Camara would give a special thanks to PricewaterhouseCoopers, some of the Africa2008 volunteers have given feedback regarding the laptops that were donated earlier this year.
It was very useful having laptops with us for our 4 weeks in Rwanda. As we were given them a week before departure we could practice on the material that Camara had prepared for us to teach. As this was my first time teaching computer skills with Linux, it was most useful having the laptop before we left Ireland. It meant that we could use the exact same computer in the new unfamiliar surrounding.
When there were extra students in the classroom, or if there was a temporary problem with a computer, it was valuable for the students to be able to use the laptops. Also, when we were teaching new material it was handy to use the laptop in the evening for preparation of class work for the following day.
Before we departed for Rwanda, we were each assigned an IBM ThinkPad laptop loaded up with the same operating system and software as the computers previously sent out to Africa by Camara. The operating system and programmes we use are a little different from the ubiquitous Microsoft and Windows systems so it was great to have the laptops to practice the programmes and to prepare step-by-step lesson plans. The laptops really came into their own, however, during the second week in Rwanda when a power outage pretty much scuppered the courses due to start that morning. Instead of canceling the courses, we were able to keep going with the laptops until the power reappeared. A big thank you to Price Waterhouse Coopers for donating the laptops to Camara – teaching in Africa would have been a much more difficult job without them.
Having a laptop while teaching in Africa was invaluable to prepare and test the classes, accomodate more students, and keep teaching during electricity outages. Thanks Pricewaterhouse cooper!
The laptop was invaluable for many reasons. I used it at night to prepare lessons for the following day. When teaching Impress- the presentation programme- I had a small presentation prepared which I could show the students on the laptop. It was great for them to be able to see what exactly Impress could do. We had no data projector so it would otherwise have been difficult to explain what this kind of software is about. We also took photos of each student so they could use them to make their own presentation. With the laptop in the classroom , I could quickly take the photos, transfer them onto a USB stick and then transfer them onto each computer for students to access. And of course, when there was a power cut the laptops were the only way to continue teaching.
The laptop was a great idea. It was particularly useful during the numerous power cuts which we suffered. Allowing us to continue teaching even if when the Rwandan electricity board took a day off helped us to continue getting through the the large numbers of students we had enrolled. I feel this was particularly important for the students who had traveled a large distance to Byumba (probably at great expense to them) to find no power.
Other than it was very useful for preparing classes and for use during the classes. During the classes it also allowed me to take a quick look at how to do things that the students asked!
Team Rwanda 2008