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Collaborating with TT Kenya

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  • Pamela McLean
    I have been very fortunate. I have had tremendous opportunities to learn thanks to the Internet, and want the TT Kenya group to enjoy the same opportunities. ~
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2007
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      I have been very fortunate. I have had tremendous opportunities to learn thanks to the Internet, and want the TT Kenya group to enjoy the same opportunities.

      ~ Collaborating with TT Kenya
      When I work with teachers on the TT programme I want to give them a vision of the opportunities presented by the Internet. But they have very little opportunity to go online - so how can I give them that vision without it being a tease. One way is to give up for now, to decide  "Do nothing until the infrastructure is in place." - but I am not happy with that option. Another way is to decide "Give them the vision - then help them to overcome the limitations of local provision. Stay in contact. Collaborate with them. When they do come on line be ready to help them find the information that they are seeking. But I can't do that on my own. How do I find others to collaborate with the TT participants? This is something Andrius and I were discussing after the chatroom session on collaboration last Thursday.

      For a first step Andrius  suggested that I should share the questions that the teachers are asking.  I am doing that in two ways. I am sharing the results of a session I ran on the first day of the TT course (below).  You can also read about a chat we had recently at http://learnbydoinguk.blogspot.com/

      ~ TT Kenya Investigations

      The TT Kenya introductory course included practical work demonstrating how to use the Internet to find information.  Before our first practical session I asked the participants to discuss what we might look for.  They discussed in four groups and then shared their ideas.  Some ides were serious, some were flippant - the point was to be ready to explore a wide range of information and see what could be found. Some participants had never seen a computer, others already had an email address, but searching for information was new to just about everyone. We knew we wouldn't have long online and would have to share computers. Sharing questions first was a way to make sure we got the most of the brief online time. Each group wrote its suggestions down on post-it notes. 

      ~ The questions
      As the post-it notes got stuck on the blackboard various themes emerged, so we re-arranged the notes under the following headings:
       
      # Health and Biology - test tube babies, aging medicine, cloning (twice), GM foods, sex, herbal medicine, cell phones - its effects on children, food and nutrition (twice), how the DNA works, what are the stages in child development? HIV/AIDS (3 times), drug abuse (twice)...
       
      # ICT and the TT course -
      New developments in ICT:  How do I download ringtones? How to disable or limit access of undesirable websites e.g. pornographic websites, war and crime websites? Tell me about duo core computers.  What is a programming language? What is yahoo? What is ICT? What is the difference between ICT and IT? What are the latest Microsoft products?
      How to access the Internet library, get variety of books and learn.
      How to block chunk mail coming to your email account. (Perhaps that refers to junk mail)
      What is a digital village and what services does it offer in society?  How do they work in UK? Who is Bill Gates? What is Teachers Talking? Who is Pamela McLean?
       
      # Politics - Kenyan politics (twice). Raila (That word is unfamiliar to me so I may have copied some of the letters wrongly from the post-it),
       
      # Education - Universities in the UK, scholarships (twice), education systems, systems of education in the UK.
       
      # Environment / Geography - Pollution, global warming, what causes earthquakes? Tsunami's and earthquakes, earthquakes - "Oldmyohengai" (or perhaps "Oldunjo Leugai" again the word is unfamiliar to me so I may have copied some of the letters wrongly from the post-it)- Mountain of God".
       
      # Miscellaneous - International jobs (greener pastures).  E-commerce, Who can get a job with NASA? Space exploration, latest movies, latest block buster movie, Olympic medals, Osaka Olympic Games, evolution, scientific fields, Guinness book of records, richest soccer club, world finest neuro surgeon.
       
      ~ Finding ways to help TT Kenya find answers to questions
      I am sharing this question-asking exercise with you because I am looking for people who will collaborate with me in supporting TT Kenya.  I have started to encourage the TT Kenya group to look to the Internet for answers to their questions - but they only get the chance to go online once a month (for a couple of hours).  Last time they started the online session they only had one computer (later two) to share between twenty people.  What headway can they possibly make in finding answers to questions?  Is there any way we can help them? Can we sort out some kind of system where for example they send us a list of questions once a month, and we find some of the answers ready for next time they come online?  Ideally in the long term the infrastructure will improve and teachers in rural Africa will be "bandwidth rich".  Meanwhile there must be some way that those of us who are already "bandwidth rich" can help the TT Kenya group who are "bandwidth poor" to access more information.

      Andrius suggests that our chatroom meetings will be more productive if we focus on action points rather than ideas - and suggested we should meet again to do that next Thursday for TT Kenya.  I feel a little uncomfortable in choosing a focus for chat which is only my own interest.  Please  help us to get the right balance on this. If there is something you want as the focus for a chat session please say so. If you have already said - and your suggestion has been overlooked or forgotten please ask again - and again - as I don't manage to read and/or remember every email that I should.

      I hope we will find ways to help TT Kenya.

      Pam

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