Maine Students Use Laptops to Fight World Hunger
Sarah Komuniecki (WABI-5)
Published:May 27, 2010
What can one thousand people, in one room, accomplish using only their laptop computers? Students at this year's conference for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative quickly found out.
This year's MLTI conference in Orono again drew students and teachers from around the state to talk about technology and learning.
But the attendees were also taking a worldview, logging on to the website FreeRice.com to help fight world hunger.
"Every time they answer a question correctly sponsors will donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme, to help feed hungry people around the world," says Jeff Mao, learning technology policy director with the Maine Department of Education.
The United Nations World Food Programme site has fed millions of people over the past few years. In less than an hour, this group used it to donate more than two million grains of rice.
"She passed over one thousand already," says Greenbush 7th grader, Cameron Clark.
"There's a lot of starving people in the world and if you're donating rice, it's really nice," says Greenbush 7th grader, Alicia Fowler.
Jeff Mao with the Maine Department of Education says the exercise also demonstrates the power of the MLTI program.
"To reinforce the notion with the kids and the adults here that not only are we a part of global audience and a global world, but the global world is also watching us here in Maine because of the uniqueness of the program," Mao says.
"It was an experience I haven't ever done before and I thought that it was very interesting," says Messalonskee 7th grader, Amber Sutherland.
"It's really cool and it's a learning experience," Fowler says.
The exercise was just part of the day-long conference, exploring the many new ways students are using technology to collaborate with people near and far.
"It was really awesome to learn so much new technology," says Messalonskee 7th grader, Lilly Delisle, "and to share some of that technology with other people."
Read the story online here