My Quest To Teach

October 6, 2017

Writing and Storytelling for Africans

Africa

Writing and Storytelling for Africans
by William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson Twitter
Speaker at WordCamp DC, WordCamp Jacksonville,
WordCamp Wilmington N.C.

“Writers have to recognize the works of the artist and
those of the activist. Creating content is more than just
throwing words, video, pictures on a digital sheet of
paper. There is serious intellectual thought during the
writing process. Sometimes writing will be in a zone of
creativity and innovation to create new content that has
an intended outcome, but sometimes the outcomes are
unknown.” William Jackson
Professor Soyinka “Just sit down and write….” as he has
stated to the growing African writers across the continent.
The ability of a blogger / writer to write also means that
they have a responsibility to tell the story of those that
cannot write, those that are silent and have no voice.
Digital content is powerful and enabling to bring recog-
nition, attention and urgency to civic issues that need
to be addressed.
The growth of the blogger / writer is composed of periods
of growth, reconciliation, enlightenment and a civic
responsibility to write / blog not just for oneself, but for
those that do not have a voice and will not be heard.
The ability to share a story comes from the ability to listen
and apply knowledge from a person’s experiences,
interactions, goals for growth and even how mistakes are
made and learned from.
The diversity of culture influences a writer’s ability to
“touch” the people they are writing to or writing for.
When past writers applied their skills they shared stories
that could be connected to real life, to the experiences
that many knew they could connect to.
The diversity of African bloggers represents the diversity of
a continent that influences not just the global weather, but
has digital extensions that influence business, commerce,
entrepreneurial spirits of the dreamers, creators and
innovators that have ideas to change the world around them.
Africa is in a constant state of flux economically, educationally,
culturally and the future is unknown, but it is becoming
brighter and brighter a business and entrepreneurial
opportunities become available.
Writers like author and Professor Wole Soyinka who are
involved in civic issues, governmental policies and the
educational growth of youth, teens and adults. He
is of the past, but there are modern writers waiting
to be read.
The African continent has birthed intellectual and
intelligent writers that have embraced and applied
digital platforms to awaken and encourage others in
the African diaspora to spread their digital wings and
write. The storytellers of the past have grown and adapted
to the Bloggers, Vbloggers, Podcasters, Facebook Live
and Instagram Live visionaries building, creating, designing
and posting content that influences thought not just
emotions.
Stated by Soyinka, “when Africans learn the power they
have in their hands in writing, they can influence their
communities and make important and needed changes
because they will have a voice that others can hear and
follow.”
Writing is a grassroots process that builds knowledge in
Africans of all ages and can influence generations. The
educational process is key because as can be seen in Africa
it is dangerous to allow your colonizers to educate your
children. Their goals are not the goals of those being
oppressed. The goal of the oppressor is the keep the
oppressed ignorant. So that their resources can be drained
dry before the oppressed realize what is happening
to their lands, to their people and their very existence.
Stated by Prof. William Jackson of My Quest to Teach
“If we (Blacks) are not speaking for ourselves or writing
for ourselves, someone else is going to describe who we
are, where we came from and ultimately where we are going.”
This creates identity problems because those that are doing
the writing are not looking through the eyes of those being
written about. The people are not seen as people they are
seen as little things with no value, as Chinua Achebe states,
“as funny things.”
Too many stories are wrong in their direction to offer solutions
to issues that Africans are experiencing. Africans must be able
to tell their own stories because there is a story to tell…..
“Your pen has to be on fire.” Chinua Achebe
Resources:
How many people use social media in Africa?
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/13/africa/africa-social-media-consumption/
BBC Africa
https://www.youtube.com/user/bbcafrica
10 Best African Speakers
https://www.africa.com/ted-global-2017-meet-the-10-africans-on-the-list-of-speakers/

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September 11, 2017

STEM and its Influence in Africa Students

STEM and its Influence in Africa Students
by William Jackson STEM/STEAM Advocate
Twitter @wmjackson
As more students become interested in dynamic careers that
require skills that apply Science Technology Engineering
and Math African nations have begun to accept the growing
STEM educational opportunities that men and women are
providing in their respective nations. STEM and STEAM
are applied educational initiatives that have a foundation
in the scientific models, but integrate hands-on learning,
team work, building leadership skills and incorporate
higher order and critical thinking skills.

Africa rich in natural resources is increasing its STEM and
STEAM opportunities to increase generational opportunities
to contribute to the growth in economics, commerce, education
and global trade that will benefit and increase Africa’s
influence globally. Africa can not continue to rely on foreign
investments only that place it deeper and deeper in debt to
others that in many cases still do not respect the African
citizen and their generational place in building Africa,
their homeland.

The more African’s are involved in STEM and STEAM the more
they can assure they will have a stake in how their nations
and continent are growing and influential in the diverse
markets and even foreign investments by outside nations.
“I believe more women should be in STEM roles because
of the message it sends to younger girls. Some of the
girls think they can’t because they haven’t really
seen a lot of women who do the jobs they want to do.”
Leticia Oppong shares her journey from being an intern
to a field engineer at GE Africa.
Statements made by Leticia Oppong ring a new bell of change
for girls that in the past have not been included in
the educational engagement and empowerment of STEM
that requires hands-on learning, experimentation and even
mentors. There are growing numbers of African women
that are role models and mentors ready to share their
knowledge and experiences to build future “Agents of STEM.”

Developing the necessary critical and higher order thinking
skills that are applied to problem solving and even complex
thinking in the development of new ways to harness
natural sources of energy and exploration in new areas
of engineering and tech that are needed
to forge Africa as a global influencer.

The growing news reports in Africa.com and other media are
showing that STEM and STEAM are being celebrated to inspire
boys and girls that they can be whatever they dream. The
resources and people are available to help them move from
dreams to reality to the implementation of their developing
skills and talents.

There are Nigerian robotics entrepreneurs who are founding
new robotic companies like Surrogate Robotics Nigeria.
“I thought if you start when you’re really young to find
models to solve real world problems using robotics and
artificial intelligence, when you get older you’ll have
that confidence to approach problem solving.”
Christian Chime – Surrogate Robotics Nigeria
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/robots-giving-head-start-on-stem/

The key parts of STEM and STEAM are solving real world
problems that help to build the continent and build the
confidence of rising youth, teens and young adults who
are excited about the ability to create change.

The building of critical thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs,
and inventors in Africa will build the continent’s economic
structure to engage more individuals that have the
knowledge and understanding to attack the challenges that
have plagued Africa and meet future challenges.
African higher educational institutions now see their
responsibilities in building new generation of STEM innovators.
Educational institutions are being held accountable in adapting
their instruction to address the need for students to be
prepared as future STEM advocates and leaders.

Even in countries like Somalia the rise of innovation hubs
https://qz.com/1071505/
irise-hub-the-first-innovation-hub-in-somalia-has-opened-in-mogadishu/
making digital waves across a country devastated by wars and
poverty. Integrating the #SomaliaRising hashtag to show the
growth of collaboration and connections.
Founder Abdihakim Ainte, “iRise,” states, “there’s an increased
need for these kinds of spaces in order to realize the full
potential of Somalia’s technology sector.”
The vision is bright for the growth of technology and the
building of hubs that encourage and support new ways of
applying, integrating, creating and building an avenue
that supports innovation.

One of the dynamic aspects of tech integration is cell phone
technology that allows for communication and access to global
resources. This is allowing young entrepreneurs to share their
knowledge and build connections that encourage the creation
of new companies and business initiatives.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM, STEMsquared and other related initiatives
are empowering, Africans with the platforms and tools needed
to make their dreams realities and to be the future employers
that create wealth and economic, educational and generational
progress and stability.

Resources:
Somalia just unveiled its first tech innovation hub
by Abdi Latif Dahir
September 07, 2017 Quartz africa
Twitter: @qzafrica

Robots are Giving Nigerian Children a Head-Start on STEM
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/robots-giving-head-start-on-stem/

NGOs Focusing on STEM Skills Development in Africa
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/ngos-focusing-on-stem-skills/

WAAW Foundation
Working to Advance African Women (WAAW)
Lagos-headquartered company inspires African women to be innovators.

Her2Voice
Her2Voice was founded in 2013 by six Rwandan women who share the
same vision of fighting for gender equality and inspiring girls.

@iLabAfrica
Located at Kenya’s Strathmore University, @iLabAfrica
Research and incubation facility that promotes technological
innovation and supports entrepreneurship programmes.

The Visiola Foundation
Mentors young girls and women in the STEM fields to create a
generation of leaders who will help transform African economies.

GirlHype
Girlhype has reached more than ten thousand girls and
introduced them to opportunities in computing and engineering.

JJiguene Tech Hub
Established in 2007 with the aSenegal’s first technology hub
run by and for women. Jjiguene means “woman” in Wolof, the
most widely spoken language in the country.
Addressing the shortage of ICT skills in Ghana.

October 1, 2016

Africans Start to Hashtag and Google Yourselves Part 1

african
Africans Start to Hashtag and Google Yourselves
William Jackson, M.Ed.
@wmjackson
Edward Waters College
Educational Technology and Social Media
#MyQuestToTech

The elevation of Africans having access to the
Internet is increasing the digital footprint of
those denied access to information for years.
Internet access supplied by providers is allowing
people in cities, villages and towns unprecedented
access to information.

Africans are embracing their Afrinerdiness
(African Nerds) that encourages global collaboration,
cross cultural connections, access to entertainment
media, and educational resources never seen before.
There is so much digital eye candy that African teens
and young adults need to be cautious of the glitz and
glamour of global content.
As Africans grow in engagement, their words
will have new meaning in the global context of their
digital content that will expand. The perceptions
they create will define them, the digital ether can
quickly and unmercifully absorb the
attentions of Africans and present a unfathomable
world of cultural.

africa_google

Googling will have a new meaning for Africans,
their created content is fresh, unfiltered by world
exposure and lack of  Internet etiquette and guidelines
in some cases. African children are in many ways no
different than European, Asian or American, many
want their content to go viral, with the potential of
making them instant superstars and celebrities.

African parents like others from around the world
must be very cautious of their children’s access to
online content because it can literally be addicting
and life changing. Unfiltered access to the Internet
in some cases may be a Pandora box because African
children like those of other nations may not
inappropriate content being created and read
or viewed.

hashtags

For African parents to keep up with their children
they should Hashtag and Google their children
regularly. To digitally follow them, not stalk but
check to make sure they are not being lead or
drawn into dangerous digital territories.

African parents must be educated on setting
boundaries for their families in the absence of
local, national and continental laws safeguarding
children from predators, stalkers, scammers and
even terrorists. As a professor teaching
Educational Technology and Social Media safety
in higher education, youth, teens and even
young adults do not understand the dangers of
posting to much information online about
themselves, their families and even their
ideologies related to religion, sex and education.

There are still parts of Africa that are not and
may not embrace the ideas of freedom of speech,
and open society to information and even the
freedom of girls and women accessing
educational resources. Educational institutions
across Africa are going to have to develop
policies and procedures to make sure all
students no matter their religious background,
cultural upbringing, economic status, political
status and even mobility will have to have
equitable access and support.

As a parent of two I demand equal educational
resources for my daughter like my son. My
daughters value is just as important as my son
from elementary to university levels.
As an educator I have equal expectations of success
for my male and females students. My educational
diversity is that I teach on the elementary and
college levels and see all sides of educational
success and the results of educational failure by
lack of involvement by parents.

290982

The development of policies, procedures and
practices cannot be made by one entity, it must
be inclusive of Internet Service Providers,
educational institutions, departments of
government and even involve African parental
groups because  they are the grassroots of
addressing issues and concerns.

There must be further opportunities to teach
parents about the online world so they can monitor
their children through Googling and Hashtags.
Many in government and business are of the
opinion that it is too early to address these issues,
I say there is not a level to early to empower parents
to teach their kids and to be  cautious and aware
of their safety.
Just as in the United States, I travel to teach
parents about Social Media Safety, Etiquette,
prevention of cyberbullying,  cyberstalking,
Sexting and other online activities are creating
social issues that have direct influence in the
social and educational order for families.

google

For too long Europeans have tried to determine
what is best for African people without asking
them, Internet access creates a  platform where
education is for everyone – equally.
The power of Google searches, Hashtags,
Branding, Marketing,  collaboration and even
association has a powerful place in global
communities. African parents learn to
Google their children,and Hashtag them.

hashtags2

Part II Suggestions for African Parents
When Monitoring Their Children Online

marcus

Hashtags
The Africa the media never shows
#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

Twitter
https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou?src=hash

Elle Decoration
http://elledecoration.co.za/theafricathemedianevershowsyou-2/

The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/jun/30/the-africa-the-media-never-shows-you-in-pictures

Blogging about Africa
https://blog.fh.org/2015/07/theafricathemedianevershowsyou/

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