‘The internet will be the biggest equaliser in India’
This thought was put into action as part of Alohamora’s ‘Information Mela’ yesterday where a group of 18 children, from our ANALP Program, armed with 8 tabs and the internet (courtesy hotspot R-JIO) went into the community to practise and share the digital literacy skills they have been developing.
On our walk through Aya Nagar, a semi urban area, our students interacted with many different individuals.
- Two boys who were curious to learn how to bat for cricket - our students pulled up a batting techniques video on youtube
- A hairdresser who wanted to explore different hairstyles – our students did a quick Google image search and then showcased a video on how a particular hairstyle can be made
- A fruit juicer who wanted to know how to cut fruits for décor – A youtube video was pulled up.
- Children who wanted to watch cartoons – thank you Youtube again!
We also visited the student’s school where labourers are building a new section at the school. The children interacted with the labourers and the labourers’ children – and suddenly they were hit with the realisation of their own privilege and potential to make a difference.
Our students have the opportunity to go to an English medium government school and have a midday meal. They also have the opportunity to learn how to access information on the internet. The labourers’ children do not go to school, sometimes miss a meal.
Khushi asked a labourer ‘What would you like to search for?’
He replied ‘ Jhansi ka temple’
The labourers were from Jhansi and they were amazed that they could see images of the temple they would regularly visit at home on the tab screen.
In the conversations with the labourers and their children the students formed a plan and invited the labourers’ children to classes every Sunday where each of our students will teach a labourers child.
Our students have now taken this on as a community project and they have complete confidence in themselves and each other that this is a goal which can be and should be achieved.
Let’s see what they make happen and what their independent experiment achieve. What we felt most proud about was that our students now feel empowered to take ownership and responsibility of the environment and community around them and believe they can make a difference – what more could we ask for!
During this internet parade in the community we experienced the power and potential of what leapfrog results can be achieved through access to information via the internet – whether for an individual or the community.
Importantly access to information is only the first step. We must consider:
- What does the child do with this information to achieve their life goals (purpose)
- What are the skill sets the child can develop with this access to information (developing mastery)
- What are the support structures in place to help the child achieve their goal (is it an ‘e-nabling’ environment?)
And this is what we as Team Alohamora are working on - we welcome you to join in with the fun and learning next time!