We had an absolutely fabulous “beyond expectations” day of NIU students and TDS volunteers training Bukwaya area high school teachers on how to use the Library and Community Resource Center (LCRC) computers to access the internet to improve student learning in their classrooms. We had designed a syllabus for gaining skills over 2 days of training, but most teachers worked through the full syllabus in the 4 hour morning session. After lunch, they were able to demonstrate to their NIU or TDS tutors that they could identify a search topic and execute the search. One physics teacher was excited about finding the Hubble Space Telescope site, another teacher was looking at a site with complex mathematical equations. Geography teachers were identifying sites with specific maps…the list goes on.
We hope to help them train a new group of teachers on the same skills next Tuesday. So we are advancing to the train the trainers step already. We will also have the printers for the Teacher Resource Center room in the LCRC installed by next Tuesday, so we will help them learn that step in the process. The goal is that they can download and print a page or 2 from an internet site to pass one or two copies that illustration or graphic (e.g., a map) around their classroom for a lesson. They are excited to be able to do that.
We note that it is good that the Maevis Beacon typing program has been installed on each of the LCRC computers, since many of the teachers have not had any training typing with a keyboard, so they will need to become proficient with that before they can start moving to more complex IT applications for their classrooms.
We are eager to move our Rotary Club grant application forward for providing more technology and training to teachers who are eager to learn and use it.