A winning tweet gives Cambodian children a web start

Casey Dierking, who is currently volunteering in Battambang, Cambodia, and his Website Design/Development students.
Casey Dierking, who is currently volunteering in Battambang, Cambodia, and his Website Design/Development students.
A Ryanair plane. Picture: Wiki Commons (labelled for reuse)

NATIONAL: Airports hike up parking charges

0
Have your say

A PORTSMOUTH web development firm is helping Cambodian kids get a leg-up in the technology world.

Si Digital has given away a £150 subscription to a web learning service called Treehouse as part of a worldwide competition.

Entrants had to explain why they wanted to win the subscription via social networking service Twitter.

The winning tweet came from an American, Casey Dierking, who is volunteering to teach teenagers web development skills in the Cambodian city of Battambang.

Si Digital managing director Steven Piper said: ‘The most important thing for us is that people get to learn how to build websites.

‘We think it’s a great thing that people are learning to do clever things on the web.’

Mr Piper said the subscription would let the Cambodian kids access video tutorials and online learning support.

He said services such as Treehouse had made learning about the internet much easier.

‘When I was starting to learn to code I was learning on my own with a tattered old book and trying to figure things it out.

‘It was slow and it was a bit lonely, but now there are much more interesting ways to learn and there’s a bit of community behind it as well.’

Mr Dierking said the prize had opened up a raft of new learning opportunities for himself and his students.

‘Being a self-taught developer, I find myself researching hours each night to be able to teach my students what I’m learning or what I’ve learned so far. Treehouse has answered so many questions for me and my class.’

Mr Piper said Si Digital planned to run more competitions to help teenagers master the internet. He said a future competition could focus on Portsmouth’s youth.

‘We could potentially work with schools and have a prize for the team that builds the best website or something like that.

‘Something aimed at helping the kids get the training they need.’

Mr Piper said his company gave away two more Treehouse subscriptions to competition winners in Bristol and Hawaii.