MJ Live

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Prescribing Computers (Written 3/24/06)

On Thursday I finished my first teacher in-service and while it’s a nice break from the pressures of teaching, it can definitely be very boring sometimes. Anyway, the in-service workshop dealt with the teachers gaining more information about the Year 12 Prescription (like a yearly plan or a guide for what the kids will be tested on in the country administered test at the end of the year). This is the first year that Computer Studies is being offered to the Year 12 students so that was really exciting for me – to literally be on the ground floor of a new curriculum in Samoa (the foundation was laid in 1996 – so its taken 10 years to get this program off the ground finally). While one of my ‘environmental’ goals is to get our three computer labs not only up and running but also capable of maintaining computers long after I am gone, one of my main ‘teacher’ goals is to integrate this Year 12 prescription into Chanel College. Luckily for all of us computer teachers, it follows almost exactly what the Year 13 kids learn and since we did not have a prescription for Year 12 before now we were all just teaching them Year 13 Lite material.

Not only was it a good time of learning more about the prescription and all that it entails, but it was also a good opportunity to talk with the computer teachers at the other colleges in Samoa. Going in I thought it would basically just be Peace Corps in there but I was pleased to see that there were way more Samoans in the room then Peace Corps – hopefully that means people are becoming more interested in computers and we can start training more and more Samoans to replace us. It was good to hear about the different methods we have of teaching and the different resources that we have: some schools have air conditioning, some have fans, some have computers running Windows 98 and others have Windows XP – just a wide variety of experience in the room. And while I refuse to use the ‘Networking’ term for what we did it was nice to see that we are all facing the same kind of pressure and difficulties (tech wise and monetarily) even if we’re in different schools. So overall it was a good workshop and it will allow me to definitely leave my mark on the Year 12 Computer Studies at Chanel – I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to leave my footsteps now. L8r.

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