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Digital books in 'the jungle': One teacher’s journey

Mark Heyward and Erix Hutasoit

The Jakarta Post

Malinau, North Kalimantan  /  Wed, November 6, 2019  /  11:59 am
Digital books in 'the jungle': One teacher’s journey

Engaging learning: Paulina (left) encourages her students to participate actively as she leads her third-grade class in reading from a digital book, projected onto the classroom's wall. (Courtesy of Erix Hutasoit/-)

Malinau regency borders Malaysia at the northernmost tip of Kalimantan. About 15 minutes’ walk from the town center is SDN 2 West Malinau elementary school. The school's rendered brick buildings, painted green and white, are arranged neatly in a U shape. Four grades still use the old stilted timber classrooms. The environment is pleasant, lush and green with a grassy lawn and huge overhanging trees. This is the land of the Dayak people. Paulina teaches grade 3. Her classroom is lively. The combination of worn wooden walls and floors makes the room seem cooler as the sun rises. The white paint has begun to peel, but the room is colorful, its walls filled with literacy posters, children’s stories and students’ written compositions. The students remove their shoes before entering the room. Most wear socks to keep their feet warm. Paulina...