Sunday, July 5, 2009

Teacher Training

This post serves as a way to play catch up since I have been slacking on updating my blog.

During a meeting with the Minister of Education on Tuesday, he suggested Sau Jauo secondary school. We visited the school the following day and found a eager headmaster although everyone in this country will seem eager to do anything (which scares me because they will never say no, no matter how unfitting the proposal)

Everything is going well so far. The only difficulties we often run into are communication problems. Finding a good translator has proven to be somewhat difficult, but we may have solved that problem with our current translator Abilio. He's eager to expand his English and the team is impressed the his style of translating.

At the beginning of last week we began training the teachers on the XO's. Our translator arrived some 15 minutes late and that sparked all sorts of hatred for Americans and their propensity to only learn English while the rest of the world learns their native language, English, and in some cases a third language.

Once the translator arrived I began the training by explaining out project and our goals. My experience in Kigali had led me to tread lightly in terms of "dictating" what should be done with the XO's in the classroom. Mike brought up a good point we he requested I ask if the teachers even wanted to use the XO's. He made the argument it would represent a significant change to the way they taught and the amount of work they would need to do to prepare for the next days lesson.

(Our plan to distribute the XO was as close to saturation, in my opinion, we could get. Our plan is to distribute the XO's to 6th graders and have the children return the XO at the end of the school year to be distributed to the next 6th grade class. Over the summer the school would keep the XO laptops and re-distribute them in the fall again. There are five 6th grade classes of about 45 so only 2 classes can receive the XOs)

The teachers did want to use the XO, but as with the introduction of any new tech. to a place that doesn't have much experience with it, there is skepticism.

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