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

 

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

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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/

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