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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Tamale Experience

Over the weekend, I was in Ghana's Northern Regional capital, Tamale. Amazing place.
I was first welcomed by the Central Mosque which made me miss my trips to Abuja (in Nigeria) last year. The roads are a must-see. The sense of culture abounds in this town. It's full of life.
My word, was I surprised to actually see a lot of motorcycles. Most being ridden by ladies. The sad part of that for me though was the riders not being in their helmets (about 2 in 25 did have helmets on).
I was actually there to participate in a Barcamp event, to meet and interact with people to see how best the condition of the people can be improved, and their stories told to the world. Whoever said the youth are the future of any nation is right. A lot of ideas were floated, and action plans made.
Personally, the future of Tamale and indeed Ghana is secured and bright.
A picture of the Larambaga mosque. Photo credit: Barcampers

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SIFE-CUCG are National Champions!

Last Thursday, I was at the Accra International Conference Center to serve as a volunteer for the SIFE Ghana National Exposition 2012. I was also there to support the SIFE team from the Catholic University College of Ghana. This event is an annual event that showcases projects that have been initiated and/or completed by SIFE teams in tertiary institutions across the country. Did I mention it was my first time ever partaking in this event? I was amazed at the projects students had initiated and completed within the past year, in such areas as job creation, poverty reduction, youth empowerment, et cetera. Sitting through the presentations, I thought to myself, "Why do you think you have to be in a certain (high) position before making an impact on society?" Indeed, I took a cue from the students -- lesson well noted.
The two-day event saw the Catholic University emerge as victors! Their major project was the building of a bakery for the locals of the Mantukwa village in the Brong Ahafo Region. The money for this project was raised by the students -- they used their birthdays to raise it -- just like some celebs do for charity: water. I was deeply touched by the competiting institutions; projects and pray we all give a little more support to these change makers.
The winners will represent Ghana at the SIFE world cup in Washington DC that would take place from the 30th Sept - 2nd OCtober.
We wish them the very best.