Because of the GCE registration at Lycee, the YAN club spends the first half of their class period in the 'old computer room'. This makes things especially challenging for not only the children but also for me as the teacher. The children are learning computer skills while I am re-learning how to use the computers provided in that lab which are, to say the least, very old. To avoid any wasting of time,  I went to Lycee an hour early to get the ancient computers all set up and ready to go for class. Out of 28 computers only seven would turn on and load the desktop. Seven is a perfect number because there are seven research groups!! Unfortunately none of those seven working computers had PDF readers so I was left frantically copying/pasting PDF files into word documents on my computer, re-saving them to the flash drive, and then opening them up on the computers for the kids to use for researching. Earlier this week, I had done research at my house to ease the pressure on the students. I mostly used articles that were very difficult to find so that the students wouldn't see repeated articles.

14 students out of 19 were present. Three groups (waste management, child abuse and drug abuse) were nearly finished with the research worksheets and their “YAN website preparation” worksheet so instead of researching, they peer reviewed each others blubs. The three blurbs included one about their research topic and why they wanted to do it, facts about their research topic and lastly a short blub about themselves.

By the time everyone had finished proof reading three times and making corrections it was time to move to the next computer lab. When we arrived in the other lab we had to wait a bit longer for the teachers to finish on the computers they were using. In the mean time, I went over everything that will be graded over the weekend. I used my flash drive to open up articles on non-internet computers that wouldn’t load in the other room and let three groups continue research while three groups moved towards starting their web pages. You are probably wondering, that is only six groups...what happened to the seventh? The group researching the Lack of Access to Technology wasn't present.

Today, the internet just didn't want to cooperate. The students were clicking “refresh” and “try again” attempting to get the internet to work and load the WordPress page so they could start their website for nearly 30min. While they waited, I had them read ahead on the “Web Page” document to get an idea of what they will be doing to create their website while they waited for their pages to load. Soon the end of class was reaching so the students turned off their computers and copyed the homework down. I will collect the homework on Thursday when I drop off the permission slips for their weekend class (Saturday 1-4pm). Although no one has been successful in building a website, the groups are getting some really good research in!! I can't wait to see the questions and interviews they do in the field.

Although the students in Buea Town had missed Saturday’s class due to marching practice for the arrival of President Biya, they all came on time and ready to get down to YAN business!! This class is growing on me more and more because of their eagerness to learn and willingness to work hard. As we stood outside the cyber waiting for the computers to free up, I explained what we were going to be doing for the day and passed back corrected homework. 17 out of 20 students were present and they were all working hard the entire class. Two students who had not chosen topics yet (due to being absent) so they had to choose groups today. One of them wanted to do water pollution but since there were already four in the group, I suggested that the group of five splits into two groups of two and three so that is what they did. The other student will be working on Climate Change.

For the first hour or so of class, the students researched their topics to collect general information such as simple definitions, causes, negative effects of, etc. After collecting a solid start to their topics students attempted to dig deeper into their topic by finding information pertinent to Cameroon or even Buea. This was more difficult to do than they were expecting. Since we had a lot of computers some groups of four were able to use two computers (two students on each). This was great because on one computer, I could open up the articles I had previously found at home for them while the others searched the web. The students seemed to struggle a bit with what exactly to research and how to find good websites. I had explained it to the group out loud and gave examples of things to research using current topics in the class, but they didn’t seem to be applying what I was saying. I tried going around several times to each computer and each group of students working together talking with them one and one about how they were searching their topic/specific questions. Once I sat with them and had them bounce ideas off of me and their partner, the searches were much more successful.

There were a few students, from the groups climate change and water pollution, who I had to rarely help with searching and finding good articles. They were continuously finding great resources and very relevant to Cameroon information! I love seeing my students succeed in class. When they understand the way something works or how to do things correctly, you can really see in on their face - it's as if a light bulb goes off in their head and they explain, "Yes, Madam! Like this? I understand now."