My Quest To Teach

December 30, 2016

Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017

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Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Twitter @wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach

“What should we be doing going forward?”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
There are millions of potential brother and sister bloggers
in Africa, diverse people of color and culture, yearning to
tell their stories, developing and waiting to share their
Brands and expand their opportunities to collaborate in
education, business,commerce, finance and global
entrepreneurship.
This writing is a contribution of knowledge to share and
hopefully motivate and inspire Africans desiring to Blog,
Microblog,  Videoblog, Podcast and create dynamic content
within their communities. Their (African) voices and stories
are important and should be shared on a global platform of
respect and collaboration on dynamic Social Media platforms.
To represent the African diaspora and historical significance
of the art of storytelling.
What better way than to share with the world, to create unique
content that is just as diverse as the most culturally rich
continent in the world, Africa. I encourage Africans of all ages
to write their stories, to use their creativity to share innovative
ideas and create content that bridges generations and cultures.
The ability to create unique and transformative content that
can connect and unify their continent.

Following the literary talents of Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa
Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Ama
Ata Aidoo, Dinaw Mengestu, Africans are historic creators
of stories’, poets, and diverse content creators.
African children are learning that through education
they can contribute to the world in ways not available
decades ago.
Colonialism attempted to silence the voices of Africans,
it failed because the voices of Africans can be heard
whispered on the flowing waters and in the air currents,
stories that travel through the trees, and the paths both
dirt and paved across the continent.
Social Media platforms and tools are allowing African
boys and girls to share their stories with the global
community, bringing attention to their lives right from
their mouths and to the ears of billions globally.

kids

As an educator and parent I want to encourage African
children, teens, youth and young adults to share their
stories through the diverse tools that blogging has to
offer and enhance their language abilities, “language
is the way to memory.”
Prof. Wm Jackson #MyQuestToTeach
Do not allow others to tell your stories as was done
during the centuries of slavery, oppression and
colonization.
In the spirit of Chinua Achebe share your stories and
let the world hear you. Chinua Achebe the “Father of
African Literature” has stated many times that the
minds of the people were influenced by the
colonization of Europeans.
That African writers need to be activist in their
writing, to challenge the thinking of Africans, to
encourage intellectualism and activism even still
today.
The thinking and the writing of Africans are
challenging the “emperors” way of thinking,
“because the storyteller has a different agenda”
than the emperor, “Conversation with
Chinua Achebe 2012.”

shutterstock_128237849-620x350

In many ways Africans have a responsibility to
share their stories and share their voices, what
better way to tell truth to life what Europeans have
tried to deny for decades. There was a denial
of building of thought leaders and intellectuals in
Africa during colonial rule. The independence of
Ghana in 1957 and subsequently other African
countries allowed for the potential of building new
intellectuals that in turn will teach others. Sharing
the value of their voices just as Achebe, Soyinka
and others have done, storytelling is a powerful
tool to build cultural pride and dignity.
The 20th and 21st century have opened new ways
for Africans to soar, to embrace the winds of
change that allow for the chains of colonialism to
dissipate. Achebe shares that Africans have the
right to share their expressions. No matter the
medium, the tools, or the platform.
The encouragement of children is important because
as Achebe says that “children can fly,” and should
be encouraged to.
Achebe states that he writes because he likes to
write, I feel the same passion. To share not just
stories, but information to encourage people to think,
contemplate, dream, consider the possibilities to grow
beyond the limited imaginations of those that
do not respect the diversity and the heritage of African
nations or the diaspora.
Africans must tell their stories, share their voices and
build a new dynamic identity for the 21st century.
Africans are more than a people to be colonized and ruled.
They are a people that have passions, expectations, and
dreams, this should be shared with the world.
African voices can influence geopolitical decisions that
will take Africa into the 22nd century and beyond.
Africans as a collective can influence the gaps in education,
in commerce, in the innovation of technology and the
opportunities to achieve more to the benefits of Africa and
African people, not just people from other countries.
54 countries united to solve their own problems can
achieve great things if they unite and speak united. Africa
united as a strong united force to make positive and
transformative change.
These powerful words from stated that, “no foreigners
have ever developed a country, the nationals have developed
their own country.”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

3

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

South African Bloggers
http://weblogforlove.com/

Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

African on the Blog
http://www.africaontheblog.com

 

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/

September 21, 2016

Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change

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Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
william.jackson@ewc.edu
@wmjackson – Twitter

“Your content is the shining star that attracts and
connects people to your message.”
@sherfranklin

This quote is intended to encourage Africans that
their thoughts, experiences, and convictions to share
their story cannot stop. The opportunity to share life
and cultural experiences must be written
and blogged about to share a true story of African
people, African civilization, African culture and
African history.

Blogging opens doorways to learning encouraging
intellectual exchanges,  building thought leaders,
communities of digital cohesion and uniting
people of diversity. Unifying people even if they
have differences of  ideas, religion or philosophy,
blogging can be a connection. The  connective power
of blogging using digital tools allows Africans to
share content not just locally, but globally. There was
a time the  only stories that came from Africa where
from mainstream European media that did not share
the African story in a positive light, with the use of
Social Media and mobile technology accuracy, truth
and openness can be shared.

4

Africans like Michelle Atagana, editor of Memeburn, one
of South Africa’s leading tech blogs. Her involvement
has seen changes in the influence of writing/blogging.
Stating that, “For Africans, in terms of getting online,
I would say maybe in early 2004 and 2006, that was
the emergence of blogging,” “If you want a magic period,
I’ll say 2008 to 2009.” This shows that Africa
is not far behind in the world, there are challenges in
wired and mobile infrastructures, but this is being
addressed by collaboration with mobile
tech companies, the military and even non profit
organizations that are servicing the people not
just the corporations.

“Africans cannot afford a poverty of thought or
conviction.” Unknown

3

The ability to share real time content, not just written
text, but photos, video and multimedia elements makes
a profound statement of truth and reality in Africa.
American Social Media is based on the “social” aspects
of communication. The day to day events that
Americans go through, in  Africa the scope is much
different, content ranges from economic,
educational, political and cultural exchanges that
influence the dynamics of African life. Youth, teens
and young adults that have the opportunity to access
Wifi or have service providers emulate Americans of
similar age with access to music, sports and
entertainment. The dynamics of Social Media and
blogging are similar, but the foundation is what is
happening directly to the mental, physical and
emotional well being of people in cities, towns and
even the country side of Africa.

E-commerce is being affected, the power and influence
of online information is influencing economic markets.
Consumers are able to make choices that they
did not have before. To purchase locally and globally
in markets once closed to Africans. Business owners
like Mike Saunders, CEO of South African digital
marketing company, Digitlab has stated that, “If you
have something of  value to add to a market, to an
industry or to consumers and you share that value
with people (through Social Media), you can become
very influential with people.”

During this growth in infrastructure, mobile devices,
and even the educational levels to use diverse
technologies Africans are being exposed to a world
where they can have instant connection with the world.
Because of the Social Media world opinions will change
and the mindsets and perceptions of African people
will change, the perceptions of African people will
have to change to allow a more inclusive
and equitable opportunities in commerce, education,
politics and other key areas of growth. Blogging
allows the sharing of ideas not just in text on diverse
digital platforms, thus creating a powerful tool
that influences thoughts.

2

Africans need to continue to create their own content
because Africa needs to continue to grow itself outside
of European colonization. The physical
colonization has changed, next is the continued
psychological ending of being colonized for centuries.
Africans must continue to find their Voice, share their
stories and build a foundation on intellectualism while
building each generation to embrace, strengthen and
flex their intellect, their creativity and develop through
blogging innovative ideas from African young people.

Everything in Africa is a powerful source of content to
be created by Africans of all ages, generations,
educational, economic, cultural and political background.
From business and commerce, industry to education,
movies to mythology, history and culture, music
and the arts, all are fuel for the fire of creativity and
innovation in blogging. The higher education system
of Africa has a daunting task to build
new and empowered educational leaders that will
continue to move Africa into the 21st century and
beyond. Education is the key to allowing Africans
to apply the multi-talented skills needed to forge a
new path. African higher education, must work with
high schools and lower educational levels to prepare
them to be future  students in the institutions of
higher learning or vocational education.

Content comes in all forms so the educational
structure of Africa will have to change in order for
its students to graduate with the skills to compete
in a  global economy.

The comparison can be seen in the power of content,
how the writings of Chinua Achebe can be shared
through generations by Social Media, the sharing of
poetry and short stories by Wole Soyinka and other
African writers and story tellers.
Branding and marketing can be seen in the similar
stories of the Yoruba religion of Africa and Sango,
deity representing thunder like Thor the Norse god.
Marvel is making millions from this centuries old
story of Thor, but just imagine if Sango
was used first, how Africa could benefit from the
globalized marketing and commerce.
The cognitive and emotional influence to African
boys and girls to read an African story that shows
their continent on a global platform and
encouraging reading, literature, cultural pride
and the need for the growth in writing/blogging
by more  African boys and girls.

wole

There are millions of stories waiting to be told
in Africa, it is up to African  children, teens, young
adults and even adults to start blogging to tell their
stories before others grab them and tell a different
version and reap the harvest.

African’s have been denied for to long to tell their
stories, now there is a platform
and tools to amplify their voice to enable unity,
collaboration and cooperation.
Africans have a important story to tell and
blogging is the platform to do it.

Resources by William Jackson
Silicon Africa
http://www.siliconafrica.com/top-tech-blogs-in-africa/

Chinua Achebe Writers Can Be Activists
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/chinua-achebe-writers-can-be-activists/

Colonization Continues
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-colonization-of-african-americans-continues-in-america/

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