“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

IBM's KidSmart takes computer education to schools

Susanna Tjokro, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

"My students have lots of fun, so they do not realize that they are learning," said Nurhaida Saragih, a teacher at Abata Islamic Kindergarten in West Jakarta.

Abata kindergarten is just one of more than 250 schools in Indonesia that have been participating in the KidSmart Early Learning Program, run by IBM. The program includes the Young Explorer Early Learning Center, a colorful, child-sized computer manufactured by the Little Tikes company that features award-winning software and technology from Edmark and IBM.

According to its website, IBM has donated more than 40,000 Young Explorer Learning Centers to preschools and non-profit childcare centers in over 50 countries.

Children are easily attracted to Little Tikes' Young Explorer computer, which looks more like a toy than a computer. Intended for children from 3 to 9 years of age, the desk has been designed to place the monitor at a child's eye level, and the computer is loaded with easy-to-play edutainment programs -- or "games", according to Abata students.

KidSmart teaches reading, mathematics, science and English skills in a fun, interactive way, and features lots of colors, shapes, letters, numbers and sounds with multiple levels of difficulty.

For example, in one "game", a cheerful animated bee appears on screen and says, "Terrific!" after a child successfully assembles a boat and colors it.

"The programs will praise my students when they get something right, and will suggest them gently to try again when they make a mistake," said Nurhaida.

KidSmart is part of IBM's worldwide corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, and was launched in Indonesia in 2003.

Through KidSmart, IBM donates one Young Explorer unit to select schools and also installs educational software for free on a school's existing computers. The program includes follow-up services: If the schools experience software-related problems, IBM will fix the problems and reinstall the programs if necessary.

"Usually we only give one Little Tikes computer to a school, but in some cases, we have donated several computers to a school," said Hartini Haris, marketing country manager at IBM Indonesia.

According to Hartini, while no specific criteria apply in selecting the schools, the program's main target is children who do not have access to computers. IBM thus coordinates with the National Education Ministry to select schools to be included in KidSmart.

Another issue is that, in order to implement KidSmart in classrooms, the teachers themselves must be proficient in using the technology -- but at many schools in Indonesia, teachers are unfamiliar with computers, mainly due to lack of access. So IBM also runs teacher training workshops as part of KidSmart to introduce teachers to the technology, and also to teach them how to integrate KidSmart as a classroom activity.

"Besides donating Little Tikes computers, we train the teachers to familiarize them with computers as well," said Hartini. "In Bali, we found out that many teachers were unfamiliar with computers. Also, when I was in Aceh, we saw how anxious the teachers were when they were 'introduced' to the computers.

"The less experienced teachers were even afraid to touch the computers. Maybe they were worried that they might delete some programs accidentally. I had to convince them the worst thing that could happen was the computer would hang, but not to worry, we could always fix it," Hartini said.

After the three-day training workshop, she added, the teachers were more confident and even became excited about using the computers in their classrooms. All KidSmart programs are user friendly and do not required advanced computer skills.

Each participating school sends its principal/headmaster and two teachers to the training workshop, which was led previously by the principal of Global Jaya elementary school. However, since 2007, Hartini herself leads the training workshops.

"Starting last year, our focus has been on people with disabilities, or PWD," she said. In cooperation with the Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Children (YPAC), Hartini said IBM is bringing computer access -- through KidSmart -- to disabled children as well.

YPAC is responsible for identifying suitable Sekolah Luar Biasa (special needs schools) for the implementation of KidSmart, and last year, IBM implemented KidSmart in 30 special needs schools in Jakarta, Semarang and Bali. This year, it aims to bring KidSmart to 30 other special schools.

IBM also plans to work closely with the education ministry to reach more students, with the ministry donating computers to underprivileged schools and IBM providing free installation of educational software. Hartini explained that the ministry has an education budget to purchase Young Explorer computers for this purpose.

"We want to give young children early exposure to technology. KidSmart helps children to acquire the basic knowledge of technology that they need for a good beginning in education," she said.

"We already know that technology can be very effective in teaching and learning. Our KidSmart program demonstrates how IBM can combine its best assets -- our technology and our talented employees -- in a program that brings real educational value to the global community," remarked Stanley S. Litow, vice president of Corporate Community Relations at IBM.

KidSmart is just one of IBM's CSR programs. Others include On Demand Community, a global program that promotes the spirit of volunteerism across IBM's workforce and retiree population, and SIMBA.

SIMBA stands for Sistem Informasi Bencana Aceh (Information System for the Aceh Disaster) and was implemented in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam following the 2004 tsunami. SIMBA is used to track displaced persons as well as to manage logistics.

For more information on KidSmart, visit www.kidsmartearlylearning.org.

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