Malcolm – Project Conclusion

Overall, I was very satisfied with my project this summer.  Although I was worried about my French-speaking skills at the beginning, I eventually learned that it doesn’t actually require a large amount of vocabulary to teach a computer class.  Most of it was asking them “What is this?’” or “What does this do” and by imagining how I was going to explain something in class I was able to know which vocabulary words I needed to learn to help them understand completely.

The main disappointment I had in the beginning was that not as many people showed up as how many had signed up for the class.  About sixty children said they were interested, but when the interest meeting actually came out, only twenty were there.  In retrospect, we were told to expect something like that to happen, but I still wasn’t prepared for such a difference in attendance.  However, I will say that though some kids didn’t sign up, they would join the class anyway if they saw that the Cyber doors were open.

Also, except for one student, no one ever came to the advanced computer class.  I assume that that’s because there was a problem with the time, but then again they were all there when the class time was decided.  Either way, my disappointment with them was definitely overshadowed by my pride in the beginner class.  By the end of the two months, they surpassed the intermediate class, despite being younger and newer to using computers.  I was especially impressed with the girls who came to my classes.  Often, they brought notebooks and also retained more information than most of the boys.  That’s why I was very surprised when the boys won at the end-of-the-year Jeopardy game.

If I had to give advice to the next cyber course teacher, the first thing I would bring up would be teaching style.  The children respond best to someone who has energy and is entertaining to be around.  For that reason, sometimes in class I would dance a bit or shout or make a little show out of picking one of the students to answer.  The kids here tend to be pretty nervous inside the classroom, so it’s necessary to make them feel comfortable.  Second, I would advise having them do exercises as much as possible in class.  Repetition helps them memorize the information, but what really helps is when they get to see how the computer works for themselves.  Lastly, I would say to bring more videos for them to watch during free hours.  I brought three with me and they’ve been watching over and over and over again every time they get a chance.  I swear it almost made me go crazy to keep her those same three songs.  But the fact that they’d watch those same three videos really shows how much they appreciate them.  They’re watching the one about LDOC as I’m writing this right now.

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