News: Part 2: Teacher Training – A taste of the Koru launch
By Zev Lowe
Prior to the successful community launch and the following day, Worldreader kicked off our teacher training program. In addition to showing teachers how to use e-readers in their classrooms, our program involves empowering the project manager to train the teachers, and in turn, the teachers to train their own students. The enthusiasm and willingness of the teachers was immediately seen.
Richard Oketch (pictured above) is the brand-new project manager at Ouko Memorial Library/Menara School. He’ll be administering the Worldreader program, and generally focusing on improving the quality of teaching at the school. He’s got an impressive background — most recently, he left his native Kenya to get a Masters in Applied Linguistics at Kwongwon National University in South Korea. He also taught English there, and he’s clearly a passionate reader with a particular fondness for Chinua Achebe’s books.
The teachers were really excited to read, and asked if they could take the e-readers home with them for the weekend. They wanted to be extra familiar with the devices before starting school with them on Monday. They had already been told about the care and feeding of their devices, so the response was, “of course, you should take them home as much as possible.” It’s great to work with partners who share our firm belief – as stated in the World Bank’s recent blog post on us – that technology and books are no good unless they are being used.
Dani, our digital publishing manager, spent a good amount of time working with not just Richard, but also Tom, the headmaster of the school. Tom said that after teacher training, he could see a visible increase in the confidence and pride that his teachers exuded when they stood in front of their classes.
Felix, one of the younger teachers at the school, was utterly delighted when he learned that the Kindle would read stories to him. The teachers were catching on fairly quickly, so we got to go over some more advanced features of the Kindle 3, like text-to-speech, creating collections, and rotating the screen.
Teacher Karen seemed to be engrossed in a book. It was hard to tear the teachers away from wanting to read the books, so we could get through the training material. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine a better problem to have. It’s great that they’re going to be able to take the devices home and I can’t wait to learn what they think of the books. The sponsoring organizations of this project, the Ouko Memorial Library and the Gordon family/friends, are already thinking about which of Worldreader’s many books for grown-ups they might want to offer to their teachers for their leisure reading and personal development.
Jenn, Worldreader’s content manager, gave a few teachers some tips on how to navigate their e-readers.
But mostly, the teachers helped each other figure things out, and soon they were ready to take a shot at training their own students!
More to come tomorrow on the student training. Stay tuned.