Friday, August 31, 2012

Media for Democracy Event held in Sunyani

The US Embassy in Ghana sponsored a series of one-day conventions on how media and civil society can contribute to free and fair elections. The conventions were organised by the GJA.
I was privileged to partake in, and cover the Sunyani event for GhanaDecides.
In this post I share some pictures I took at the event.
Dr. A. Bonnah Koomson talking on the role of the media

A section of the participants at the event 
Mr. K. Aborampah-Mensah talking on the role of Civil SocietyOrganisatins

Mr. Bright Blewu of the GJA interacting with the CUCG's SRC

Snack time
Ms. McKenzie talking on Best Pracices

A couple of materials given to participants
For a full report on the event, click here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Missing Link?

Communication has always been a phenomenon that beats me. How a child inherently learns to speak the tongue of people in his/her immediate environs, gestures that cut across cultures, et cetera. Still more fascinating is the ability of the deaf and dumb to communicate with their peers, and non-signers (using sign language).

Remember the programme 'Missing Link' on GTV --'twas shown on Saturdays? That was a really educative programme that got discontinued.

A lot of study has also gone into finding better ways to enhance the interaction between humans and computers -- Human Computer Interaction. Researchers are finding ways of particularly, also helping the deaf, dumb, and blind folks embrace technology.
One such development in Ghana has to do with the Ghanaian Sign Language (GhSL) Repository. The project aims to develop a website that will serve as a repository as well as an online teaching resource for GhSL; mainly aimed at non-signers. This project is being spearheaded by Diana Dayaka Osei and Dr. Astrid Twenebowa Larssen (of Ashesi University). This project would go a long way to bridge the gap 'between both worlds'. A very laudable venture by these individuals indeed.

Have you watched the evening news on GTV lately? A man does the signs when the news is read! However, I believe the signs are in English -- yes, English version. What if we had a local version (in our local tongue) while the local news is read on television? Super cool!
Surprisingly, we do have a local version of the sign language in Ghana -- the Adamorobe Sign Language!.

Technology, in the right hands, and used for the right reasons is pretty amazing. Embrace it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Augmenting classroom lessons -- on-line.

It's been three years since I started tutoring students of the CUCG Summer School (run during the long vacation). It's been an experience: ups, downs, in-betweens, but I'm always thankful for the opportunity.

Personally, I think the stress these students go through is immense and overwhelming, and often does tell on their grades. The headache for me these years has been to find a convenient way to augment the classroom lectures. The fastest answer of course, on-line classes.

Before I had this urge, e-mails were mostly used to exchange, share lecture notes, assignments.
This year however, a new approach was used (or added). We created a group on Facebook, which afforded effective communication as a number of people can chat at the same time, thus exchanging ideas and helping one another. Another group (or Circle) was created on Google+ and that took us even closer to our interaction-oriented goal. Unfortunately, we never got to do a hangout -- connectivity issues. But I saw an improvement in the class, and that makes me happy.
Google Docs also came in handy as the class got a taste of how to collaborate using the service.
There's more room for improvement. The positive influence of on-line in education cannot be over-emphasised.

I would like to hear from folks who have fused on-line technologies in their classes: experiences, ideas I can use, and more areas I can explore.