Re: [learningfromeachother] Re: Link-up between teachers in Denmark and in Kenya
- Dear Dan,
Thanks for your response.
I am so much inspired by your efforts towards providing platforms where teachers can become learners and at the same time teach each other.
This is exactly one of my deep interests.
I learn alot through working with teachers and you are just one of them.
I hope we would share more on our overlapping interests especially the subject- ICT and it's positive purposes.
You are welcome to perch on the wall like a grasshoper and use you antennas to gather the ongoings.
I have c.c'd Edwin and James here who are coordinating the planned event in Kibera.
They may need to consult you for expertise advice.
Nafsi Africa Acrobats
On Mon May 2nd, 2011 11:28 PM AKDT Dan Otedo wrote:
>Hello Ken and Pam,
>I have been thinking deeply how to get involved in this wonderful process.I have a tight schedule aa ampreparing a group of teachers for the elearning Africa conference due for Daresaalam from the 24th - 27th this month.May be I will get there, and perch as a fly on the wall as the process goes on.
>Ken, could you please link me to James to see what stuff we could make out of this
>Kenya ICT Trust Fund. P.O box 8475-00100 Nairobi.
>Tel: +254203745911 .Mobile:+254720366094
>From: Kennedy Owino <nafsiafricaacro@...>
>Cc: nafsi Afrika acrobats <email@example.com>; learning from each other <firstname.lastname@example.org>; holistic <email@example.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, 27 April 2011, 18:29
>Subject: Re: [learningfromeachother] Re: Link-up between teachers in Denmark and in Kenya
>Thanks for your exhaustive and detailed response.
>Your response is a whole book with a zillion tips to borrow a leaf from.
>I am glad that i benefit from yet another platform you have created for sharing, learning from each other, and collaborating.
>It started by connecting online, then "learning from each other", then "collaborators connect" and now a leaf from "Teachers Connect".
>It is true ICT is a great enabler of both formal and informal education.
>Instantaneous sharing of ideas, knowledge, and skills has made collaborative work dramatically easier, with the help of Internet.
>Contrary to the expected, we have been lucky to find a venue in a school in Kibera slum with room enough to hold a capacity of 30 participants.
>Moreover, it is equipped with 20 internet enabled desktops.
>The desktops use ADSL broadband technology but we will use the mobile internet as a fall back plan incase of power outage.
>So i believe the problem of band width is partially solved.
>The teachers themselves are fully responsible in leading the sessions.
>There will be moderators both on the Danish side and the Kenyan side.
>I will be participating and following the proceedings here in Denmark.
>James and other Nafsi members on the ground will be helping with the set-up and the technical stuff in Kenya.
>We have shared most of your ideas with the participating teachers and doing alot of liasing so that the participants are accustomed with the procedures and have a better understanding of each side.
>the teachers already have a topic of discussion already and will be sharing educational material from various websites
>But they will not just restrict themselves to this, they have welcomed the idea of also dwelling on ICT and cultural awareness.
>We are now considering a simple set-up based on your ideas.
>And we will do a test run on a not yet defined date before the D-day just to be sure everything will be alright.
>Perhaps, we could catch up during the test run and rub minds more.
>Thanks again for your ideas that are always "positively infectious".. i always get enthusiastic to learn more and more when i read your postings.
>It is true, learning never exhausts the mind.
>--- On Sun, 4/24/11, Pamela McLean <pamela.mclean@...> wrote:
>>From: Pamela McLean <pamela.mclean@...>
>>Subject: Link-up between teachers in Denmark and in Kenya
>>To: "Kennedy Owino" <nafsiafricaacro@...>, "Samwel Kongere" <jambita1@...>, "David, mutua" <davenzainga@...>, "Dan Otedo" <dotedo@...>, post@...
>>Date: Sunday, April 24, 2011, 4:05 PM
>>Dear Ken and open letter readersI'm excited by your news (in the email copied below) about the planned link-up between teachers in Denmark and in Kenya (with Kenyan teachers from the schools in Kibera where Nafsi run acrobatics training programmes). Who will be leading he sessions? Will you be leading one - and if so will you be in Denmark or in Kenya? lt is a great help if the people running the sessions "on each side" know each well and understand the situation of the people "on the other side". The more you can liaise before the event the better. I'm delighed that you've asked for tips from the "Teachers talking" programme. There is so much I could tell you - in fact the delay in replying is because I really want to write you a full, comprehensive report, not just an email. However time is passing and the email will serve better than no reply so here are some key points.Make it a part of ICT studies.It is a great benefit that the professional group
> you are working with is a group of teachers (rather than health workers, of architects or somesuch). The benefit of teachers is that they often have to teach about ICT (Information and Communication Technology - the Internet etc.). This means that they should actually have an interest in the technology itself as well as the communication you are trying to achieve by using it Turn the session into a bit of an "ICT awareness training session" as well as a cultural exchange. If you do emphasise the ICT awareness aspect then the cultural exchange aspect becomes almost the icing on the cake - the excuse for trying out the technology - rather that the main purpose of the event. This means that even if you have lots of technical glitches you do not need to feel worried. (Think of it this way - it you are there to learn about how to use the technology and how easy/difficult it is to make it work - then any glitches become a useful learning point, not a
> frustrating failure point.) If it is "ICT and connecting across continents" then just making the connection is a triumph, and the event is a success, even if the two groups of teachers do not manage to exchange much information.Bandwidth limitations and previous experienceOne of the challenges of cross-continental link ups is the different bandwith availablility. I would guess that your Danish teachers will be "bandwidth rich" while the Kenyan teachers are likely to be "bandwidth challenged". I would guess that the Danish teachers will also have more computers in their schools and homes than the Kenyan teachers have, so the Danes may be expecting sound and video, and this may not be possible. If the Kenyan teaches are bandwidth challenged then you may need to look for the simplest possible type of connection - probably typed chat (that is what we use each week for our UK Nigeria team meetings -
> http://www.dadamac.net/network/uk-nigeria-dadamac-team.%c2%a0 Even if you plan to try to use sound and video it is wise to have a simpler, low bandwidth alternative to fall back on. The Danish teachers may already be accustomed to linking up with people using Skype voice and video. It is probably quite a routine happening for many of them. I know that here in the UK elderly friends of mine who can hardly use a mobile phone regularly use Skype voice and video to keep in touch with their families who are too far away to visit. Similarly my grandchildren learned to use it when they were very young so their dad could say goodnight to them when he was away on business trips. The Danes may be using webinars as a matter of course for personal or professional updates of one kind and another - or they may still be comparative novices about online collaboration. It would be good to consider the ICT awareness level of the groups when you are planning the session.If
> they are already confident users of the Internet in these ways then you can't take an approach of "ICT awareness training session as well as a cultural exchange" with them. You had better have back-up material available on the "cultural awareness side" for them, to keep them interested if there are poblems with the connection. In fact, it might be interesting to have a little shared cultural focus before doing the online link up anyhow. Maybe both groups could do this. If both groups have some common knowledge it can provide focus for their conversation - a bit like people taking out some family photos as something to talk about. It is disappointeing if you arrange a link-up and then when it is all working fine technically you find that the groups don't really know what to say to each other.Group dynamics and layoutThere are many different ways to arrange things, even if you are only going to use typed chat. You can have a formal session, where everyone
> works together like "a class". You have a projector, and session leader. Everyone looks at the large display, and agrees with the leader what they want to type. There is just one keyboard (ideally with the fastest typist using it) and the whole thing is done with "just one shared (typed) voice". Alternatively you can use more computers and have people in groups around the computers so that more people can be typing at same time. If you do that then you need to agree before hand how formal or informal the chat will be - the main styles to choose from are;
>> * a free-for-all kind of conversation with various conversations going on in parallel
>> * a structured meeting with an agenda and a chairman
>> * something in between - where different people take turns to be "topic leader" - leading the conversation according to their personal interest with everyone else responding. It's less formal than an "agenda led meeting" but more structured than the "free-for-all". You need a "director" or "master of ceremonies" with the authority to say when it is time for the role of "topic leader" to pass to a new person.
>>If you are having sound and video then you have additional complications regarding how things will be arranged. There are more things to go wrong if you are using video and sound so it It is a good idea to have a second communication channel (such as a simple yahoo typed chat) going on between the two organisers. Then they can share information about how things are going from a technical and organisational point of view without disturbing the social conversation that is going on between the two groups. In fact whatever channel you use for your main meeting, it is a good idea to be ready with one or more backups in case things aren't working properly with your first choice. For instance make sure the organisers have each others mobile phone numbers, so that if all else fails they can text each other to explain the problem andagree on "plan B".Be ready for the unexpected. For instance on one Teachers Talking" course in Nigeria we had arranged to take
> part in a webinar (only as participants - joining in via the chat box - but fun none-the less as there was sound and vision too). All seemed to be going well, the projector was working, the link was working, we could see and hear the presenter in the USA, we had signed in and been welcomed, the webinar was interesting, things were getting under way well and it seemed all would go well. Wrong - suddenly we lost power and someone hurried in to tell us to leave the building as the generator had caught fire. By the time we came back it was almost over. Even so people felt they had learned more about ICT from the session even though they had missed most of the content.Mostly chat and a scrap of video
>>what we have done sometimes for "Dadamac day" is a mixture of mostly typed chat and then a scrap of video. We rely on the typed chat for a real exchange of information and then the video is just for fun, an attempt for everyone to put faces to names. Usually we find we have to have either sound or vision but not both together, and perhaps only in one direction. The video tends to be very jerky, but all we are usually trying to do is to smile and wave at each other - our one chance in the year (possible only because on Dadamac Day we take just about all the bandwidth on the entire site).The basic advice
>>In some ways we've hardly scratched the surface, but on another level it's just common sense really:
>> * Imagine the dynamics of the session before and after you go online as well as while you are online.
>> * Plan carefully how you will run your session.
>> * Collaborate with the person on the other side.
>> * Plan carefully how you will run the part of the session you are doing together.
>> * Practice together to see you have all necessary IDs and passwords, no trouble with firewalls, and a general confidence and familiarity with whatever tools you'll be using.
>> * Check you second communication channel as well
>> * Agree a plan B
>> * Exchange mobile phone numbers
>> * Double check you time zones to make sure there is true agreement on when the session will start
>> * Enjoy!Continuing
>>In some ways we have hardly started to scratch the surface. I wonder if this is a one-off session or if it is part of a longer programme of professional development. There is so much I would like to explore with you if that is so. I am so happy to know that there is something going on that could benefit from what we have discovered over the years through Teachers Talking. I hope this is a helpful start. Maybe we should get together for an online meeting to cover your plans in more detail - or just for for a catch up. Thanks for including me in your planning. It is great to be rubbing minds again. Pam
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Kennedy Owino <nafsiafricaacro@...> Date: 17 April 2011 09:50 Subject: Video Bridging
>>Dear Dan, David and Pam,
>>I hope you are all doing good.
>>I am organising a web meeting/video conference meeting between teachers in Denmark and Kenya on the 13th May.
>>The Kenyan teachers are from the schools in Kibera that Nafsi run Acrobatics training programs.
>>And the Danish teachers are from the schools that are under an educational project called "under the same sky" by O3V (www.o3v.dk) which i am involved with.
>>The project allows students in Danish schools to connect with their counterparts in Kibera.
>>I would like to get tips from the "Teachers talking" web meetings you have previously organised.
>>The Scenario is; The teachers in Kenya have no equipment and would like to connect with the teachers in Denmark.
>>Nafsi will manage the aspects of the meeting from the Kenyan side.
>>The teachers in Kibera will provide a venue (probably one of the schools).
>>Nafsi will provide equipement, we are thinking of using the Safaricom modem connected to a laptop then projecting the information from the monitor onto a big screen.
>>Again, we are not sure if the safaricom service can take a higher data rate or if we would be faced by an "on and off " network
>>Could you advice or guide us on how you have done it before to enable us get the best out of your event.
>>Nafsi Africa Acrobats