I am heading to Belize this afternoon. I have a stayover in Texas and tomorrow, my friend and colleague Andrea will be meeting me at the airport. After a ride to the bus terminal, we will be boarding a bus for the four hour ride to the small village. I am very excited. I plan on teaching Scratch to the kids. I hope their connection is alive and well because I’d love for them to be able to share out their projects! I have four days so I am pretty psyched because I have seen first hand the power of Scratch and the global connections that often ensue.
The computer lab began two years ago in January. Prior to that date, the school did not have a lab. The secretary to the principal was asked if she would like to take a shot at teaching in the lab and she agreed to try it. In February of that year, I was lucky enough to join a group of teachers who were traveling to Belize to teach as well as to learn about the culture, economy, etc. It was through a chance encounter with a teacher at the school whose children were in the computer class who asked if I could come in and work with the secretary-turned computer teacher.
The teacher, Andrea, and I hit it off immediately. I was thrilled that she had about 18 or so donated machines. She was also very knowledgeable using the Office Suite. I only had two days with her but because she had AIM installed on one of her machines, I was able to chat with my son-in-law and do some simple improvements with his directions.
Since that time, I have kept up a relationship with Andrea via yahoo messenger and cell phones. I recently found out that we are able to text each other so that will work even better. I will keep the reader up to date on my humble quest of learning and teaching in a remote computer lab in Central America!