nor can we compensate you for travel expenses. But, do know that experience shows us that, should you participate, you will reap personal rewards never imagined.

Anyone interested in participating (or donating) can send me a PM or contact me through our FaceBook group Strength for the Journey.

Lindsey
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Thank you to those of you who have contacted me. I have a handful of offers for items and help. We are still in need of more volunteers......still waiting on the delivery of several Ipads, so the project will take off in about a month. Don't hesitate to contact me with questions, or feel free to ask them here.

Lindsey
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Once the project begins, within a month, we will continue to the remainder of the school year, around June. If there is continued interest, then the possibility remains to go on year round. I imagine that we will follow the school calendar as much as possible during the school year. All depends on the final number of volunteers available and the number of sites we choose to serve.
 
Aug 21, 2007
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iPads Under Trees is now underway. This is a project undertaken by Strength for the Journey, a local north coast charity. On Wednesday and Friday mornings we go to Samann, a poor area behind Montellano with 9 iPads loaded with educational apps. Touching technology for the first time, kids play, explore, and learn. Older kids surf the net. Last week, working in groups of nine, 90 children used the iPads. Parents, neighbors, toddlers, and friends all gathered round to watch. It was truly amazing!



 

drdirectional

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Aug 6, 2011
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www.pristinepads.com
Congratulations Lindsey on your project. The world needs more people like you. If you ever start projects on the East coast keep us posted.
However, I do have a couple concerns. What kind of apps are you using? As a parent myself, I've been looking into the effects of smartphones, tv, iPads etc.. and the majority of research tends to say that all of this technology is dumbing our children. Any thoughts to that?
Another concern is, do you think that your methods are the most practical for the environment you are teaching in? I am sure they are super excited to be playing with the "cool" ipads but perhaps you are giving them unrealistic expectations and setting them up for major disappointment when their parents cannot afford to get them one.
I would be very interested to see what kind of results you get from your project. Sorry to be such a downer but as parents, I think we should always question what our children are being taught.
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Congratulations Lindsey on your project. The world needs more people like you. If you ever start projects on the East coast keep us posted.
However, I do have a couple concerns. What kind of apps are you using? As a parent myself, I've been looking into the effects of smartphones, tv, iPads etc.. and the majority of research tends to say that all of this technology is dumbing our children. Any thoughts to that?
Another concern is, do you think that your methods are the most practical for the environment you are teaching in? I am sure they are super excited to be playing with the "cool" ipads but perhaps you are giving them unrealistic expectations and setting them up for major disappointment when their parents cannot afford to get them one.
I would be very interested to see what kind of results you get from your project. Sorry to be such a downer but as parents, I think we should always question what our children are being taught.
No, no, don't worry about being a "downer." All apps are educational for the younger kids. My experience has shown that technology motivates kids. Presented with a game, which may also teach mathematics, or a book which is interactive with the child, kids are more motivated and they learn much quicker than by doing worksheets. Of course, time will only tell.

In the meantime, we can agree that technology is not going away. It is the future of everyday life and the world of work. So, giving kids access (introducing them) to technology can only help them. We are not putting an XBox in front of them for hours on end, which is probably what most US studies are measuring.

Not only are the kids excited, the parents and neighbors come, too, just to watch. It is a community event. Because we only have 9 iPads at this point and there are 40 - 50 children each time, the play/learn time is very limited. I doubt whether the novelty will ever wear off. We also have teens come and we allow them to surf the net.

While I have been doing charity work in the DR for almost 8 years now, I am also now a graduate student (an old graduate student), getting a masters degree in Globalization in Education. Like you, I am looking closely at the pros and cons, the gains or lack of in such a project.

Thanks for your input.

Lindsey
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Every Wednesday and Friday morning we take our iPads Under Trees road trip to the batey. Each day, 60 children have the opportunity to play, learn, and explore on the iPads. We now have made lists of subjects, such as fish, weather, and dinosaurs, for them to Google and research. For the older kids, we have a list of questions they try to answer, such as "Why is the sky blue?" or "How do airplanes fly?" It is amazing to see and to be part of. Enjoy the video.

Ipads Under Trees 2 - YouTube
 

Abuela

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May 13, 2006
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Congratulations on the youtube video, an excellent overview of your project. Well done!
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Derfish, we appreciate your help and support. It takes one kind of person to give lip service or to throw financial support to a cause. (although donations are always needed and appreciated.....as is lip service.....)

However, those who change the world give their time. Thanks for being a volunteer.

Lindsey
 
Aug 21, 2007
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We are in need of someone who knows how to fly a plane! One young teen who participates in the program loves aviation. He spends all his time each iPad session reading about planes, flying, and aviation. In response, our group downloaded a flight simulator on the iPad. I tried to use it and crashed my plane in 20 seconds. The simulator is so realistic and I have no idea how to fly!

Are there any pilots on the North Coast willing to spend about 40 minutes volunteering in the village to show this boy how to work the flight simulator? You would be making a huge difference in the life of this kid!

Lindsey
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Crowd sourcing at its very best!
Wish it were that easy here on the North Coast. There are lots of people willing to give money, donate used items, bring down a suitcase full and get some glory. And on some level, that is important, too. It is a little more difficult to find good volunteers willing to show up several times a week for several hours a day and work in an area where there is no water when we are thirsty, no bathrooms when we have to go, and lots and lots of children lined up and patiently waiting for their turn.....for hours. When we are hot, tired (yes, all of us are senior citizens), thirsty, and have to use the john, we just keep going.

Now don't think I am complaining or wanting any kudos. Not at all! In fact, despite the sacrifices, those who volunteer reap the true rewards, gratification of being with eager children and youth who want to learn.

Neural, I wish it were as easy as crowd sourcing. No, all we are trying to do is generate a little interest and help. But thanks for reading, anyway.

Lindsey
 

Empiric

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Apr 24, 2013
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"...I honestly think the best solution right now is to help children on an individual basis or in small groups. ... Therefore the best contribution anyone can make right now in my opinion is helping one on one. There is no time to wait for the government to act."

dr1.com/forums/dr-debates/45887-reasons-why-education-d-r-not-progressing.html

posted by Marianopolita
 

belgiank

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Jun 13, 2009
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We are in need of someone who knows how to fly a plane! One young teen who participates in the program loves aviation. He spends all his time each iPad session reading about planes, flying, and aviation. In response, our group downloaded a flight simulator on the iPad. I tried to use it and crashed my plane in 20 seconds. The simulator is so realistic and I have no idea how to fly!

Are there any pilots on the North Coast willing to spend about 40 minutes volunteering in the village to show this boy how to work the flight simulator? You would be making a huge difference in the life of this kid!

Lindsey
You might want to contact Marco at Rocky's. He is a great fan of flight simulators, and loves to help children.

BelgianK

PS: I am very good at getting lost and crashing...