Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meeting with School Committees

We met with the the School Management Committee and the School Infrastructure Committee, two committees made up of parents (about 20 people total). As parents and active members of the community,  the members of the committees wanted to know what we were up to, and what the computers were. The meeting started with us giving a presentation on their performance, and quickly transitioned into an interactive demonstration as we invited all of the members to play with the computers.

How it went:

  • Presentation:
    • Ted told the story of how exposure to a computer at an early age got his daughter a job high up in an academic department, and launched her career as a succesful researcher and professor.
    • The Committee members were very responsive to the idea that these computers gave their children a leg up in the future.
  • Workshop:
    • Most parents had no experience with computers.
    • They were hesitant to touch the machines, and to get them to use them required encouragement, though they were fascinated.
    • I found that their enthusiasm was different than the teachers'. They wanted to see more and more, while the teachers were more cautious. I attribute this to the fact that in the back of their minds, the teachers were thinking that sometime soon, they would need use the computers as a teaching tool, and they were more nervous in their approach.
    • The headmaster, present at the meeting, found the Kidawida (local language) book we had put on the computer, and read a story out loud to the whole meeting. Immediately after, I had many questions on how to find the book.

  • Make sure all computers are charged before demos!
    • Having the computers shut down was very frustrating.
  • People easily lose track of time when using the computers, and/or are interested to see more and more.
    • The meeting went well over the time allotted.
  • For people unaccustomed to mouse control, the mouse often ends up on the edge of the screen. It is incredible frustrating for them to have the frame come on. For beginning users, make sure the frame activation delay is on "Never".
    • My Settings > Frame > Activation Delay > Slide to the right

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