Once we reached the Reaksmey School we were finally able to see them in action, and what an amazing show it was! Every student had their own laptop with their name on it. They took care of them lovingly and even handled their classmates’ computers with gentle hands. They watched the other students when it wasn’t their turn in class, and they were thrilled to show all of us just what they can do. They spent an entire morning showing us their recent projects. We saw some of their creations, including a baseball animation video and a Khmer language teaching tool program. Afterwards, they took pictures of us to use in their projects. We heard music they had created on their XOs, read their daily diaries, and watched them work with lightning speed and diligence.
And the most impressive part is that they are learning to do all of these things in English! The entire computer class is taught in English, as currently the XO’s are not available in Khmer (though they will likely be in the coming months). The level of English at the Reaksmey school is so high due to an energetic and committed teaching staff, eager learners, and the kind of discipline and structure that create an environment where students can’t wait to learn English and learn with the XO. There are some differences in the goals of our programs, as PEPY is currently concerned with creating a Khmer literacy campaign, but we at PEPY will be taking back many of the great ideas from Reaksmey school, and sending our new teaching staff up for training opportunities as well. Hopefully by next year’s Golden Week Trip, we will all be marveling at student projects at The PEPY Ride School and the incredible things they too have created using the XO computer.
For more about the XO laptops discussed in this post, visit the One Laptop Per Child Foundation.