ICT4DMZ – Course with students about software concept development

After the project ICT4DMZ started in July 2012 – we wrote about it in an older blogpost – we are still on it and right now; Anders and Florian are on the spot for another work package.

This work package is about planning projects that meet the demand of the broader population, while at the same time offering a practical guide to students how to get from a project idea to a software concept. The two software concepts developed in this course will be implemented in the coming work package – in February 2014.

So the course started on Monday with 12 students from 2nd and 3rd year informatics and 2 people from 3rd and 4th year geograpy studies with GIS background. This is a group picture of the students and Florian.

So far we’ve initiated two great ideas which we will develop into a concept:

– Safe/Beautiful Maputo
A service which provides information for places in Maputo. Users and officials from different institutions can share information if places are dangerous, safe, interesting for tourists or have any other special characteristic and how they can be reached. Tourists and citizens of Maputo can use this information to plan activities or their daily trips.

– Complaint Center
This application should provide an interface between customers that have bought a product and want to place a complaint and companies that should care for this complaint. Finally the rating of companies due to their response to complaints will also help future customers decide where to buy a product.

Additionally, we introduced the students to a voluntary excercise called “MyMaputo”, which is an introduction to open source web filmmaking. It could later be applied for client demos of the finalized software concept.

Of course we were also heartly welcomed by our project partners at UEM. We met with the professors Emilio Mosse and Andrei Shindyapin and their staff and they already showed us around in this beautiful city.

We were positively surprised to find out that just across our office is the Centro de Informatica – CAICC (http://www.caicc.org.mz) which includes an ICT4D department. We got in contact with Polly Gaster and Luís Neves, who were kind enough to brief us on their mision and current activities.

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ICT4DMZ – Course with students about software concept development
was published on 21.08.2013 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Keta project – looking back

As already mentioned in the last post, our in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School is over now and Margarete is back in Austria again. So it’s time for a sum-up and some lessons learned.

Here’s a group picture of all the participants.

The participants of the group have received their certificates (posing in ECDL T- shirts, a gift from the Austrian Computer Society, http://www.ocg.at)

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School

Keta Senior High Technical School is a very large school with about 80 teachers and more than 2,000 pupils (due to Margarete’s informations). Some of the teachers participated in our program – it was a voluntary decision to expand their knowledge about information and communication technologies.

In the beginning it was necessary to find out what the teachers wanted to learn – considering the different skills levels of the participants

  • figuring out what the best outcome will be
  • every day Margarete assessed the interest of the particpants  and adjusted her program to the audience

Currently there has been a government program put into place where teachers are given laptops to use them in their courses. The timing of this government program fits nicely with our project.

The projector donated by Fritz, another of our members, was very helpful during the course.

Generally the feedback of the teachers was very good . They expressed their appreciation to learn more about ICT and digital literacy. The participants enhanced their ICT skills during the two weeks course and they developed new ideas for their class teaching. Different methods of pedagogy in class teaching (Ghana / European practice) were figured out.

The topics covered in the course included

  • basic ICT literacy
  • usage of MS Office programs such as MS Word, MS Excel and MS Powerpoint
  • basic internet-skills –how to use internet for better learning and teaching good practice skills (e.g. evaluation of websites)
  • how to enhance teaching and learning using digital devices
  • creating a digital portfolio (as an example for future teaching experience)

Challenges with the lab

  • internet connection only on the last day
  • PCs were no too well maintained – many disconnected parts & the working ones were full of viruses
  • power outages – but only 1 full day course had to be cancelled

Headmaster Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu was involved and is very positive and forward-thinking. He is very much interested in the potentials of ICT in teaching and learning.

Ministry

The day before departure Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu and Margarete met Mr. Abu Stephen.

  • Mr. Abu is Deputy Director-General & Director at the Basic Education Division and reponsible for ICT in education
  • Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu & Mr. Abu are looking forward to further activities
  • Keta School could become a pioneer project

It was a very interesting meeting, Mr. Abu already answered to a mail of Margarete – looking for further cooperation

Margarete also met with Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, country manager of the Right To Play project who handed over Margarete a present on behalf of the Keta School alumnis to Margarete – a wooden stool with the sign of Keta School carved in.

Planning

We should continue with this project and plan for a next course, maybe continuing with the same group to widen their experience and build up a Trainee group, or maybe same content with another group of teachers

Organisation of the course and Margarete’s arrival and stay in Keta was perfectly fine, the mobile internet (MTN) worked perfect and and allowed her to stay connceted with Florian and Fritz in Austria and Worlali in the Netherlands.

Margarete will try to get Gameli and Eldad involved in an online project in Graz – already
talked with doctor father about this.

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Finally we want to express our sincere thanks especially to Gameli Adzaho and to Charles Amega-Selorm who organised everything on the spot and headmaster Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu. It was very kind of him to offer Keta Senior High Technical School to help make this project a success.

We’re looking forward to working with you soon again!

Big thanks and appreciation also to our member Worlali Senyo who initiated the project and virtually kept in touch with everybody during the whole period.

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Keta project – looking back
was published on 06.10.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course

The first part of our project in Keta with Margarete Grimus holding the in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School has finished now. Margarete has done a great job in these almost three weeks and met some interesting people on the spot – so the next step is to assess the outcomes and possible ways to go further. From what Margarete is writing, however, there will definitely be a next part and we will continue the project.

So before we post a summary and our lessons learned, here’s some pictures of the course:

Make sure you check back soon, not to miss our summary.

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News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course
was published on 25.09.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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News from our Keta project after a week course

As already announced, since 6 September our member Margarete Grimus is in Ghana and holding the in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School since a week already.

Now here’s a short sum up of what she writes about how everything is going:

The course is running alright, we start every day at 8 AM until 1 PM officially – but so far we never stopped before 1:30 PM. […] There are plenty of computers in the computer room, but only 5 are working and they regrettably have viruses. Also, we don’t have access to internet. I bought an own internet stick myself on the first day and I’m using that one. There are 12 participants of the course with very different levels of skills, but the spirit is very good. […]

From next week on we’ll only start at 3 PM because regular school is commencing.The fact that we don’t have internet is quite a constraint in the course contents. Also I cant use the questionnaire I developed upfront. What’s very good is that two thirds of the participants have their own laptops with them. […]

It’s also very interesting to find out about the didactical aspects, which I find very important. There’s something new coming to my mind every day. […] The participants have a portfolio where they are summing up down every day what they learned and everybody is very interested and motivated. […]

We also have some pictures of Margarete at the school and with her hosts which you see above.

So, let’s hope internet will be available this week and that there’s a lot going forward at the course!

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News from our Keta project after a week course
was published on 16.09.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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Delayed start for our ICT training for teachers in Ghana

Because of a medical issue we regrettably had to postpone our in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana. Due to our initial plan the course should have started already, but we had to delay the start for two weeks. We’ve been in touch with everybody and have our man Gameli Adzahoon on the spot, so everything is sorted out.

Margarete Grimus will be in Ghana now from 6 September on and will probably split the course on two parts – but Margarete and the participants will plan for this when she’s there.

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Delayed start for our ICT training for teachers in Ghana
was published on 28.08.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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New project: In-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana

We’re proud to announce a new project, which will already start in about two weeks time!

Our members Margarete Grimus and Worlali Senyo have joined up with Gameli Adzaho and Charles Amega-Selorm in Ghana to provide an In-service training for teachers in digital media skills for teaching and learning in public schools in Ghana. The one-month course will already begin in two weeks and will take place at Keta Senior High Technical School. Margarete Grimus, who has extensive knowledge in teaching and adult education in ICT will hold the course and meet with several people on the spot to explore possibilities for further projects in this sector.

The main objective of this pilot project is to equip 15 teachers in public schools with skills in internet research and presentation to support their teaching and learning and ultimately extend it across public schools in Ghana.

I think it’s good timing for our project to start now as Ghana has expressed their intentions to use ICT in education a while ago already and confirmed so lately. We hope that the pilot picks up and want to enable the 15 participants to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues – literally teaching the teachers.

Specifically, the project will:

  • train teachers how to use computers for the learning in classroom for teaching, lesson notes preparation, and for general research
  • provide teachers with skills to use the internet as a resource to improve their teaching (e.g. how to access it, integrating it in class teaching to improve learning, internet literacy and internet safety)
  • guide teachers to identify good practice for Maths and Science teaching (in Junior and Senior High schools)
  • acquire presentation skills as a way to enhance their lesson delivery to improve learning outcomes in the classroom
  • introduce basic skills in research and statistics for evaluation of class/school-projects and scientific writing [from the project proposal]

To hear Gameli Adzaho talk in more detail about the project, check out this link to Coders4Africa Podcast.

We’ll keep you posted on the project and upload news and pictures here as soon as it has started.

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New project: In-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana
was published on 08.08.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Updates on the Zanzicode Basic Course

Updates on the Zanzicode Basic Course by our assistant Fereji N. Fereji – taken from the official Zanzicode blog.

The Zanzicode Basic Course, where students learn how to program for the web, is getting underway at the Zanzicode class in Stonetown, Zanzibar. It begun in November 2011 and will last for at least six months.

The course started at a very basic level with lessons about HTML, followed by lessons about CSS to help those students who did not have any knowledge of building websites before. This helped all students of the class to be at a suitable level for learning web programming. On February 24, all students were already capable of creating professional static web pages.

Next, the web programming lessons – the main topic of the Zanzicode course – begun. The first scripting language to be taught was JavaScript. This language was a little bit complicated for the students probably because it was their first programming language, but the more they understand, the more they become enthusiastic about it.

On March 23, students were aware about variable program flow and such. Following that, they have turned to the PHP language have been showing good progress. However, according to the lecturer they still need to show even more effort if they want to be successful programmers.

The students seems to be very serious about their lessons due to the fact that some of them spend their extra time working with computers in the class room even after the lesson hours, and they ask different questions to each other and to the lecturer. Some of them ask questions about more advanced technologies like Ajax at their extra time. This indicates that they take their time to learn and that they like what they do.

The students now have shown improved discipline as they clean the classroom in every morning and when they leave the classroom they put laptops at a suitable place in a proper way.

General attendance has been very good in the past couple of months despite the fact that some individual students have shown poor attendance which resulted into the dropping out of one of them who was absent in the class for many days without any specific reason. On the other hand, the rain season, which has just begun, to some extent increases the number of absent students in the classroom. The most poor students attendance day was Wednesday, April 13, where only five students were in the class room. This is because of heavy rainfall in that morning.

To sum up, the Zanzicode Basic Course is running smoothly and we don’t have any serious problems. Nearly everything has been under control and we expect to see more development in terms of program understanding, in terms of discipline and in terms of students attendance.

Stay tuned for more news!

Best,
Fereji N. Fereji.

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Updates on the Zanzicode Basic Course
was published on 30.04.2011 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Zanzicode Incubator Course to be started beginning of 2011

ICT4D.at is happy to announce that we are about to start a second course within our Zanzicode project. The Incubator Course – a joint venture of ICT4D.at with Chembe Ventures – will run in parallel to our initial initiative, which we will refer to as Basic Course from now on.

The aim of the program is to provide talented young would-be entrepreneurs with the
tools they need to launch and maintain their own web ventures.

Here is the Incubator Course description as stated on the Zanzicode website:

The 12 month Incubator Course measures up to the entrepreneurial spirit of graduates of the Basic Course. Strong programming skills and the goal to set up an own real world online business are prerequisites for this course.
Students are guided through the process of realizing a business, from the idea to the running software and the working micro enterprise. We also stick to Open Source Software, but we optionally switch to Java and Google technologies as industrial standards. After the course the students will be owners of their own business. The course hosts 4 students.

Having conversations with our graduates and students, we got excellent feedback about their progress within the web development community in Zanzibar. The most rewarding statements for us are that graduates are working in the software industry and are keen to move on with their skills. They are searching for ways to educate themselves further. So the idea of an advanced course came up. We proposed approaches and got the commitment from possible future students.

After the experiences we gained so far, we agreed that the students should work on one big ongoing project during the course. The discussion with Sean Murphy (We got to know him at Africa Gathering April 2009 in London) led to the resolution that the best idea would be that students should not only develop plain software solutions, but also business models around the software and then eventually – at the end of the course – become business owners and run their venture. Sean offered to substantially fund this course through the company he is running, Chembe Ventures, which is specialized in seed funding and organizing tech events for African IT startups.

So after successfully acquiring complementary funding, the budget is set and the agreement with Chembe Ventures is signed. We are hereby going to the public and are very happy to announce this.

We are open for applications for this course via office (AT) zanzicode.com and are happy to send out detailed informations upon request. Applicants should not hesitate to call Salum Rashid (Zanzicode Lecturer) on his Zantel line: +255 777 755443 to get the details in Swahili.

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Zanzicode Incubator Course to be started beginning of 2011
was published on 03.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under east africa
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First funding for Zanzicode!

Our project Zanzicode is a course on web application programming for the urban youth of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Our aim is to strengthen the local IT capacities and provide young people who might not be able to afford it otherwise with additional education.

It is the successor of our Zanzibits Support project, which four motivated young finished successfully at the end of last year.

One of these alumni – Salum – already had some additional experience and showed so much talent in teaching himself that we decided that we would hand over the teaching to him and concentrate on organizational issues and applications for funding. Furthermore we searched for organizations in the area to improve the project and better adapt it to local conditions, and have found a promising partner with Aidnet Zanzibar.

Now we have started the course with twelve new students and are happy to announce the first funding we received – the Austria Development Agency (ADA) is taking over more than half of the project costs for the first year.

We are very happy and we’ll do our best to make this project a success.

For Zanzicode itself, we are always looking for partnerships and collaborations with NGOs and the private and public sector – so if you happen to reside in the area, our project description sounds interesting for you and you think you can contribute something, just contact us!

Also, if you too want to support the project financially, please donate here. Thank you!

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First funding for Zanzicode!
was published on 06.05.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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Pioneers of Change

Just recently, via Thomas Strasser, I found out about Pioneers of Change – a coaching program for young Austrians with a vision to change the world, organized by Plenum.

It’s all about sustainability, ecology, positive change and such things. They have a great network with other organizations such as SocialBusinessDay, Weisssee – Sustainability meets Entrepreneurship, The Hub and many more. They offer a program with interesting lecturers, teaching the participants about project design and management, fund raising and public relations.

I applied with ICT4D.at as my project and was taken! I’m really looking forward now to the eight modules – first one already starting next week. I expect from the program to learn to manage ICT4D.at even better and get some projects in the ICT4D context going. Also I am certain that this will initiate a diverse networks of people with sustainable initiatives working for a better world – social entrepreneurs if you will.

Thomas was also taken – same as Georg Urschitz who together with Thomas built up the IT course at Don Bosco School Sunyani.

So – great opportunity, great company, looking forward to it and I’ll keep you updated on my advances.

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Pioneers of Change
was published on 25.02.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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