Nine-year old Ni Kadek Kristina found that typing on the keyboard of the 8-inch sub notebook was no easy task. The third grader at the SD 1 Guwang state elementary school was trying to type the word petani (farmer) and she paused repeatedly as her eyes scanned the cramped keyboard searching for the correct letters.
Kristina’s friend, Ni Putu Eka, was sitting next to her. Eka watched her friend finish the task and then took her turn in using the mini computer. Her eyes were bright with amazement.
The students were participating in a computer workshop organized by the Bali Blogger Community (BBC) on Sunday. BBC members took different roles in the workshop.
For instance, Trimartono Muliawan became the main mentor in the session on how to use word processor while another avid blogger, Dian Ina, accompanied Kristina and Eka and guided them every step of the way.
“After finishing typing one word you have to push the space button only once,” she said to her two little students.
As many as 23 students participated in the workshop. All were members of Sanggar Anak Tangguh (Tough Kids Group), an informal children education group at Guwang village, Sukawati.
A Sanggar committee member, Komang Adiarta said the group has become a sort of alternative school for the village’s children. It was established two years ago by prominent members of the village as a medium to introduce the children to modern skills and knowledge within the context and setting of the village’s cultural heritage and traditional setting.
“For instance, the sessions on English language are carried out in rice fields or near the river so as the children will have the skill to use that foreign language in the context of their actual and natural surroundings.”
Most of the members of this Sanggar had never used a computer, a fact that inspired the BBC to organize the workshop. BBC, which strives to increase public’s awareness on information technology and the power of the Internet, currently has 300 active members across the island.
BBC event coordinator, Agus Sumberdana said the workshop is part of the community’s effort to introduce information technology to the island’s children. Knowledge and skill on information technology, he added, will enable the people to produce information.
“In the future, the people, hopefully, will not only consume information but also produce it.”
BBC members loaned their laptops to Sanggar members throughout the workshop. There were as many as twenty laptops of different sizes, colors and computing powers available during the event. They also provided the modems, which enabled the children to surf the Internet and create their own email accounts.
The children broke into a riotous celebration when they succeeded in creating their virtual mail address, which will facilitate their future correspondence with the vast outside world. [#]