St. John’s kids with computers

A frequent visitor to Caneel Bay is the primary reason 14 pupils at Guy Benjamin School have laptop computers.

Tim Falconer a computer software developer from Pennsylvania, was familiar with the One Laptop Per Child venture to put PCs into the hands of children around the world.  While on St,. John, be began talking with folks and realized the island could be part of the project.

 Falconer, with several other people, arranged for the students to be involved in a 10-week instructional program with the lime-green machines. (Waveplace.com)

“A laptop can be used as a kind of magical sketchpad that engages a child to think more creatively,” said Falconer. “ As children learn to program the computer to do simple tasks, they gain a sense of mastery over what they’re "teaching" the computer, which gives them confidence in their own creative problem solving.” Falconer’s efforts have gone beyond St. John, too, to include Haiti, St. Vincent and Nicaragua

A series of videos show the kids receiving the machines, learning how to use them, and demonstrating their skills and creativity.

Among the people helping Falconer on St. John have been Jan Kinder of Caneel’s The Self Centre; Dionne Wells, the principal at Guy Benjamin; Mary Burks, a teacher at the school; Ronnie E. Jones, president of the St. John School Of The Arts board, and Bill Stelzer, a freelance artist/filmmaker who specializes in digital media.

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