Saturday, April 26, 2008

Global thinking , local action!

How it was started?
Our society is conservative, but it is changing now. We are still bounded with customs, culture and religion bonds.
What was generated?
A hot discussion between Veronica and Mageed! :-) It was around: Mageed's unreadiness to share kitchen with his wife, in case she is supposed to finish a distance education course.She has to do it 'all"; her responsibility ( in this case the kitchen) and her study, without him ( Mageed) to help out.Changing a society in which you are one member, to be better, is very difficult.He adds that he can't allow his daughter, 16, in Khartoum, to go alone to an Internet café, for her safety, only because a girl is not allowed to go alone at that time.( I agree!)
Mageed states that we should confront the society, but Vernonica says that Sudan is living with force, so we can start it gradually,as any change in all areas should be gradually ( I agree!) We should not impose anything.We should consider elements that suit our culture and society. We have to value our culture, and try to change the behavior.
Mageed says that we should use different strategies for change to come.
What we all agreed upon as a conclusion?
Education is the key for everything.
Online education will help A LOT in closing the digital gender gab we have, raising awareness about AIDS; how to fight poverty, prevention of crises before they strike, etc.ICT will facilitate development in general.
Questions remained
(Now, I am blogging live):On e-learning Africa News Portal,a pre-conference workshop works towards " empowerment and substantial growth", They stated that it worked "well all over the world because the learning need comes from the person and the learning happens in an authentic learning environment based on an authentic need.” When Teachers Learn – Providing Local Teacher Training With Global Best Practice
..How are we going to implement online education in Sudan?
..How can your university be a change agent in ICT field in our Sudanese society?You are the most educated people and you should participate in this."Leikny, Khartoum
..a few examples to help us go into global thinking and try to apply innovative ideas into our local context:
Computer assisted teacher training CATT: a project by USAID in Namibia, which was directed to girls only .
Links live blogged
ICTs and the Professional Development of Teachers
A Handbook to Guide and Assess the Appropriate Use of ICTs to Aid in the Professional Development of Teachers to Benefit Education For All
Terry Freedman's News & Views, Computers in Classrooms April 2008
THE site for leaders and managers of educational ICT
Rich-Media Webcasting Technologies for Science Dissemination
Here is a paper that "presents a brief history, and identifies current uses and trends for deploying ICTs, primarily in the formal Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, with a focus on the online environment. It considers three main questions: (1) Why do ICTs need to be considered as a critical tool in education for sustainable development (ESD)?; (2) What ICTs are currently being used by educators and learners?; and (3) What can we expect to see in the near future?"

Thank you, Leikny! GREAT discussion.

Monday, April 21, 2008

ICT in Education cont. :Digital Divide

Digital divide is a concept related to education, economic and power. It is the divide or gab between those who have the hardware and infrastructure and those who don’t, between users and consumers. Also, it could be looked upon from other diversities; between the north and south , countries within countries,
(geographically) , teachers and students (academically ), men and women ( gender) , social classes ( socially), between nations( politically)
There is no boarders or laws to prevent country/people/individual from using this digital knowledge, information.The only solution is MONEY.
On the other hand, some say that we don't see it appropriate to see ICT in schools while those pupils suffering from finding fresh clean water or medical care.
In Zambia, Prof Leikny said that one of the visiting educators asked about 700 students a very simple question:" Who has touched a computer before? " only 3 hands were raised .
it is difficult and it is all about money BUT Policy is also involved here.The question is: what could be done on the national or local level to bridge the gab? I think if the Southern Sudan had separated from the North, the digital divide will be bridged very fast and one day we will wake up and find ourselves way behind the south.
There are *More* mobiles and more Internet cafes, so we don't have to be pessimistic.The important thing is to overcome this digital divide, is to be put more on agriculture and on development.
How can these technical devices be used in education??
The above is about International level. Next Saturday will be about national level and trying to figure out solutions for our Sudanese context. I love this course!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ICT in Education Course

I consider myself lucky to be invited by Dr Ayman Badri, Ahfad University, to take a course in ICT in Education and Management System. He is the University Academic counterpart of the course. It is in fact a part of a joint Master Program in International Education and Development , with Oslo University, Cape Town University and Ahfad University.Course duration is one month, 7th April-3rd May 2008, at AlHafeed Library at the university.The lecture is Prof. Leikny Orgim.Participants are three NOMA students+17 from Ahfad and other universities.
My opinion? More than great! What I like best? In addition to the content and the knowledgeable instructor, the flexibility of the course plan. She came to Sudan, with a very slight idea about the participants, who re from different specializations, with a course plan and overview of what she should cover. From the first day, she started to change her plans. I loved this! I will adapt this to my coming work. It is not a mistake if you change the plan according to your participants' needs.I think teachers here should learn this. If I have done this in workshop, this would be taken against me( she is not well prepared!).When this comes from this Prof., then they will know that this normal, sometimes a must for the benefit participants.
This turns into a long post. Stay tuned for more. I hope I will be able to post a daily digest of the sessions on the wiki I created to put everything in one place.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mini_ Lesson on Online Tools

Today, at the University of Khartoum, I accepted an invitation from Hala Salih, Head of English Section at University Requirements Department, to come and show her and one of her assistant how to use Web 2.0 tools in English Classroom.Basically, to talk about my experience with my students in 2007. Hala is the only teacher now who is putting into practice what she learned from EVO sessions.Her enthusiasm, the support that she finds from the university, an assistant, her being in charge of decisions and her choosing to implement this in School of Math, where there is excellent infrastructure and well knowledgeable IT students , will definitely come up with amazing outcomes.I came to know about the University of Khartoum well designed, though I have reservations about not being dynamic, website. Dr. Sami Shereef, one of the best in ICT in Sudan, is the one responsible.He is very helpful and encourages innovative ideas in teaching using ICT. They re using the Moodle now in some of their schools.
Well, Hala wrote about the visit hereI was flattered when I read what she called me a "CALL expert". I am not at all one, but I only consider myself a pioneer in a filed that is not explored in Sudan.Thanks Hala.I enjoyed your hospitality, enthusiasm and creativity. Lucky your students and department!!I wish Hala the best of luck.May everything goes well and , as I told her, I am here to help, assist and participate in anything Web 2.0's:-)

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