Happy New Year YANers!!
2013 has come and gone but YAN is here to stay!

This year, YAN welcomed back its students with a fun and interactive 'scavenger hunt'. The purpose was to not only allow the students to review what they had learned last year, but it also helped me evaluate where their strengths and weaknesses were. At first, there was only about 5 students who showed up and I had worried that I should have posted a reminder on the school's message board. But soon, another 11 students showed up leaving only ONE absence! This was the best turn out in weeks! There were several students who had missed the final class last term, so I passed out their homework and progress slips.

Students took turns coming up to the white board and writing things that they had learned last year, for example: how to create and use an email address, how to create a website, how to do web based research. Then some students recalled the guest speakers I had come in. 

One girl recalled, "When we had your friends come in, we learned about problems in the prison and the problems with women and water."

We had 6 working computers that day so students were in groups of 2 and 3. The biggest hardship students faced was trying to send an email! After successfully signing into their email, the 'compose' screen would just not load. So we abandoned that step and moved on. Everyone had completed the scavenger hunt AND the bonus question 10min before class was over. I had each group get together and discuss where they had ended their research last year. Then as they were leaving, they wrote on the white board whether they needed to still create a website, add pages, or completed adding the information. This weekend, students will be working on these 3 activities in an extra class from 1pm-4pm on campus.

GHS Buea Town had 16 out of 19 students! But one of those 19 students had to drop the class because her father was transferred to Bamenda, so we rest at 18 students. The review/scavenger hunt went well. The internet here works fairly well the majority of the time (or at least better than at Lycee) and there are plenty of computers so each student only has one or no partners. Again, in Buea Town we started with a review of what we went over last year. The students here were very thorough in their answers.

Instead of just saying “we learned about modern technology”, one student had replied, “We watched a movie about modern technology. It taught us that Google is the largest search engine in the world. And now we have been taught how to use it! This is important because technology can solve problems. Like the doctors who use cell phones to diagnose patients.”

I was very impressed with their answers and because everyone had so much to say, this part of the class took longer than expected. I didn’t want to cut them off because everyone was giving new examples of things they had learned and participation/attention level was high.  The scavenger hunt/review worksheet was a success. Again, we left out sending an email because they were unable to load the ‘compose’ page.

Several students were unable to access there email so I decided that I would meet with each one of them one and one and set up their email step by step with them. I believe that they do not write down their password correctly, for example, they leave out the capital letters and/or add spaces when there shouldn’t be. I am meeting with these students Saturday morning at 9am at the cyber café. At 10am the rest of the students will come and we will work on creating websites and adding information. If time permits, they will open facebook pages.

The Advanced YAN class is moving along at a slower pace than I had anticipated but their motivation is undeniable. We just need to find more time to access the computer lab! I am going to request again that the Advanced YAN class works 2 days a week instead of just 1. If the internet is on our side and we are able to pick up the pace, I am sure they will be able to have a community sensitization workshop on their topic as their final project.  This Thursday, there was 5 students who came right at 3pm and another 2 came after finishing their exam. The scavenger hunt game was a breeze for these students, they were all finished within an hour and used the last hour to complete more research on their topic and start writing their blubs in preparation to make their websites.

Advanced YAN! "Madam, snap us!"