John Schinker's Blog (5)

A Drop in the Ocean

For the first week in Mbita, I kept asking myself (and others), "what are we doing here?" We're supposed to be teaching technology integration -- helping teachers use technology effectively to complete projects and improve learning in other curricular areas.

But as we made our school visits, it became increasingly clear that they're not ready for that. Of the ten schools we visited, none had electricity. One had computers in a lab, but no reliable way to power them. Many of the… Continue

Added by John Schinker on August 9, 2009 at 7:34 — No Comments

Road Construction

It's no secret that Kenyan roads are a bit difficult to navigate. I can't speak to the cities too much -- we've done most of our traveling in rural areas. But you really have to pay attention when driving in Kenya.

The roads themselves are generally dirt or dirt mixed with stone. In many places, there are concrete culverts under the road to allow water to pass across and improve drainage. Between these culverts, though, the road has eroded over time, making them enormous speed bumps.… Continue

Added by John Schinker on August 3, 2009 at 11:02 — 1 Comment

Educating the Girl Child

I knew, before arriving in Kenya, that there were differences in education between boys and girls. Most girls don’t complete school. Of the few that do, practically none pursue higher education. Of the 51,000 students enrolled in the Suba district last year, 134 enrolled in university this year. Assuming an equal distribution of students among the grades (which is not at all the case because of dropouts), this would be about 3%. Of these, six were girls.

So,… Continue

Added by John Schinker on August 1, 2009 at 14:30 — 1 Comment

It's Not About the Tools

As we wind down our stay in Cape Town, we're visiting teachers in the schools and working with them individually to try to take the next steps after the workshops. I haven't really blogged much about the actual workshops. We started with five days of sessions for teachers at Liwa Primary School in the Phillipi township. The teachers represented 20 different schools, with at least two teachers from each school.

A big emphasis was on moving away from basic instruction on… Continue

Added by John Schinker on July 22, 2009 at 15:02 — No Comments

Teachers and Laptops

There's a movement in South Africa to equip every teacher with a laptop. The plan has undergone a number of major changes over the last year or so, but in the current incarnation, teachers are eligible for a stipend from the government if they purchase a laptop to use in preparing and delivering instruction.

In the schools, computers are scarce. A school might have a computer lab or two, but there aren't any computers in the classrooms. In many cases, I've seen SMART Boards… Continue

Added by John Schinker on July 17, 2009 at 15:00 — No Comments


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