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Nov 25, 2015

Thanks to YOU, Technology Partnership schools move forward with internet connections...

Students at Kaaga Boys School using the internet
Students at Kaaga Boys School using the internet

Internet Connection:  Having learnt the importance of using the internet during our training sessions, a few enthusiastic teachers from different Technology Partnership (TP) schools made individual efforts to access the internet by using Safaricom USB modems. Unfortunately this enabled a limited number only 1 or 2 people on a stand-alone computer. When we got the funding to provide internet connections in a number of schools, many teachers and students were able to access the web through computers in their school labs.  There is great excitement among teachers and students in those schools because they are able to find so much information, learn a lot, and share resources and experiences with others outside of Kenya. They say the web not only has so many resources but it is also fun to use and to learn. Our schools, students, and teachers use the internet in a variety of ways. Some include the following:

a) Communication: The school administration, teachers, and students use the internet for communication via emails, social media, etc.

b) Collaborative Online Projects: Some schools like Meru High school, Fred’s Academy, and Materi Boys High school have done online collaborative sharing projects with partner schools in the US. These projects include a Drama exchange with Denver Center for International Relations, participation in the World Affairs Challenge sponsored by Regis University, and connecting students on penpalschools.com.

c) Teaching and Learning Resources: Teachers are using the internet to look for teaching content and resources when preparing lessons. For those who are advancing their careers through higher education, the internet is invaluable for study and research. One member of our TP leadership team in Kenya, Carlos, is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Development Practice through Regis University and delivered through the Posner Center for International Development IEE global classroom via live web-conferencing.

Students in our schools with internet are searching the web for learning content and extra resources for assigned topics during their lessons. These students are taking responsibility for their learning and are able to pursue independent avenues of interest in addition to teacher-directed assignments.

d) Posting and sharing of videos: Students are using the internet to post and share videos for learning projects, such as cultural identity through myth and storytelling in our Drama project.

e) Mobile uploading of school reports: Some teachers who have advanced internet use are able to prepare and upload school reports from anywhere, which are needed by the school district administration.

f) News: Teachers and students say they are now able to know what is happening in other parts of the world because they can access and read news from anywhere in the world. It has opened and connected them to the world! Previous to these connections, schools of 600 students would have one local newspaper each day, which would be posted on a bulletin board for all the students to read. Imagine the limited world view that results from such restricted resources!

g) Training Resource Centers: Some TP schools connected to the internet are being used as training resource centers because the trainees or the trainer can access the web to use it during training. The Kenya government selected some of our teachers, because of their expertise, to deliver regional teacher training in internet skills as the government rolls out their computer initiatives.

Links:

Aug 28, 2015

Kenya Kids Connecting To the World

Gichunge students happy to have computers.
Gichunge students happy to have computers.

We were overwhelmed and grateful for all the support for our Kids connect project in the month of June, especially since it was our first ever crowdfunding endeavor.  Thanks to you, our supporters, we raised $5215 in support of this project.  

Our Kenyan Director, John Kamwara, shares some of his experiences since raising this money:

We want to share with you the progress of our Kenya project to connect kids to the internet and also train teachers in computer and internet use.

A. Internet Connection: We have identified twelve schools in our Meru, Kenya partnership that are ready to have internet service and our new IT director, Lewis Mugambi, has begun the process of setting up a network for 9 of these school labs in preparation for internet access.

Lewis is the head of IT for one of our post-secondary schools, Meru Technical Training Institute. He has a Master’s degree in IT and also teaches at MTTI. Lewis has been on our leadership team since 2014. The target is to connect over 6000 kids to the internet in the first phase so as to enable the use of variety of internet resources to enhance teaching and learning. Students and teachers are happy to have the computers in their schools through donations from Technology Partnership. They are more excited to know they are soon getting the internet! They will be thankful.

When the principal of Kianjeru Boarding primary school heard that his school is one of the beneficiaries for support with internet connection he said; “Our teachers and students have been requesting internet. Unfortunately we did not have enough funds. Your support to get us connected to the internet is a blessing to us. Thank you very much Technology Partnership”.

Some partner schools are requesting internet connection to enable them to share learning projects with other kids in the outside world. They learned this from teachers and students from Meru High School, Materi High school, and Fred’s Academy school who participated in online project sharing with US schools for the World affairs Challenge (WAC). “We would love to have internet also so that we canhave our kids get online pen pals and . . .  start learning from each other; says Tarsila, principal of CCM elementary school.

B.Training:

We have done several training programs for teachers including basic computer skills, computer resources, and the use of the internet in learning and teaching.  

Technology Partnership collaborates with our local school district for teacher training such as mass teacher trainings of teachers for the government laptop project which will deploy laptops to primary schools for grade 1.  Also, I (Mr. John Kamwara) trained school zone head teachers and teachers in charge of the school curriculum.

Thank you for your generous support of these programs.  We hope this short glimpse into the lives of the Kenyan teachers and students benefiting from your donation helps you understand how much your support changes lives. These students and teachers now have access to technology and opportunities for a better life. We look forward to sharing the impact that internet connections will make on these 6000 students and teachers. Thank you.

Watching a video clip from a US partner school.
Watching a video clip from a US partner school.
Lewis, our IT Director, trains ICT teachers.
Lewis, our IT Director, trains ICT teachers.
TP Founder, Barb Bates, trains teachers in Meru
TP Founder, Barb Bates, trains teachers in Meru

Links:

 
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