Finally the interns arrived in the middle of a camp we were playing so I was able to go into the cyber to set up. Charles was surprised to see me, and I was surprised to see that all the cyber was filled with clients on the computers. Although I confirmed on Saturday with him about the camp, he was confused and thought I was going to “call him to confirm” so luckily, he really likes YAN and what we do and he secretly went into the backroom to ‘disconnect’ the internet so all of his clients would leave and the students could come in.
After the interns completed the game and were waiting for the cyber to clear out, they went over the rules/regulations of the camp, expectations of participants and talked more about the itinerary and YAN in general. By that time, we had 8 participants. We played a name game before entering the cyber and quickly began our lesson: introduction to modern technology. For the majority of our lessons, we stick pretty close to the lessons throughout the year but only kept it to the necessary things.
We then moved onto setting up emails – this was simplified because we made all students choose Gmail – there wasn’t an option of YAHOO. I was able to use the projector to show students exactly where to click and what to type. The interns circulated to check and answer questions.
After lunch, they started come up with up topics to research. We had 9 students who chose a total of 2 research topics. This is the full list of ideas they had, the 2 bolded ones are the chosen ones:
Low soil fertility/low agricultural activity
Bad customs and transitions in Cameroon (it ended up also including the good traditions which should be promoted more to the youth)
Shortage of Water in Buea
Homosexuality and Lesbianism
Black inferiority/White superiority
Unbalanced development in Cameroon
High birth rate
The students went into their respective research groups and begin their ‘web based research lesson”. These lesson were so much easier having a projector. I could just explain what was expected from students while showing them exactly where they could do what I was asking them to do on the screen.
After just over an hour of research, groups chose one person to create the website. This was to be the person who had the most research created already. Using the projector, I showed the 2 students step by step how to create a new website on Wordpress. After the websites were created I passed out the homework which titled “Preparing to make your YAN website” and included a small blurb about themselves, their topic and 7 research facts. The interns played a “end of the day” game with them called Dragon Tagon which requires every student to answer a question relating to the material they were taught today before they are excused to go home! They laughed and were really challenged for the activity. It was a good way to show what they had retained and where they were still a bit confused.
All students remained attentive the entire class. It was a great change to the last few months teaching at Lycee and GHS. The students were quite shy and were really difficult to pull out of their shells. Students in Cameroon, and most of Africa from what I have noticed really are not encouraged to really guess, or try or do anything.
Day 2 started just like day one: as I entered the cyber 35 min before students were to arrive, Charles had set the 7 of them up on computers already! While I set up I had everyone practice signing into their emails, write me and email, and then continue their research. I told the students “Tell me why you wanted to join YAN” in their email and here are their responses:
There were several complications but still, it was a fabulous day which ended very successful. First, the Power Point for Photography, our first lesson, wasn’t downloading properly or fast enough. I decided to skip it for now and move to podcasting so that it would have some time to download. Well, that didn’t seem to be working because 40 min into the lesson when the students started actually working on their script in groups, it had cancelled due to an error. So, I put the interns in charge as I went to my house to collect the soft copy from my computer. The students did an “emotional voice” activity once they had completed writing and assigning who says what. This activity is funny as well as educational. Interns emphasized the concept that the way their voice is (tone, tempo, etc) when speaking can play an important role in the message you are trying to give listeners. They gave examples of saying a simple sentence in 3 or 4 different emotions. Then, each student chose a sentence which they would say twice with 2 different emotions.
Charlie helped me convert the powerpoint and finally we were able to start the photography lesson. Since it switched places with podcasting, we were only 40 minutes behind schedule. On the 5th slide of the Powerpoint, the power went out!!! So I orally went over a few more things then I decided it was best if the students took their lunch and came back to the classroom and waited for the power to come back to finish the presentation. As they ate, they took notes on photography and soon went outside for their scavenger hunt after they finished their quiz. Next on the agenda was Facebook – everyone’s favorite!! We had some trouble setting up accounts due to the requirement of cell phones. I had to run to the roadside and buy two SIM cards for Facebook accounts. A random person who works next door allowed me to also use her phone number so finally everyone was able to create their accounts. But, soon after the accounts were created – some were disabled. I attempted to retrieve them and even emailed Facebook but we couldn’t spend too much time on Facebook as we had other more pressing lessons.
The students then went back into their groups to work on their video proposal. Once the lesson was given and the worksheet reviewed for everyone, they got to work on their proposal with the interns making their rounds helping them with ideas and to be sure things were complete. Once the interns approved a proposal, I then looked at it. Once I approved the proposal, they moved onto the storyboard. This lesson was quite short due to being behind schedule. No one had time to start their storyboard because we had to jump into the “Modeling Advocacy” lesson plan. This was even a short lesson as well due to time. The “Modeling Advocacy” worksheet and the storyboard were homework for all students. I divided it up like this: each member of the group (there were 4 and 5 members of the two research groups) had one section of the storyboard to complete. We had: introduction, body (interview), body (group discussion) and conclusion). Then every student had to come up with TWO forms of advocacy at each of the 4 levels (individual, community, national and international) which we discussed in class. This was due the following day when students would start their filming. Before students left, I collected yesterdays homework so that I could type it at home to ease the workload of the students and make things go a bit smoother when uploading things onto their websites. Dragon Tagon was played again and the students were excused.
Posted by Erin Wildermuth.