Robin
Orphans Using Laptop
2010
Jul 23

Computer Classes in Asembo

It is nearing the end of the first week of computer classes in Asembo. After a few schedule changes last Friday, and then some very last minute changes before starting classes on Monday morning, we finally learned that we would have far fewer students than we expected, and would only need to teach 5 classes a day instead of the 6 originally proposed classes a day. This is working out really well, as there are only three laptops and about 12 students per class (so that leaves around 3-4 students sharing each laptop). I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to teach the proposed 16-17 students per class 6 times a day!

With the exception of maybe one or two students in the entire group, Monday was the first day for them to ever see or use a computer. We started out with some basic information about keeping the laptop plugged in and identified the main parts of the computer, such as the mouse, desktop, keyboard, on & off button, etc. Since then, we’ve moved on to using the copy and paste functions, using shift and the other very useful keys, and just getting the kids to practice typing, which is so important. Also, we’ve stressed over and over again how important it is to save a document you are working on… we even got the students to write in their notebooks “ALWAYS PRESS SAVE!!!”

Everything is progressing quite slowly, but obviously we’re taking it step by step since they really knew absolutely nothing. The majority of the students seem to be getting the hang of things quite quickly though, so it’s very promising! They are all very keen and have asked about how they can practice outside of class time, so hopefully they’ll start coming on their own to the centre the use the facility!

Robin

Asembo Bay Resource Centre
2010
Jul 20

5 Classes a Day

Hello there,

As you know, Josephine and I gave the first computer class yesterday. After a few schedule changes last Friday, and then some very last minute changes yesterday morning, we finally learned that we would have far fewer students than we expected, and would only need to teach 5 classes a day. This is working out really well, since there are only three laptops and about 10 students per class (so that leaves around 3-4 students sharing each laptop). I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to teach around 16-17 students per class in the 6 originally proposed classes per day!

With the exception of maybe one or two students in the entire group, yesterday was the first time for them to use or ever see a computer. We started out with some basic information about keeping the laptop plugged in and identified the main parts of the computer, such as the mouse, desktop, keyboard, on & off button, etc. After that, we showed them how to handle the mouse, and then did a couple of activities where they could practice left-clicking, for ‘selecting’ or choosing something & right-clicking, for opening the option menu . We then taught them how to use the double left-click to open a document that Josephine and I saved onto the desktop for them, and in that document we asked them to practice holding down the left-click button to select the entire text. In the last 20 minutes or so, we showed them how to open paint from the start menu and then let them take turns drawing something and changing the paint tools so they could practice the mouse skills we had just taught them.

During the whole lesson we asked them to jot down a few notes, since they had all brought their notebooks, but this was sort of rudely enforced by the male teacher who accompanied them to the session. I think the teachers were excited themselves to come use the computers, which is not the point of the classes at all, but we told Bertha that they were obviously making the students feel a bit uncomfortable and that we would prefer it if they did not come to class. I’m pretty sure she told the headmaster because no teacher came to the two classes this morning, so hopefully it continues to be that way. Bertha is starting some computer classes in August, so the teachers can pay her to take classes in the future.

Anyhow, moving on, today we went over what we showed them yesterday and taught them a couple of new things. We showed them how to copy and paste, as well as use the space, backspace, enter, shift and caps lock buttons. Then, we got them to copy the text we prepared and then paste it a couple lines below, using all of the new buttons we conveniently showed them beforehand. The last thing we did today was show them how to write their first and last names with a capital letter at the beginning of each name.

Everything is progressing quite slowly, but obviously we’re taking it step by step since they really knew absolutely nothing. The majority of the students seem to be getting the hang of things quite quickly though, so it’s very promising! They are all very keen and have asked about how they can practice outside of class time, so we’ll have to talk to Bertha about maybe arranging another time they can use the laptops in the back room.

I hope that was not too much boring computer info to read all at once! We have another class starting in about five minutes so I must be off!

Robin