A big helloo from the Lao-jungle! :D
To continue our little exciting story telling of our days in Laos winter 2017, here comes part II. Or the second week of our stay. That is up for interpretation..
Åshild has already told about our little weekend excursions, so I’ll get straight back to the reason why we are really here; the learning lab. We had already tried the apps on quite a few students and worked hard with Aay for him to integrate it into new lesson plans the first week, but that felt more like a dress rehearsal. Monday of week two was ready for premiere of our learning lab, and we were almost holding our breaths for the result. Would it run smoothly or would it turn out to need a loot of time – more than the last days we had here at the project, which would end with us going home with a terrible feeling, telling us we shouldn't really leave the project like this.
Well, luckily, turns out we had nothing to fear. The kids loved it. Like really loved it. They were so amazed when we handed out the tablets, they almost couldn't believe their own eyes. As soon as we had showed them the basics, such as turning them on and off, and helping them get on to the apps they were supposed to play (so strange to put it like that, but they are really playing fun games on the apps), the students fell into deep concentration, focusing on apples and oranges, pronouncing the first letters of blue and brush, and finding letters hidden in paintings.
The apps programme is called Alphabet King, and is, apart from being a great learning tool, extremely fun. The first time Aay and I sat down to get into the different apps, we ended up competing for the best results and totally loosing track of time. Needles to say, the Alphabet King is extremely captivating, and the kids fall into a deep concentration as soon as they start to play the English games. We almost feel that we are disturbing them when we interact during the lessons. The programme is an innovative, complete setup, which have converted a full curriculum for basic reading and writing into 100 unique apps, tailor made by pedagogical expert. So although we feel almost a little passive during class, we know that the kids are in the safest hands.
What probably makes us most excited is that we really see that the children enjoy the new facilities provided to our organization. They are incredibly motivated to come to class (up to hours before their class actually starts), and have full attention on the tasks they are given. It goes without saying that the results of the learning lab warms our spread-education-hearts.
Åshild and I are really sad to leave this beautiful place, but we are comforted by the wonderful organisation Aay’s Village has become in Laos, consisting of a welcoming project house, a fantastic learning lab, eager students and an always hardworking and smiling Aay. And I have to say, we are extremely happy that it will all be here waiting for us when we get the chance to come back. Hopefully sooner than we expect.
Mari and Åshild