Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teacher Workshops

I was without my assistant for the teacher trainings, and I was too busy instructing to snap photos to share. Despite scheduling changes and delays, the workshops were a huge success. The schools were challenged this term with the unexpected, mandatory retirement of all teachers 55 and over, effective 30 April. The Ministry of Education didn't actually fill many of the vacancies until this past week, the third week of school. So, some of our teachers have three full hours of XO orientation, and others are wondering how to open the little guy. I'm trying to catch everyone up and keep moving forward as I only have three months left before I leave Fiji.

The teacher trainings were broken into three sessions at each school (we've only started at two of the four schools so far).
Session One: Laptop Handling/ Batteries/ The XO Views/ The Frame/ Starting and Shutting Activities (we used Maze and Record for the first session)/ Mesh Networks (joining a partner in the maze and sharing photos).
Session Two: A review of the first session skills and a Scavenger Hunt through new activities (designed to encourage self-exploration of multitude of activities, including Moon, Speak, WikipediaEN, Write, Chat, Memorize, Help, and Pippy).
Session Three: In-depth exploration of Write/AbiWord. All the details on how to use the word processing software and how to save to the journal and transfer to a USB for printing on a school PC (with a side lesson on how to clean USBs on school computers to reduce the rampant viruses on school PCs). Teachers had to create a document with their photo and type "two truths and a lie." After they finished their work, they were to share their documents with the neighborhood so others could join them and guess which of their statements was a lie. There was much laughter and it made a dry word processing lesson a bit easier at the end of their long school day.
Finally, I distributed a basic "troubleshooting" handout to help them solve common laptop problems that might come up in the classroom.

Overall, I got great feedback from the sessions. They insisted that they wanted to spend more time in teacher trainings before bringing the laptops into the classrooms, but their restrictions due to classroom and extracurriculars made it difficult to schedule times to work together. As teacher attendance in the trainings began to falter, we decided to start using the XOs with the upper classes and to provide teacher workshops as needed/requested.

1 comment:

  1. congrats! and i thought you were on vacation! i should have known better! when i'm better if you need an assistant in fiji all sounds like a normal day in production (ie video, event, tv) .... if it isn't taken i think the blog should be named "kerekere" ... in japanese kaeru means to return and to leave which i like... and frog (they take frog charms for luck on journies)... maybe a good partnership with the electronic educational game company in the bay area "Leapfrog"? also sounds like maybe they need to be hooked up with some solar power? just some thoughts ... see you soon in SD.. great work! jessa