TDS Board Member to discuss technology with Tanzanian teachers

Jason Michnick (right) and Dr. Kurt Thurmaier (left) pose for a photo before they zip-line in Machakos People's Park in Kenya last year.
Jason Michnick (right) and Dr. Kurt Thurmaier (left) pose for a photo before they zip-line in Machakos People’s Park in Kenya last year.

Jason Michnick, Tanzania Development Support Board Member and Economic Development Planner at the City of DeKalb, will be traveling to Tanzania in early June to meet with the teachers that participated in the 2016 TDS/NIU training and discuss how the training has impacted their efforts in the classroom.

During the TDS/NIU training, Nyegina teachers volunteered their time to learn how to use computers and the Internet to better teach their students. These computers were setup in the Nyegina Resource Center so teachers could seek up-to-date information and share it with their students. For some of the teachers in attendance, this was their first time using a computer.

“As an economic developer, education is the foundation of growing a local economy,” Michnick said. “Seeing the challenges of providing a quality education in Tanzania made me want to get involved in the education-technology sector. Providing teachers with technology, and training them on how to properly incorporate it into the classroom, has potential to provide tremendous amounts of new resources not previously dreamed of by children and educators.”

Michnick will also be leading a focus group to gain feedback on TDS’ plan to create a mobile education lab located in the Nyegina Library. To do this, he will meet with the district education officer to discuss TDS’ projects and lobby support from the Tanzanian government who can establish and fund Internet connection in the area.

The remainder of his time in Musoma will be spent meeting with TDS partners to check-in on other projects. This will be his third trip to Tanzania, where he will travel to Musoma, Mwanza, Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar, but his girlfriend’s first time traveling to Africa. Michnick said he is excited for his girlfriend to experience everything Tanzania has to offer. Their trip starts in Nairobi, Kenya, where their plane lands, so Michnick said he is also very excited to see the friends he made while living in Nairobi.

“And Zanzibar!” Michnick adds. “I am excited for drinking on the roof of Maru Maru and watching the sunset, and then eating Zanzibar pizza.”

Michnick started volunteering with TDS while he was a student at NIU in 2015 and stayed involved as a volunteer which eventually led to his role as a board member.

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