Thursday, February 23, 2012

Update: First Computer Basics Class

As I mentioned a few hours ago, today I held my first Computer Basics class for the staff at my NGO. I am oh so happy to report that every single staff member, including the cooks, came to the class! Everyone was eager to learn about computers.

We started the class with the absolute basics: how to turn on the computer. I realize this seems mundane to my readers from the developed world but you have to realize that, for many in Botswana, this is life. They are just starting to understand technology and most people that are much older than school-aged have had very little or no education on computers etc. They are excited, however, and asked many questions that led the class much further than the simplicity of that. After covering an array of topics from locating "My Documents" and seeing the materials I am starting to put together for them to opening and saving files, I introduced the class to their new best friend: the typing tutor. I had installed Keyblaze Typing Tutor to all of the computers in the new lab a few days ago in preparation for the class. The last half hour consisted of getting acquainted with the keyboard. Most just learned their basic finger placement but a few made it through the first two lessons ("index finger letters" and "middle finger letters"). What makes this even more exciting and makes me smile with joy is that the staff stayed after class to continuing practicing their typing skills. They were so happy to be learning how to use the computer that they were laughing and squealing and smiling and high-fiving each other with each accomplishment. I was overjoyed seeing how this simple lesson was really impacting their lives. And, music to my ears, was when they asked if it was okay for them to practice in the computer lab even if I was not there. Yes, folks, this is a joyous day in the life of a PCV!

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