Friday, August 1, 2014

Training the Teachers

Tuesday, July 29th began the ToT (Training of Teachers). We wanted to not only train individual students but to improve teachers’ skills so as to have a long-lasting and broader impact across more students.  What better way to know you’re prepared to teach than to teach?  So, some teachers volunteered to teach various modules during the camp.

Since several teachers were going to teach modules during camp, these were four intense days taking teachers through all the camp materials thoroughly enough so they could teach it during camp.  Plus the ToT included some additional topics not covered with the campers.  

Here’s a copy of the schedule.  By the way, if you look closely at the second picture you can faintly see the Tuesday – Thursday schedule on the back.  Resources are used to their fullest capability in these parts…little goes to waste.

Through the TOT, we also were able to refine the camp materials and determine translation requirements.  We gave a test-run for the instructions of many modules...and adjusted accordingly.  Most importantly we got a feel for the internet connectivity - a critical dimension to multiple modules.

Unfortunately the internet response time was often very slow and seemed to hit capacity with only about 5 or 6 people online at once.  Learning this ahead of time gave us the opportunity to create contingency plans and contingency plans for our contingency plans. 

We did a test-run of the robotics exercises to ensure we had enough parts.  The teachers welcomed the opportunity to build and program robots.  

Major, Isaac and Veridiane ask questions about programming robots
Here's the winning team from the teacher robot races - fine-tuning their creation...OK, well ... actually at the point this picture was taken, they were just starting to assemble their robot...but they did go on to have the fastest robot thanks to Emily figuring out how to increase power to the motors.

Emily, Louise, Origene and Jin-A assemble their 5-minute 'bot
The teachers came from each of the 12 schools that sent students to camp: GS Banda, GS Gatore, GS Janja St Jerome, GS Karuganda, GS Kibangu, Muhazi Secondary School, ES Mulindi, ES Murunda, GS Murunda, GS Nyinawimana, GS Rusororo, and GS Zaza.  Our teachers were Jocelyn, Judith, Marie Rose, Veridiane, Babu, Emmanuel, Isaac, Ismael, Lambert, Major, Noel, and Solomon.  In addition to the 12 ICT teachers, we also trained mentors from the Akilah Institute, one of Rwanda's colleges, and ELERwanda: Aimee, Sandrine, Simon and Origene.

Judith and Babu testing the program they loaded in their robot

Celest, Jocyln, Emmanuel and Marie Rose listen to James give advice on their robot

Laura introduces the teachers to programming in Scratch

It was wonderful to meet and work with such dedicated, enthusiastic teachers.  I think they were every bit as excited to be at camp as the campers were. The four days just flew.

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