News 2002, Quarters 3 and 4
Opening of Library Home page
Prize for submitting URLs
Training of St. Joseph's Ngarenaro Secondary School teachers
Assistance to the Arusha Regional Library
The first day was used mainly to survey. We learned that people are using
the internet mostly as an tool of communication in the form of e-mail or
chatting. The crew then projected their mission to train the staff mostly
of other uses of the internet in the form of web searching for educational
material while trying to avoid bad sites;
porn sites, fights and other junk stuff on the internet.
One way is to have these
institutions, schools or organizations share their knowledge with others
to attain this goal. UAACC was the first to volunteer in this plan with
the library project.
the project plan, they had two members of the crew going every day for a
further two weeks to keep on training the staff in all possible ways of
surfing the net for educational material to finally creating a homepage
for the library computers linked with educational web pages and basic
library rules. The home page is done in a simple way with the
understanding that most people who surf the web have little or no
knowledge at all on navigating around the web. On the page are also links
to various specially selected sites that could be relevant to teachers,
students, doctors and general public educationally.
Building a Culture of Learning and Sharing… through the Internet
16 November 2002, by Charlotte Hill O’Neal
Elimu on Line (EOL), the philanthropic committee of Arusha Node Marie recently organized an excursion to the United African American Community Center (UAACC) in Imbaseni Village for representatives of several institutions in Arusha who are presently benefiting from free Internet connections granted by Arusha Node Marie (ANM). ANM is a Non-Profit Making Society offering Internet services at cost since 1994. The philanthropic services of ANM provides free Internet access to education oriented institutions and facilities in the Arusha region. The following is an account of that afternoon excursion to UAACC.
My husband, Pete O’Neal, often reminds me that several years ago, in the days when computers and the internet first made its presence known in the Arusha community, I thought all that new technology stuff was ‘no big thing’ and certainly nothing that I would have anything to do with. I have always been a pretty good typist and even in those days when I would have sore fingertips from banging out letters and articles and poetry on our manual typewriter, (with plenty of white out and reams of paper on hand), I chose not to heed my husband’s predictions that computer technology would soon change the world. I was truly blind and could not see the use of that new fangled machine called a computer!
That seems like ages ago! Now…how could I do without the ease that this technology allows me to edit my writings, twisting and turning sentences, moving whole pages around at will! It still blows my mind sometime!
Couple that with the fact that the Internet has enabled us in Tanzania and other countries in the heretofore technologically disadvantaged world, to finally begin to bridge the education/information divides that have hampered our advancement in many spheres for so long. The libraries of the world are now at our fingertips! At the click of a mouse, we can learn, at our own pace and at the time of our choosing, about any and everything from the intricacies of outer space to the anatomy of an ant!
"We must make this known to our young people, the fact that the Internet is far more than having the ability to send email messages to friends!" commented Mwalimu Lema, a teacher at the Technical College Arusha. "We must strive to build a new culture of Internet learning in our schools and community at large!"
Many of the leaders of our cultural and educational institutions gathered together at UAACC on November 14 for just that purpose…to discuss ways and means to build and strengthen this new Internet culture. We were there to figure out ways to transfigure the very fabric of our society…to positively influence the thinking of thousands of students in Arusha (and of course their teachers!) who might have the opportunity to take advantage of the global Internet revolution that has redesigned our lives in so many ways.
There were representatives or directors from several of the institutions presently benefiting from the free philanthropic internet connection including the Arusha Public Library; the National Natural History Museum; Mt. Meru Hospital; St Joseph Ngarenaro Secondary School, the United African American Community Center and the Technical College Arusha. Other institutions also enjoying full philanthropic internet connections include the Mental Health Department at Mt. Meru Hospital and the Center for Educational Development in Health, Arusha (CEDHA).
EOL members and hosts for the afternoon gathering included Mzee Christopher Tarimo; Charlotte Hill O’Neal; Alex Righolt and Monique Janmaat.
In an effort to show by concrete example how effective the internet access can be, the group was taken on a tour of UAACC beginning with a presentation in the computer class by Mwalimu Robert Mafie illustrating the great versatility in learning available on the Internet. It was shown how the many sites used in all educational departments at UAACC including the computer classes; art and crafts classes and the English classes have greatly informed and influenced learning activities from on line high school courses to mural painting and quilting designs to the newly established writers exchange with DeLaSalle Education Center in Kansas City, one of Arusha Sister Cities. (Students and teachers from UAACC and DeLaSalle are currently exploring and learning together about the traditional Japanese poetry called haiku…an activity that would have been nearly impossible before the advent of Internet education.)
During lunch, there was a briefing and discussion about the work presently being done at the Arusha Regional Library by UAACC teachers and computer class graduates including the creation of a home page that will make available to the public rules and regulations of the library and a listing of recommended educational websites.
"The offering of a list of educational websites is an important innovation," says EOL member, Alex Righolt of A & A Computers. "This will surely stimulate good usage of the internet by both educators and students!" To take the issue to another level, Righolt challenged all attending the meeting to submit their five favourite websites to EOL before Nov. 22nd. "The winner will receive a mouse mat plus infra-red mouse!" he announced amid excited applause.
The afternoon’s lively discussion produced more ideas and suggestions including EOL’s offer to coordinate training and technical assistance for institutions in need and practical solutions to dissuade students from misuse of the internet services by seeking out pornographic sites and chat rooms.
All of those
attending expressed great interest in organizing more gatherings of this
kind, perhaps every three months. The next proposed training seminar is
planned to take place at the Natural History Museum sometime in February.
Technical College Arusha
21 October 2002 - Technical College