一扇窗计划:深山翻转课堂 iPad助学成材

朱成志是香港人,十年前,他和太太一起到上海发展,如今已经在上海安家,孩子也在上海出生。在过去的几年中,他们到访过甘肃、四川和云南多处的希望小学,发现了城市与农村教学资源差异巨大的问题,虽然硬件设施上已有改进,但教学质量还有待提高。

一向崇尚公平的他们,就决定利用科技和互联网,减少城市与农村孩子知识的鸿沟。他们收集二手iPad,与地方教育部门协商为学校接通宽带,寻找企业赞助上网设备,一方面,希望借助老师的引导和互联网上海量的教学资源,开拓孩子们的眼界,享受公平教育;另一方面,也减少城市电子垃圾,物尽其用。

“一扇窗计划”项目在网信理财和众筹网公益频道上线,已经顺利筹资到所需资金,我们也采访了有情怀的发起人朱成志,听听他理解的教育公平。
小助手:做这件事的初衷是什么?

朱成志:偏远地区很多学校都从危房重建了,但知识及教具还没有得到很大的提升。

在城市里,经常看到孩子人手一台平板电脑或大屏智能手机,用得非常娴熟。这样下去,城市和偏远地区的孩子在资讯年代的鸿沟会越来越大。

我们也发现,因为平板电脑在过去几年内高速的迭代,很多家庭及公司里都开始有闲置的平板电脑,如果我们把它们收集起来,把城市人不再重视的“宝物”用在偏远地区的教育上,利用平板电脑的直观操作特性加上互联网这个资源丰富的环境,其实是可以给偏远地区孩子们带来一个全新体验的学习环境。所以便开始了这个项目。
小助手:用iPad进行教学的目的是什么?

朱成志:成功因素并不止是知识,而是需要拥有独立思及考解决问题的能力

除了上面提到的资源再利用的设想外,我们也留意到在资讯爆炸的今天,我们的下一代的成功因素并不止是他们拥有多少知识,而是需要拥有独立思及考解决问题的能力。他们需要知道在哪里可以获得相关的知识来帮助解决当前的问题。

我们是希望透过这个计划,培养孩子解决问题的能力。平板电脑是他们的工具,是他们通往资讯快速道的窗口,让他们能自由地寻找需要的答案。

 

小助手:在执行的过程中是否有公众误解?

朱成志:误解都是个别例子,支持和点赞的朋友还是占了大多数。

这是我们第二次在众筹网发布项目。去年的项目很顺利地完成,大家一致报以支持的态度,让2000米高山上的亮窗口小学的100多名学生获得光纤互联网连接,并能通过iPad接触外面的世界。

今年年初,社交网络里出现了怀疑是骗子的集团向公众募捐iPad(后来消息被平台删了),或许这个在网民心里留下了阴影。误解都是个别例子,支持和点赞的朋友还是占了大多数。

但是这次经历后,我们以后有两个方向:一是设法走向社企模式,减少向公众募捐的依赖。另一方面,如果明年需要众筹的话,我们会提供更多操作层面上的介绍,让大家更明白我们设施情况及后续支援的铺排。
小助手:面对公众的误解或质疑,您如何应对?

朱成志:我们会直面问题,加深理解。

其实很多问题都是因为用户开始对实际操作层面想有更深的了解,这点我们在下一次众筹时会改进。举一些例子,有些用户谈到学生可能滥用的问题,其实我们已经考虑到了。我们在每一台iPad都设置了限制,让学生无法自己下载APP。在课堂使用时,老师也可以锁定指定的APP,防止学生把iPad用作其他用途。

也有一些用户疑惑为何我们只用iPad而不用相对便宜的国产平板。其实,这是一个管理问题。当我们设想到未来会有几百部甚至上千部iPad通过我们捐到不同的学校(2015年上半年已经超过200部),我们需要标准化的产品和有成熟远程管理功能的平台,iOS符合这两点。苹果有完善的MDM后台管理功能,我们在每一台机器安装证书,每台设备的设置及安装的APP都一目了然并可以按需修改。Find My iPhone功能,更可以让我们看到iPad的地理位置,是否离开了学校,这是对捐赠人负责。 明白了我们对后续管理及支持的工作,这个问题便不难理解。

但有些评论我们是无法苟同的。例如有用户谈到偏远地方孩子不配用iPad,这样等同把人分了等级,我们不能认同。
小助手:您认为的教育公平是什么样的?

朱成志:让偏远地区的孩子能容易地融入主流社会。

近年贫富悬殊的加剧大家是有目共睹的。我们项目更深远的目标是让这些偏远地区的孩子长大后能容易地融入主流社会,让他们有改善生活的能力。这才是我们鼓励的公平。

教育资源分配不公,很多人会说这些社会问题应该留给政府承担。社会本身是众多的个体组成的。互助互爱及人与人之间的信任是快乐社会的根本。每个人如果都从自身利益出发社会便越来越不公平,怨气难免越来越多。所以,我们虽然力量有限,但如果每个人都从自己开始帮助别人,社会便会变得更平等更快乐。

Wifi进深山为孩子们开一扇窗

中新网杭州(见习记者 洪富城 倪追风)“只有亲身体验,你才能感受到偏远山区学校的孩子们,那双明亮的眼睛里透露出对新知识的渴望。公益组织“一扇窗(PadForHope )”发起人朱成志如是说。参与此次公益活动的树熊网络COO唐文峰向中新网记者表示,山区在信息化上的落后不亚于经济,“深山宽带”难题制约着城乡教育公平问题的解决。

山区的教育难题和城乡教育不公问题,一直以来都是国家政府、社会公益组织和爱心人士关注的焦点。每年除了国家和地方财政的拨款,社会上也有越来越多的人集结起来,以公益之名,身体力行走进偏远山区,为农村的教育事业贡献一份力量,“一扇窗”公益组织就是其中一员。

据悉,“一扇窗 PadForHope ”是一个始于香港,植根于内地的组织。其使命是帮助农村小孩创造与城市连接的窗口,希望利用科技帮助农村小孩缩短与城市孩子学习及成长道路上的距离。同时帮助延长电子产品的寿命,减慢电子垃圾的形成。

“2010年,我到甘肃探访了两所希望小学,感触良多。很希望能替山里的孩子做点什么。”来自香港,现已扎根内地的朱成志告诉记者,山里的老师因为与外界接触少,所以能给学生的知识面不够广,造成与城市之间的知识鸿沟;山里的教学设施乏善可陈。别说电脑,连个钢琴也没有。于是,朱成志开始着手组建公益组织。

2014年,构思成熟的朱成志正式启动“一扇窗”公益项目(http://padforhope.org),通过在网上众筹资金和向社会募集闲置的iPad,将安装好学习APP的iPad捐赠给山区小学,并且为学校安装好商用级别的Wi-Fi网络,使得山区的孩子们可以通过iPad无线上网学习。“iPad的质量可以支撑5年的使用寿命,而且不用连接周围设备,学习成本较低,比台式电脑更加适合山区学校。”

冰冻三尺非一日之寒,水滴石穿非一日之功。朱成志坦言,做好社会公益并不简单。在2014年的公益活动中,“一扇窗”获得了很多人的帮助,如当地学校和有关部门的配合;志愿者团队的加入;以及“美丽中国”优秀支教老师用实地支教和网络教学来弥补教育资源的空缺。

“当然还有一个很重要的前提,就是学校的网络覆盖难题,当时我们选择了国内最先进的商业Wi-Fi技术服务商树熊网络,经过接触后,他们很快答应免费提供技术和设备上的支持。”2015年,“一扇窗”公益之行不会止步,朱成志呼吁更多有社会责任感和爱心的企业和个人加入进来。

当下我们正处在科技快速发展的时代,互联网让中国城市和发达地区的经济腾飞,但偏远山区的人们却迟迟没有享受到中国互联网带来的红利。唐文峰告诉记者,理想状态下,只要一条光纤就能让落后地区的学校连接到世界,让被大山隔离的孩子们获得和城里学生同等上网学习的机会,可是山区落后的网络基础设施让我们看见现实和理想的差距。

农村学校学生上网问题长期存在是有客观原因的,一方面山区经济发展之后,学校承担不起大规模建设机房的成本;另一方面,前几年即使在城市里多人无线上网的技术都未能普及,更何况山区。

唐文峰回忆,在2014年树熊网络通过考察发现,山区小学的网络覆盖需要解决两个问题,首先是满足整个校园数百人的无线上网需求;其次是每个教室几十人高速无线上网的需求。他表示,让几十人至数百人同时在线上网,不是几台家用路由器可以解决的问题,若延用以往大城市公共场所的Wi-Fi技术,则成本巨大难以承受。

所幸的是,树熊网络在2014年的时候已经设计出完美适应此类场景的解决方案。以面向大型项目的WiTOWN系列产品和面向中小商家的TreeBear系列产品来解决山区孩子的上网难题。据记者了解,树熊网络提供的商业Wi-Fi产品在网购平台天猫上销量领先,在同类产品中销量位居第一,销售总量超过排名2-10位的总和。

最后,唐文峰表态:“2015年,我们将继续参与”一扇窗”公益活动,树熊网络运用自身的技术优势为落后地区的教育事业做点事,是我们互联网公司应尽的义务。而且树熊网络的创始团队均来自阿里巴巴、淘宝网等一流互联网企业,拥有强大的技术实力和产品运营能力,且成立商业Wi-Fi行业内首个也是唯一的无线技术研发中心,支持着强大而稳定的产品。”他认为树熊网络已经成功承接国内多处大型车站机场、城市商圈的商业Wi-Fi的覆盖,树熊有能力也有信心,为山区学校带去更加优质的网络服务。

据了解,杭州树熊网络有限公司创建于2012年10月,是国内领先的提供商用智能Wi-Fi产品和方案的互联网公司。公司首先提出将传统 Wi-Fi技术和互联网结合,首创商业Wi-Fi系列产品及树熊智能Wi-Fi开放平台。2014年7月,树熊网络与支付宝合作在杭州西溪天堂打造了首个“未来生活广场”, 推动“未来商圈”正在落地。2015年1月,作为唯一一家商业Wi-Fi公司,受浙江省经信委邀请加入无线浙江Wi-Fi产业联盟。相比纯广告模式,树熊网络意在通过商业Wi-Fi,切入行业和商家业务,将Wi-Fi与商家营销、交易、会员、数据等核心环节紧密结合,完成O2O闭环的完美衔接,推动新商业文明的到来。

KPMG Insider Alumni Interview – Connecting China’s Children

Issue 10, 2014-12-3

KPMG Photo

Jacky Chu, an ex-KPMG manager, was inspired by KPMG China’s community involvement. In this interview, he shares how he has carried on this important work, and his hope to create a better world one school at a time through projects like ‘Pad for Hope’. -- By Wahid Lui

Can you tell us a bit about your history with KPMG?

After working in management consulting, I joined KPMG in 2005 when the firm was setting up a new business line, BPS. I later transferred to T&R in
2007, before leaving the firm in 2011 to explore new opportunities at a Japanese venture capital firm.

 

What community work were you involved in before ‘Pad for Hope’?

My involvement started with activities organised by KPMG China’s CSR department, which included helping migrant workers and setting up KPMG-sponsored schools in Gansu. Later, I became even more involved when I joined the CSR board as a Social and Environmental Action Team (SEAT) member (SEAT is a group that helps drive KPMG China’s employee involvement programme). KPMG truly nurtured my interest in helping the community and inspired me to initiate projects such as Pad for Hope (PFH).

 

What is PFH and what was the inspiration behind the initiative?

The 21st century is dominated by the web and easy access to information, but there is an emerging problem – the widening gap between rural areas and cities in terms of accessibility to information technology. This disparity is further exacerbated by the uneven distribution of educational resources and the rising number of migrant parents leaving their kids behind so they can look for jobs in the city.

PFH hopes to reduce this disparity.

In addition to providing internet access to schools in rural and mountainous regions in China, we also provide them with the hardware to access this newly gained information in the form of iPads – hence the name of the programme. The iPads come with a whole suite of educational applications and materials to further facilitate self-learning in regions where there is often a shortage of teachers and resources are limited.

The beauty of the programme is that we make use of e-waste – i.e. older hardware that people are trading in for newer models. These products, which are perfectly functional, are donated to children who would otherwise have no access to such technology. With online education booming in China over the past two to three years, this programme comes at a good time to harness new tools to address the imbalance in teaching resources.

 

What was the greatest challenge you faced when implementing this programme?

Our biggest challenge was communication. It was very hard to understand what schools needed because they did not understand the technology themselves. It was not until we were on-site that we discovered that despite the government’s ‘village internet initiative (村村通)’, some schools in the mountains did not have access to 3G networks. We needed to negotiate with local providers to gain such connectivity, as most of
our hardware depended on it.

It was also a problem finding dedicated teachers in schools since many of them naturally wanted to build careers in the cities. This is why iPads are a good tool here since pupils can learn independently on these platforms with little or no guidance.

 

In May, you joined our CSR mission to the KPMG Fang Niu Chang Hope Primary School to donate iPads and set up a Wi-Fi network. You also taught the teachers and students how to use this technology. What was the most memorable part of this trip?

What struck us most was the children’s discipline. They also had an ingrained respect for teachers, possibly because teachers provide their window to the outside world.

We thought the kids would need more time to learn how to use the iPads, but that was not the case at all. They picked up on how to work them very quickly, which was promising.

 

When will you consider this mission to be ‘accomplished’? Do you have any ultimate goals you hope to achieve?

The project is still in its infancy. Although we emphasise independent learning, we still need teachers to guide kids and nurture their self-study skills. Our next phase will be to find teachers who are technologically savvy enough to be those guides. Later down the road, we hope to set up an online teaching centre in Shanghai to deliver real-time online classes that provide rural communities with a more comprehensive curriculum.
What advice do you have for corporations and individuals who want to get involved in community work?

My experience with crowdfunding campaigns showed me that a lot of people in Hong Kong and China have the resources and want to help with various issues – they just do not know who to trust.

I think corporations should set up dedicated CSR departments, much like the one at KPMG China, to coordinate efforts and get people involved. It is often difficult to reach those in need, but company programmes and initiatives can remove such barriers.

You should not be afraid to take part in or start your own initiatives. Your efforts, however small, do make a difference, and like the butterfly effect, can sometimes spark change beyond your wildest imagination.
For info on Pad for Hope:
http://padforhope.com, or http://facebook.com/padforhope.
Want to help?

To donate an iPad or help with the project, email Jacky at jacky@padforhope.com