On June 26, Matandani Primary School held its inaugural meeting of the Tech Club. The main objective of this club is to introduce and familiarise a select group of this year’s standard eight learners to the photo-taking and video-taking capabilities of the iPads in the Learning Centre. The 20 or so learners each day collaborated with teachers interested in the club as well as the volunteers working to run the program, Andy, Vicki, and Kyle. After the regular school day concluded, the standard eight learners would meet at around 13:30 in the Learning Centre to receive their iPads and instruction on the day’s assignments.
On the first day of the club, the learners were put into groups of three that they would work in for the two-week duration of the club. Each group was given an iPad and a tutorial on how to take a picture. For never touching a smart device in their life in addition to receiving a lot of directions in English, the kids picked up photography surprisingly fast. Their learning curve was so steep that a photo scavenger hunt was arranged for the learners. Some of the things they had to capture out on the school grounds were an animal, a sign, a child reading, and someone using the water pump. One learner showed how engaged he was in the club by describing the experience as “so fun and interesting.”
The meetings continued with reviewing the previous day’s work, having the kids give feedback on themselves, and sending the groups out again to take better photos or improved videos. Each day the instructors would introduce a new topic or aspect of videoing to build upon the learners’ growing knowledge. By the third day, groups were bringing in videos showcasing the improvements they’ve seen at Matandani over the past couple years in near perfect English. One group even employed younger children as actors to demonstrate the difficulties experienced in the past. Soon enough, the Tech Club was producing refined videos documenting the benefits of the in-classroom sinks, printer and photocopier, football and netball pitches, trash bins, and solar electricity. As the second week of the club approached, both the learners and the instructors awaited the continued exponential progress.