If you have been keeping up with the blog, you will know that I started computer classes with the 10 groups of students from grades 1-6 about four weeks ago. We have been making steady progress in learning the basic hand and finger movements of computers, locating the alphabet and numbers and other special keys on the keyboard, and following directions to get through a maze of programs.
Since my role is that of director and not teacher, one of my goals is to introduce the teachers to the programs so that they are able to lead their own classes in games that match their own curricula. Games and exercises that are appropriate for first graders may not be the best for sixth graders and vice versa. The teachers have become basically familiar with the GCompris program because they are present with their class for the instruction time. But watching is always different from doing!
So today the 10 teachers as well as the director of the primary school in Purushila, along with Ismael, Orfe, Peter and Maricruz did some hands-on work with the computers. The GCompris program consists of over 125 games. I decided that the most efficient means of trying to introduce the games to this audience was to supply an outline of the programs and to have the teachers practice each game and write on their outlines anything that would help them in the future to use the game for their age group. Basically,the teachers were writing down how to play each game, the skills it reinforces, as well as when each might I use it with their class. We spent less than five minutes per game and got through about one-fourth of the games.
In addition, as any computer teacher knows, you have to understand how to get through the glitches that occur when students are randomly touching keys. So we started with the basics for the computer and the projector. Everytime a teacher encountered a problem, we talked about how to get around that problem. Hopefully, the teachers will then be comfortable in troubleshooting when various problems occur when they are teaching the class.
We hope to spend more time together to get through the entire outline. Then perhaps we can have a class where the teachers discuss how they plan to use the various programs in their classes and to share ideas.
Right now the three schools in Purushila are sharing the same set of computers. This involves walking computers from one school to the next according to scheduled classes. My hope is that we will bring 30 more computers to Purushila allowing more than one group of students to use computers at the same time. This will also allow us to store computers in both school buildings giving wider access. Then the teachers in the primary school (and telesecondary school) would be able to schedule a time when their class can go to a computer lab and practice a particular skill any time of the school day.
And the progress continues!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012