Friday, 25 April 2014
FOCUS GROUP WITH TEACHERS AND SHARING LESSONS LEARNED
According to the program design, partners were to document and share lessons learnt from the implementation of the project in the secondary schools and primary teacher colleges. The purpose of sharing and documenting was to learn and discuss how the lessons learned would impact future program implementation and also help make the program better. Computers for schools Uganda and RWECO have for the past two years been discussing these lessons in a participatory manner. This is normally done at the end of year where all the project staff gather in a central location to discuss challenges, successes and lessons learnt. Listed below are some of the lessons that have been learned since project inception;
· Administrative support is very important for the projects to be a success since they offer both the moral and technical support to the teachers. An example of Canon Apollo Core PTC where with the support of administration, the department has been able to procure more computers for English lab.
· There is need to train school administrators (Head teachers, principals, deputies and Directors of Studies) in ICT customized for management as without their knowledge of ICT use for management, they do not understand the need for ICTs in schools. School administrators should be trained to be champions of ICT usage and integration in the schools.
· From the action research that was carried out, CfSU and RWECO found out that using SMS alone to communicate with parents is not a very effective method of relaying messages to parents. This method should therefore be coupled with other avenues like use of radios and community public address systems.
· It was discovered that it is very important to encourage teachers to involve students more in the teaching/learning process to boost their creativity and research skills. This is mainly done through group discussions and take home exercises.
· New more advanced software for developing lessons should only be introduced to teachers after they have fully grasped the simpler tools.
· Learner involvement in the learning process through research, group discussions, collaborative learning and presentation is important as it fully engages them and reduces boredom. They need to be given time to interact with ICTs through group work and research so that the learners’ creativity, research skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking are boosted.
· Teachers need continuous practice and re-tooling to improve their lessons and point them more towards the learner.
some of the tutors being helped during a re-tooling session
· There is need to prepare sample and demo lessons by implementing partners and champion teachers to other teachers more exposure to learner centered lessons.
· Continuous encouragement of teachers and hands on the computer will increase the efficiency in the use of ICT tools to teach.
· Careers’ days and open days are good platforms for implementing partners to interface with parents since they are crucial stakeholders in the success of the project. It is crucial to tailor teacher support activities to school activities so that the school time table is not interfered with for example Careers’ day.
The teachers are tasked by the implementing partners to follow up on these lessons accordingly. An example of such a scenario is; during one of the meetings, it was discussed that it is important to involve learners more in the learning process and the teachers were tasked to help the learners be more active through assignments of research and collaboration.