Thursday, March 11, 2010

La Carpio 2.0

Last Friday was a landmark day in La Cueva de La Carpio! A year and a half after the computer lab was donated, the learning lab is now networked, connected to the internet, and climate controlled! This was a big step, opening a whole digital landscape of opportunities for the community. Friday we did a soft launch, and the room was full of teenagers late into the night as people opened their first e-mail addresses and started up facebook accounts. Antonio started us off with the first facebook status update from our newly uplinked computers. Jose eagerly sent me his first e-mail and started adding language student friends on facebook. Manolo and Roberto found Lalo's photo albums on Picasa and relived recent memories of soccer games and camp.

It was exciting to watch. A day of many firsts. But we discovered we were already on-line celebrities. For GOOD things! We found pictures of ourselves at camp, pictures of soccer victories, videos we'd created, programs we'd designed that were now shared with the world. A simple Google search will bring up lots of information about La Carpio... not all of it positive. But we were too busy seeing and reliving a bunch of fun memories to sift through all the "suceso" news reports. It was cool to see what our digital self-image had become... what our online identity was before our little computer lab ever crossed the digital divide. Our history was written on blogs and in Facebook photo albums of people who'd visited us. Our photos, videos, and programs we'd created in computer class preceded us on-line, and it was like opening a time capsule to relive those memories and open those projects again.

Our little computer lab can still be a place where we learn and create and explore new worlds. Some of us are at the point where we can probably administer the lab and repair the computers if they break. The rest of the community can use the computers now, too. In fact, we will probably be able to cover our operating costs and even put some money toward soccer camps.

Who knows where it will go from here! Things have changed a lot since these machines first got here a year and a half ago. We are thanking God for each new miracle along the way. Let's see where he takes us next.

Posted from el aula de La Carpio

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