by Gao, Zhiyuan
from National Cheng Kung University

Computer Science undergraduate dedicated to open source educational software in the process of helping the aboriginals.

I prefer doing more than acknowledging. After knowing that aboriginals in Malaysia lack teaching resources with hardly any chance of going to school, I came up with the idea——using open source software, building a community to help promote education among aboriginals in Malaysia.

Thus, targeting at evoking Malaysian aboriginals interest in technology and providing materials for self-education, I have been sending second-hand computers, looking for sponsorship and promoting, training and sending volunteers, contacting with associations for Malaysian teacher training and computer maintance.

Moreover, I am a devotee in open source communities in Taiwan. To help promote the computer education in Taiwan, I participated in promoting of a textbook called CS unplugged. I made teaching plans with easy-to-start games for the local teachers with no computer background to learn to teach children computer science theory.

The audience is anyone interested in how the disadvantaged could be helped with the help of open source community and anyone who interested in the process of how a student community forms and operates.

This presentation will provide an and emphasize the power of open source software in education of the disadvatanged. Still, a improvement of content and organizing structure will be suggested in the presentation.

In 2017, I build an open source community focusing on education of aboriginals in Malaysia and I lead a team to use open source educational software on lubuntu to evoke the Malaysian aboriginals of the beauty of technology with donated second-hand computers.

There's a group of people in Malaysia who has been leading a life as they were hundreds years ago——man hunt for life in the rainforest with women gathering latex from Hevea brasiliensis trees. They believe in spirits and magic, eating snakes and boar. However, in the past 50 years, they are losing their land and there is tendency of finding new ways of life for themselves.

In huts they live, the new generation is curious and eager for an exploration of the outside world. Without the posibility of going to school and due to the lack of teacher, how can I contribute to their life?

It should be a challenging task of self-learning for those who hardly had any chance of education.

How about using computers? Easier for the children to accept with plenty of educational resources.

Here comes the task. What came to my mind was a operating system with all kinds of educational software packeted, with whose help, the aboriginals should be able to explore the computer on themselves.

What lacks is a continuous, from bottom to the top, educational software series. Open source educational softwares could be found but they are mostly too hard for the aboriginals to learn with hardly any instruction.

As a consequence, I gather devotees like me and a team of Taiwanese students dedicated in volunteering with open source spirit.

I got sponsorship from ASUS and got a few second-hand computers.

I got connected with a local association in Malaysia, who has been contributing for years.

While there is neither electricity nor modern houses in communities of the aboriginals, we proceeded our teaching with a diesel generator provided by the pastor. Our students got their first time to try a mouse, to recognize the monitor, to know the feeling of drawing on computer.

We made a series of a easy-start tutorial and it was translated into Malay. Thus, our courses turned out to be a success and the aboriginal children showed great talent and creativity. Right now we are planning the following up computer tutorial and hardware supliment in Malaysia.

For future development, I'm suggesting an rising awareness in the importance of open source educational software. As helping the disadvantaged community tends to be contributing to public welware rather than a commercial activity. Open source software and contributors are needed for covering basic educational resources.

2017 October 22 13:15
30 min
Room 2
openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017