News 2003: Quarters 3 and 4
Last Updated: 27 November 2003

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Report Elimu On Line Workshop 'Internet for Education',
7 November 2003
at the National Natural Historic Museum

1.0 Programme of the workshop

10:00 hrs Welcome and short introduction of participants and EOL members.
10:20 hrs Introduction EOL and review excursion to UAACC, the cause for this workshop
10:30 hrs Introduction learning through internet
10:45 hrs Discuss problems with internet for education
12:15 hrs Lunch
13:15 hrs Prepare plans to solve problems
14.40 hrs Tea
14:45 hrs Prepare an action plan per organization / institute
15:30 hrs Evaluation, plan for follow-up and closing of the day

Participation:

Name Organization / School Name Organization / School
Tim Hoppe Spiritan Seminary Sorael Elias UAACC
Philip Massawe Spiritan Seminary Esther Warobi UAACC
Tanya Pergola Terrawatu Winston F. Msuya Technical College Arusha
Lekoko ole Sululu Terrawatu Sylvester M. Belela Technical College Arusha
Nengarivo Terrawatu Nasoro R Mshana Arusha Regional Library
Belinda Adagi The School of St. Jude Bernard Mlemeta St. Joseph Secondary School
Angela Bailey The School of St. Jude Christopher Tarimo EOL / Arusha Node Marie
Felista Mangalu The Natural History Museum Charlotte Hill O'Neal EOL / UAACC
Daniel J. Mainoya The Natural History Museum Monique Janmaat EOL / MDF
Nsajigwa Mbije The Natural History Museum Olympa Lema EOL / Technical College Arusha
Martha Sware CEDHA Gilbert Maeda EOL / Chemchem
Melkiory Masatu CEDHA Alex Righolt EOL / A&A Computers Ltd
Juha Jattu Makumira University College    
 

2.0 Objectives of the workshop

After this workshop the participants will:

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have a better idea of the educational possibilities of internet

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be able to improve the use of internet for educational purposes

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have developed an action plan for their organisation on how to improve the use of internet for educational purposes

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be aware of their own role in the improvement of the use of internet for educational purposes

3.0 Expectations Participants

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exchange of experiences and knowledge between institutes

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build network for improvement of internet education

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learn from others how to integrate internet in National TZ curriculum and to achieve sustainability of computer facilities

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learn from others and prepare ourselves to use internet for education

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learn from others how they have been using internet to advance learning

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begin to build a database of useful internet resources

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discover new ways to spark excitement in IT learning possibilities and incentives (e.g. contests)

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learning more a bout the beneficial of having internet

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identify problems and find solutions for problems in using internet for education

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discuss strategies of solving problems related to internet

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to see that this gathering comes up with wonderful ideas that would make eol more attractive to users

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sharing of ideas to overcome problems

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advice to improve

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learn something to improve services at NNHM

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comprehensive understanding about challenges related to internet and Tanzania

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chance to introduce soem ideas and action plans

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sharing different skills

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how can find students educational materials from the internet

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what is search engine

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what are useful sites on education and knowledge

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to learn more about how internet works with or against traditional culture

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an understanding as how learning on internet

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to gain more knowledge on how internet could improve education at all levels

4.0 About EOL

This information is to be found on the EOL website.  (click here)

5.0 Looking back at the UAACC field trip

“We must make sure that our young people realize that the Internet is far more than having the ability to send email messages to friends!”  commented EOLer Lema.  “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 the United African Alliance Community Center UAACC last November to do just that…i.e. 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.

At UAACC we made it known that the internet can be used for ALL areas of learning from health and HIV/AIDS research to art and handicraft to history and poetry, psychology and hair dressing…you name it and more than likely you can find out more on the Internet.  This was the message hammered home to all attending the excursion.

The event afforded us the opportunity to build not only strong networking sources but also bonds of friendships built through common goals... that goal being to do all we can in the most creative and exciting ways possible, to spread the message about the advantages and opportunities of Internet Education.

6.0  Introduction internet and education

As a warming up exercise some questions were asked about personal successful learning experiences on the internet.

To have successful learning experiences on the internet the following conditions were mentioned by the participants:

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Basic computer knowledge

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Fast connection

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Enough time

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Freedom of access

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Language as a tool

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Quality control

Then the participants mentioned what makes internet so useful for learning and education.

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Background information is available on hardcopy

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The use of hypertext is very helpful to find information fast.

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The search engines

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The possibility to combine different media (sounds, pictures, text)

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The existence of forums to request and exchange information.

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Easy access to different sources.

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With internet you have an individual teacher. You can ask anything you want without feeling embarrassed or shy.

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Fast solutions.

7.0 Problems, challenges and issues while using internet for education

The group was split up in four sub groups to write down all the problems, challenges and issues regarding internet and education. They were presented and clustered in the following way:

7.1 Technical problems

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pop-up/viruses/spyware

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power disturbances

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maintenance

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slow connection

7.2 Financial problems

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electricity costs

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costs internet material

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student/computer ratio

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costs of computer lab

7.3 Education/cultural problems

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Lack of literacy

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Fear of machines

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"gap" (digital gap)

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purpose of a lot of things offered through internet are unclear

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language

7.4 Education/cultural and other problems

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how to find relevant information

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misuse of internet

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plagiarism

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Tz government

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Curriculum

8.0 Possible solutions

The 19 educators, paired off into new groups of four in order to give the maximum exchange of differing ideas and possible solutions.

After brainstorming on the problems and challenges everyone faces when using the internet for educational purposes, the four groups of participants came back together for their presentations of possible solutions.

A couple of the groups (I and IV) utilised maigizo (skits) for their lively presentations.  It was agreed by all that lively interactive activities such as maigizo prove to be a good learning aid for both teachers and their students, and  EOLer Monique reminded us of the following truism: 

If I hear...I forget
If I see...I remember
If I DO...I learn!

The following is a summary of each group's SOLUTIONS presentation: 

8.1 Presentation Group I - technical cluster
8.2 Presentation Group II
 - financial
8.3 Presentation Group III
 - educational/cultural
8.4 Presentation Group IV
- educational/cultural/other

9.0 Action Plans 

The different institutes were asked to start with an action plan for their own organisation. Every institute mentioned one action point. The plans have to be finalised by the institutes. All the plans have to send to eol@habari.co.tz. These plans will be used for monitoring and evaluation of the philanthropic connection.

10.0 Follow-up

The participants were asked to give ideas about a follow-up on this workshop. The following things were mentioned:

bulletthe information provided today has to be posted on the eol web-site as well as other relevant information
bulleta computer maintenance workshop
bulleta reference to donors: what do they need to donate in addition to computers
bulletsharing of resources
bulleta similar workshop once a year
bulleteol should provide tips on the web-site to solve problems and challenges
bulletmore training on internet, web-site
bulletvisiting each other
bulletseminars for training teachers
bulletestablish seminar on internet use in all organisations
bullethave another workshop in the future to evaluate if and how problems have been solved
bulletnetworking
bulletsimilar seminars
bullet discussion/bulletin board to keep in touch and continue sharing ideas
bulletteach more computer activities
bulletmore workshops to hear and find out how other institutes are working
bulletexchange programmes from different organisations
bulletcarry out the action plans
bulletnewsletters
bulletplan workshop in the rural communities to educate about 'what are computers?' and 'what is internet?'
bulletstay in contact with people in this group to continue to share experiences and mobilise resources
bulletteacher exchange locally.
 

EOL hosts Internet in Education Workshop

By Charlotte Hill O’Neal

            Several years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that learning about surfing and researching on the internet could be so exciting!  But that was before I was hooked on the Internet!  That was before I understood the unfathomable encyclopedic qualities of the internet!  And that was before EOL!
            Being a member of EOL (that’s Elimu on Line, the philanthropic program of Arusha Node Marie ANM.)) has enabled me to have the opportunity to grow in my knowledge of what’s what on the internet through networking and taking part in the various community activities that EOL has organized in the nearly two years of its existence.
            Our first big internet for education brainstorming session took place at the United African Alliance Community Center UAACC in November, last year.  Many of the leaders of our cultural and educational institutions gathered together to discuss ways and means to build and strengthen the new Internet culture that has invaded nearly every aspect of life in Arusha town.
We gathered together 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.
            Since then we have been able to build both strong networking sources and also bonds of friendships built through our common goal of doing all we can in the most creative and exciting ways possible, to spread the message about the advantages and opportunities of Internet Education.
            We took it a step forward on November 7th when twenty five of us met once again, this time at the Arusha National Natural History Museum, for an “Internet for Education” workshop organized by EOL members, Alex Righolt, Monique Janmaat, Gilbert Maeda, Olympa Lema, Christopher Tarimo and yours truly, Charlotte Hill O’Neal. 
            There were representatives from many of those institutions presently benefiting from the ANM philanthropic internet connections including:  the Arusha Regional Library; the Technical College Arusha; the United African Alliance Community Center; Makumira University; Spiritan Seminary; St Joseph Secondary School; CEDHA; The National Natural History Museum; the School of St. Jude and Olchoki & Natema Primary Schools.
            After a friendly round of introductions we got down to the business at hand for the projected six-hour long workshop, that being that we would together,  seek ways to improve the use of the internet for educational purposes.
            The group was split up into four sub groups and they discussed and later presented their take on the many problems and challenges facing us regarding internet and education.  The groups pointed out the far ranging technical, financial, educational and cultural problems facing us that ranged from such concerns as pop-ups, viruses, spy ware and power disturbances to the high cost of outfitting computer labs, the disproportionate student/computer ratio in just about all institutions, plagiarism and the presently outdated national computer education curriculum. 
            I found that the expressions of concern about
the importance of the maintenance of traditional culture and that it not suffer extinction as a result of the introduction of modernity, mirrored my own.
        
There were discussions about the fear of machines that many people have especially in the village settings. It was suggested that internet sites that are relevant to the indigenous people in the community be utilised to erase fears of machines and also to create curricula that are suitable for each group.
            It was considered a ‘must’ that teachers be trained that are culturally sensitive to the community that they are serving.
I found the dialogues about the ‘digital gap’ or ‘digital apartheid’ that is now enveloping so many communities in Africa, and in Tanzania in particular, very fascinating.
As EOLer Olympa Lema, commented at the first EOL workshop “We must make sure that our young people realize that the Internet is far more than having the ability to send email messages to friends.  We must strive to build a new culture of Internet learning in our schools and community at large.”
            I hope that these few revelations about the goings on at the EOL ‘Internet for Education Workshop’ have served to whet your own appetite and curiosity to check out the EOL website and learn more about what we can do as a community to make sure that the internet is utilized to the benefit of us all.
            Check out the EOL website at http://eol.habari.co.tz and see some of the solutions that we all came up with.  Perhaps you will be inspired to add your own. 
Karibuni.