My Quest To Teach

March 15, 2017

Bring EdCamp To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness

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Bring EdCamps To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness
by Professor William Jackson – Edward Waters College

Kiswahili [another term for Swahili] the proverb
“Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu,” shares
the responsibility of the community (village), or town or city
to raise/educate children.
The exposure to educational strategies, concepts, best practices
and the application of diverse technologies can sometimes
seem challenging when the infrastructure is  still being built.
Collaboration with educators is challenged when the basic
tools are not in place or accessible and teachers with years
of experience are not able to collaborate or connect with
new or pre-service teachers still attending college and
university. Bring in the EdCamp!!!!

chinua-achege-2

Chinua Achebe,
“When I began going to school and learned to read,
I encountered stories of other people and other lands.”
When young people decide to make education a career they
should be celebrated and  importantly supported because the
road to a “master teacher” is difficult and the learning curve is
at times steep. To many people are criticized for going into
teaching especially men. People do not respect the calling of
an educator or the responsibility of administrators that manage
personalities, egos, genders and even generations, that is just
the students.
Diversity in education builds strength in skills and abilities
because this can be applied to the growing student population in
schools that are diverse and constantly changing. How do you
address literacy skills if 1/3 of the students are ESOL and 1/3
may be hearing impaired or 1/3 visually challenged and 1/3 are
gifted. The classroom teacher must address each student
individually and align instruction with their abilities to be
academically successful.
It is common knowledge that schools are a microcosm of
their communities, and African teachers understand their
challenges are unique in their classrooms because of the
lack of resources.

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Writer)
“A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy
educated, participatory follower-ship, and an educated, morally
grounded leadership.”
EdCamp provides a format in education for teachers, administrators,
support staff to come together and share in a collaborative
environment how to improve the educational culture and atmosphere
of schools. The physical infrastructure is important, but if you do not
have teachers that are passionate, engaging, creative and innovative
in applying academic intellect so students can see what they are
working towards, having stuff will not help. Instruction must
correspond with application to meet the needs of students.
“Learning must be relevant and real.”
Professor William Jackson, M.Ed.

The instruction and the instructional materials rests with the
teacher that is the leader, role model, mentor and guide to academic
direction. Teachers as they learn their students can apply the best
tool to the student(s) for the best results.
Even pre-service and new teachers can benefit because of the exposure
to those with experiences applying best practices and building a
PLN Professional Learning Network to share and support.
In this world of political lobbyists that do not understand how children
learn, the influence of community, poverty, generational influences
and teacher training;  EdCamp is not influenced by political affiliations,
special interests groups, lobbyists or the infection of governmental
policies.
The exchanges are by teachers that respect their peers and can relate
and understand the challenges of teaching and educating youth, teens
and young adults.
The teacher exchanges of ideas, resources and developing practices is
able to make trans-formative changes in the culture and learning of
the classroom faster than politicians changing policy that is filtered,
modified and changed to meet the needs of a political promise or
vision that is not in-line with actual learning.
Teachers and administrators understand that classrooms are global
environments of cultures, ideas, lifestyles and the socio-economic
conditions of students.
Education is the tool to take them beyond their current position to
move them upward. The family in most cases is part of the process
of education and because of this, family histories do matter. The
history of African education has been one of colonial influences
and even re-defining the learning objectives for students. Change
by African educators is finding appropriate resources not to just
satisfy a political mission, but prepare African children to be the
smart creatives and innovators Africa needs.

Chinua Achebe affirms the educational function of literature
and establishes a human context for understanding modern
African history.
http://faculty.atu.edu/cbrucker/Achebe.html
In Survey of World Literature, 1992
Education serves a vital purpose in understanding where Africans
have come from and it helps direct where Africans are going in
relation to the direction of global business, commerce, technology
and finance.
EdCamp can provide the missing pieces to teacher development
that cannot be influenced by one day professional development.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to educate a child,” brings
higher value to the creation of EdCamp on the African continent.
If teachers do not prepare students to sit at the tables of
business, commerce, finance and education then students will
be left behind and out of the decision making process of building
communities and prosperity for its citizens.
As a professor teaching Educational Technology in the Education
Department and Urban Studies at Edward Waters College and
teaching 27 years in public education, professional development
and networking are important to the growth and development
of new and seasoned teachers that need seasoning.
One cannot exhist without the other.
Kijita (Wajita) “Omwana ni wa bhone,” meaning regardless of a
child’s biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to
the community.

EdCamp and WordCamp in Africa

EdCamp and Why Teachers Should Care
http://www.hypeorlando.com/my-quest-swag/2016/02/04/edcamp-and-why-teachers-should-care/

EdCamps
http://www.edtechupdate.com/edcamps/

WordCamp
https://central.wordcamp.org/

EdCamp Accra
https://sites.google.com/a/lincoln.edu.gh/edcamp15/home

EdCamps
Putnam County March 25, 2017
http://edcampputnam.weebly.com/home/edcamp-putnam

Branford April 22, 2017
http://edcampbranford.weebly.com/

Volusia April 8th
http://edcampvolusia.weebly.com/

WordCamp Jacksonville 2017
https://2017.jacksonville.wordcamp.org/speak/

Past EdCamps in Florida from 2015 to Present

 

February 23, 2017

What is STEM and Why African Parents Should Care in 2017

What is STEM and
Why African Parents
Should Care in 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed.
#MyQuestToTeach @wmjackson

When Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh
expressed concerns over the low grades
students had in science and math in
Ghana this raised increased awareness for African
parents that their children may not be prepared
for many careers that require science and math
skills. GhanaWeb General News 19/Feb/17

Dr. Prempeh understands how critical these subjects
are for the nation’s development and ability to
compete on a continental level. Citing the West African
Examination Council (WAEC) report the last several
years there is continued failure in the mathematics
and science areas.

There is great change on the continent of Africa,
the incorporation of technology in education and
business and in homes is changing how people
communicate on the African continent. The
engagement of educational initiatives that will
train children for the future creating a transformative
paradigm shift in how education is prepared for
more students as the national infrastructure
is updated.
African children should be preparing for developing
careers in STEAM to solve complex problems that
will challenge the ability to function in a
technology environment.

Better educational opportunities build the
intellectual abilities of youth, teens and young
adults dreaming of being entrepreneurs, building
businesses, involved in commerce and high tech
industries. Training is paramount and vital so
STEAM and STEM initiatives are being provided by
the growth and incorporation of academic courses
being taught in schools.

Parents must know the difference between
STEM/STEAM/STREAM, CSTREAM and STEM2.
These are the infusion of computers, science,
technology, reading, engineering, arts, math
and in some cases medicine.
“The black man in Africa had mastered the arts
and sciences. He knew the course of the stars in
the universe before the man up in Europe
knew that the earth wasn’t flat.” Malcolm X

The mission is to engage the whole child and foster
higher order thinking and critical thinking skills
in all areas,” defined by STE[+a]M. The changing
thinking of building African minds is that STEM
creates core values that embraces diversity in
learning and understanding that all
learning is connected and transferable.

The blending of STEM skills requires students to
engage in creative application, critical and higher
order thinking that supports collaborative and
cooperative learning. Learning that challenges
thinking, bringing about success that is
transferable in advanced areas of application
in society. Many careers are now influenced by
STEM curriculum’s that help determine the paths
for students and their choice of careers.

As an Educational Technology, Social Media and
STEM instructor at Edward Waters College,
educators, artists, business people and scientists
recognize the importance of blending the arts and
sciences believing that this can lead to richer
student learning.

STEAM is complimentary with 21st century artistic,
scientific and technological skills. There is much more
than just teacher centered instruction, the student
must be the center of learning and involve the “4 Cs”:
Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and
Communication.

So important are these that foreign nations that come
to Africa to assist are using similar instructional
parameters taught in their nations and transferring
to Africa.
The issue is that African students are playing catch-up
because they are missing critical components. As the
infrastructure is upgraded or built students at a
rapid pace will be the educational, technical, commercial
and commerce leaders it needs to take African nations
into the 21st and 22nd centuries as a leaders and visionaries.

“I believe it is an important developmental tool inasmuch
as it also an issue of social justice that people of this country
no matter their circumstances can have access to good
schooling. It is important that we develop the “human capital”
of our country. The policies that we have will make it possible.”
President Akufo-Addo of Ghana
Matthew Opoku Prempeh is Minister designate for Education
http://citifmonline.com/2017/01/10/matthew-opoku-prempeh-is-minister-designate-for-education/

These sentiments can be shared with many African nations
working to improve educational access from early childhood
to higher education and even vocational education.
It is important for the future of Africa when Africans can
invest and re-invest in their own nations, on their own
continent than waiting on others that do not have the same
passion for the continent and do not have the same wish
for cultural and national stability and pride.

Resources:
About STEM and STEAM
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/steam/
Africa’s Future Depends on STEM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mariame-jamme/africas-workforces-need-r_b_6340556.htm
STEM Education as a Solution to Youth Unemployment
http://www.iafrikan.com/2014/03/12/stem-education-as-a-solution-to-youth-unemployment-in-africa/

January 2, 2017

Africans Are Developing The Art of Writing and Blogging

Africans Are Developing The Art of Writing and Blogging
by William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson
#MyQuestToTeach

“Educators are activists” WordCampNABSE 2016

As an instructor in the College of Education and Urban Studies at
Edward Waters College, the instructional goal is to reach students
to make learning relevant, engaging, fun and helping students to
apply to life not just academic lessons.

Tests do not judge the success of living away from home, tests do
not determine the career success of students, it is a gauge of
academic achievement and growth; there is more to it than just
assessments taken on a computer. This is why engagement,
exposure, hands-on and student lead instruction is vital anywhere
in the world.

Students need to understand the reasons for being a good reader,
why comprehension is important, the value of grammar and the
engagement of networking and collaboration. Accessing videos
from YouTube that contain lessons learned from Chinua Achebe
a Poet, Writer, Mentor, Political and Community Activists;
https://youtu.be/M5OAjnG6rKo involved in the community he
serves and provide a foundation why education is valuable.

The growing TEDX and TEDTALKs allows African across the
diaspora to share their thoughts, dreams, and challenges of a
united and progressive Africa.
It is important to go beyond just interpretation, understanding
and application of speaking, it is important to know how to put
these pieces of education, technology, commerce, trade, natural
resources and build a knowledge based society to use to grow
African communities and empower African children for generations
to come. “African children need to be taught how to be producers
at all levels, not just at the bottom being consumers.”
Prof. Wm Jackson

Stated in the TEDx, “Africa Post-Colonial Development:
Fatoumata Waggeh at TEDxGallatin” Africa must invest in herself
and not allow foreign countries dictate the priorities of her people.
No foreign country can understand the vision for another country
and make the necessary changes to create generational wealth,
progress and build all around stability.

Nations that do not invest in the growth of their children generational
run the risk to not developing into productive nations with thriving
economies, they rely on foreign investors and fall back into colonized
ideologies and economic slavery. The educational levels of citizens is
one of the important factors that plays into if a nation will be able to be
involved in global trade, technological innovation, the education of its
people and even influence the political stability of that nation.

Africans have a unique vision for change that can be applied to
many African communities across their respective nations. Listening
to writers and activists on YouTube that have influenced not just
thousands, but millions in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana Nigeria and
across the continent of Africa. There are important thought leaders
and entrepreneurs with progressive ideas and skills.

Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe share their passions to improving
their nation’s strength in areas of national educational accessibility,
political stability, growth in commerce, the participation in global
trade and applying technology to best serve the poor and underserved.
To effectively engage and empower with education is a key priority as
each generation moves towards entrepreneurship, youth and teens are
developing into smart creatives and technological innovators.

The careers of African societies are no longer just agriculture and
industrial they are progressively being adapted to knowledge application,
tech innovation and research and development. Technology has the
potential to reach millions to provide resources and new opportunities of
learning and workings to provide the necessary things families need.
The discussion of colonization by foreign rule can never stop because the
consequences are still seen today.

Colonization was designed to keep Africans “under” educated, lacking in
political power and even possessing little or no economic foundation to
build wealth and stability.
Africans must continue to apply their passions, abilities and talents to help
their communities growing through education to make transformative
changes using literature, writing, and the integration of technical resources.
“Getting things done is better than having things perfect. Done is better than
perfect. Whatever you have in your hands, get going with it. Just do it.”
Charles Igwe, Nollywood Global Media Group, Nigeria

Resources:
The Importance of Banks and Banking in Africa
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

Bridging the African Diaspora
Bridging the Diaspora Divide – Teresa H. Clarke at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/sg6F-M6v1iM

Africa Post-Colonial Development: Fatoumata Waggeh at TEDxGallatin
https://youtu.be/s7lmz4UL4wE

Instagram for Ideas Lane Africa
https://www.instagram.com/ideaslaneafrica/

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