Thursday, September 19, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
First day of training. It really took us awhile to find a place to conduct the training. Even though they knew I was coming months ahead, the director was putting Francis off. So it came down to the very day. When we went to Kampala University Jinja campus, the director was not there. Apparently he was in Kampala discussing the government alliances with the private universities. So, quickly, we used our back-up plan and went to St. Gonzaga, where Betty the head mistress, greeted us warmly. That school is the site of XO installations. We found the XOs in good shape, all chargers were working. They were secure in a locked closet, and we spoke to a student who said he loves working on them Betty rotates the use of them. Training still started late however, because Betty had to go with the driver to get the car battery recharged. Teachers came in whenever. We should have had from 2-5 with them. They came from many schools, some with and some without computers. The inspector of schools came in to interrupt and spoke about the damage the teacher strike is causing to the students. She insisted that they had to at least had to sign in at their home school before they came to training. Ironically, those from St. Gonzaga left to sign in but did not return. Politics! The training began with a presentation on Literacy in the 21st century, and we proceeded through Reading and Writing exercises. On the XO, I showed them how to access an e-book, Grimm’s Fairy Tales that I had pre-loaded. We read Hans in Luck and then I led a discussion on the meaning of the story. One of the teachers was studying philosophies of education and asked about Socrates. So I used some Socratic questioning to probe deeper into the meaning of the story. Next we talked about Writing, and I gave a presentation on all kinds of writing exercises: informational, creative writing and we used the Labyrinth activity to map out a story about Francis, my head teacher. I distributed some handouts and one of the teachers asked how I would relate the story according to the guidelines in the handout. I presented the background, the characters, the action, the climax and conclusion. The story was about Francis, his family and friends, and how he is the chairman of the Sports Competition, which just happened to win 2 gold medals. Very impressive, made a nice story too.They really liked that. We went back to the hotel. Eric is so helpful. He takes lots of pictures, keeps the good ones and uploads them to the facebook page that he created. Facebook.com/venturesforgood.