Overview of Teachers Talking

Title

Teachers Talking (TT)

Category

ICT and Education

Description

Need for an inservice training course, appropriate for teachers in rural Nigeria, introducing ICT.

Initiators

Local teachers (around Fantsuam) asking John Dada for training (because ICT was coming onto the curriculum and there was pressure on them to learn).

Challenges

  • Most teachers lack previous exposure to computers of any kind.
  • Poorly resourced schools in which most local teachers work (few books, no electicity, no computers)
  • Lack of computers in their immediate environment (unless they lived near the training location)
  • A teaching culture of rote learning rather than participation, investigation and understanding.

Core team

  • John Dada - Nigeria - representing the need
  • Pamela McLean - UK - creating the solution
  • Kazanka Comfort - Nigeria - co-ordinating local implementation

Wider team

Teachers Talking yahoo group:

  • An online community of interest led by Pam to collaborate on course development and participant support
  • Trans-national and cross discipliniary group
  • Participants from four continents
  • Mixture of academics, practitioners and hobbyists
  • Interests including education, training, ICT, development, ICT4Ed, ICT4D, Africa,open-source software.

ICT components relating to this project

In any ICT-enabled project it is helpful to consider ICT (information and Communication Technologies) from three viewpoints:

  • Information - the information content of the project
  • Communication - the people concerned wiht the project who have a need to communicate
  • Technology - the tehcnology that is relevant to enable the communication between the people and the presentation of the information

Information

  • Local needs explored - why the course was needed
  • Local situation explored - general and related to the course
  • Course content explored and developed
  • Course outline agreed - three parts
    • Hands-on computers - practical operating experience, confidence building
    • No-computer computer course - lessons to replicate in the classroom
    • TT-online - joining the TT online community, experience of "belonging" online
  • Practical details agreed - training location, participants, course length etc
  • An online "information cupboard" of resources prepared for the presenter to select from during the course depending on the emerging needs of the participants.  
  • Additional information and support related to ICT and education (to participants and organisers as requested through the online group).
  • Information as requested about rural Africa (to the online group from the course organisers and participants).

Communication

People involved in the communication network were:

  • Rural teachers particpating on the course
  • Dadamac core team in UK and Nigeria (see above)
  • Online wider team (see above)
  • Pupils involved in practical work that particiapants did during the course (team teaching of lessons to replicate back in their own classrooms).
  • Pupils the teachers taught in their own schools
  • Others people impacted by what participants learned. We know of:
    • Participants organising their own versions of TT in neighboring schools
    • Participant raising awareness and organising fundraising in school to buy a computer (probably a refurbished one at minimal cost)
    • Participant applying her knowledge of internet use to sharing information about agtriculture with her community
    • Particpants doing independent ICT training in their communities
  • Participants on subsequent TT courses, adn other courses that developed from TT
  • Teachers in rural Kenya where the course was replicated (funded by COL  -  Commonwealth of Learning)

Technology

Technology used in preparation and delivery of first course:

  • Email
  • Yahoo group
  • Wiki
  • Training room with computers not connected to the Internet
  • Training room with computers connected to the Internet

Additional technology used in subsequent related courses and events

  • Google, Wikipedia, How Stuff Works  - for finding information online
  • Projector for whole group demonstrations
  • CDs to demonstrate adn explore offline "digital libraries"
  • Moodle -as an additional way to store and share resources for the presenter (in a more structured way than the wiki)
  • Think.com for collaborative work with a school in Northern Ireland
  • Yahoo chat and Worknets chatroom (including First Thursdays and Dadamac Day) for real-time experience of being part of online communities
  • Skype for connecting online using voice and/or video as well as typed chat
  • I-link and Elluminate for experience of audiographic conferencing
  • Blogging - as a way to share information.
  • Camera skills - to include photos on blogs

Key dates

  • 2004 - First TT course planned and delvered
  • 2005 - First real-time online TT anniversary celebration linking UK and Nigeria
  • 2006 - TT course trialling new, more robust, resources for No-Computer Computer Course (NC3)
  • 2006 - Pam represented Fantsuam Foundation in Zambia at workshop for ICT trainers in Africa sharing TT experiences
  • 2007 - TT for trainers course at Fantsuam
  • 2007 - TT course in Kenya
  • 2008 - Spin-off course for Self-Directed Learners at Fantsuam 
  • 2009 - Fifth annual online celebration (now renamed Dadamac Day) inlcuded as fringe event at BarCampAfrica UK

Other information

More practicalities - Teachers Talking

November 2009 update following Dadamac Day

There is a paper about Teachers Talking published on the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) website, and other information not yet collected up here, please contact pamela.mclean@dadamac.net for further details.

Replicating the courses

The courses can be replicated elsewhere. Dadamac Limited can deliver direct training of teachers, or training of trainers, or simply advise on the use of our resources and the TT general approach in new locations.