OLPCorps Tulane University & UC Davis – Sierra Leone

Spinning Cats & ‘Petites Histoires’ by Katie R
June 15, 2009, 6:05 am
Filed under: Teaching
Teacher training at Kagugu School in Rwanda

Teacher training at Kagugu School in Rwanda

On Friday we spent the day with one of the OLPC Learning Teams training teachers at Kagumu School in Rwanda, which already has 3020 laptops for its 3242 students, but is having some problems getting the teachers at the school to actually incorporate tme into their curriculum. OLPC has mentioned several times that training the teachers, and especially getting their buy-in on using the XOs, is one of the most challenging parts of implementing program. Some notes and observations on interaction with the teachers…

  • When teachers heard the word story, they thought of a written story. Getting them to make an animation took different vocabulary, such as the word animation.
  • It was fun doing a little project in Scratch- we went and took a picture of something outside and then used Scratch to add text, sounds, animation, etc. This required an adequate amount of time to actually come up with something, but not so much time that teachers start to develop Scratch project fatigue
  • They liked presenting the projects to the other teachers- the presenters seemed proud of what they had done and liked to see what others had done
  • One of the teachers suggested that we give out certificates (we were already planning on doing that, go team!)
  • Working in small groups or in pairs seemed most effective. Students were able to get their questions answered immediately, and teachers (the OLPCorps) knew immediately whether our responses were clearly understood
  • While some of the teachers took initiative and started thinking of ways to incorporate Scratch in the classroom, others teachers might have benefited from some ideas on what students can learn from Scratch.  With the teachers, more structure was better than less

Scratch is a program that uses commands to manipulate figures, pictures, text and sounds. One of the first things we learn to do on Scratch is how to make a cat spin around in a circle.


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