Digital Guyana

Posts Tagged ‘ncerd

Film crew in the classroom

Last week we were visited by a film crew from NCN, the national Guyanese TV channel.

They took some shots inside the classroom and then stepped outside to interview Hugh Reilly, Michael from Youth Challenge and myself.

We’re hoping to get a copy of the report at some point. In the meantime, here’s Hugh being interviewed outside NCERD.

Hugh being interviewed 3

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HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language – the tags and attributes that are used to explain to a web browser how to display a page on the internet.

In the first lesson of the course we introduced the students to HTML and got them to build a very basic personal website with a homepage and separate pages for links and contact details.

Firstly, we asked them to open Notepad and create an html page using the <html> and <body> tags. The importance of closing all tags was emphasised.

<h1> tags were used to indicate the title and <p> tags were used around a lump of text. The file was saved as ‘index.html’ and viewed in a browser to show how the page displays.

Links were demonstrated next, along with html attributions. The students were asked to add a link to another website to their web page.

We then asked the students to use Notepad to create a document called ‘links.html’. In this document they listed a set of links to other websites.

The exercise was repeated, creating a third page called ‘contact.html’. The pages were then all edited to insert links between them.

To demonstrate how to add images into a web page, we took photos of the students and gave them the file to insert into their homepages.

We introduced the students to the following HTML tags:

  • <html>
  • <body>
  • <h1>
  • <p>
  • <strong>
  • <em>
  • <a>
  • <img>
  • <ul>
  • <li>

We demonstrated HTML tag attributes using:

Further attributes to style text included:

  • font-family: arial
  • font-weight: bold
  • background-color: yellow
  • text-align: center
  • size: 100%

In compiling the course materials we were indebted to the HTML tutorials provided by W3Schools.

(For links to further Web Skills course content please go to The Course)

Yesterday was the first day on the ‘Web Skills’ part of the ‘Web Skills Guyana’ programme. The flash course has now ended at Merundoi, sadly, though fortunately I will be seeing the Merundoi team today as Hugh and I have been assigned their group. With these guys I could not have asked for a better group of students. Their enthusiasm to learn has been great and they really impressed me with all the progress they made. Course materials will be uploaded to a wiki in good time.

Teaching

Me teaching

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Ayana and Shaheed at work

Teaching out here is a great experience. The night we finished the course Wayne, one of staff at Merundoi, mentioned that this is probably the first time that animation has ever been taught in Guyana. The enormity of that statement is still sinking in. I suddenly realise that this is more than just a free holiday and it feels as if I might be affecting at least the start of making a real difference out here. I also understand why when people come out here they stay for years; the minimum amount of time I’ve heard of a ‘true’ volunteer out here has been twelve months. So much has been achieved by us out here all ready, but it’s only a taster of what can be done if the programme were to be extended. Especially since the animation course has been so short it feels like such a shame to leave it there. Although I was teaching the representative from the local university too, Denise, I think without having some kind of follow up for my course it’s assimilation into the curriculum may be quite difficult.

Kojo, Kiki and Richard at work

Kojo, Kiki and Richard at work

Having information that I have prepared and taught entering the national curriculum of Guyana is incredible. Sustainability as I have mentioned may be a slight issue, but nothing more could have been expected from a four day animation course and a lot of people out here are treating it as a pilot scheme.

CIMG3474

Everybody at Merundoi

In other news Hugh and I went to a local club in a secondary school where they played a mixture of cheesy 70’s and 80’s music like Madonna – touched for the very first time, an inordinate amount of Michael Jackson and a whole lot of soca music. The age range was about 15-50 and was one of the most surreal things I’ve experienced out here. I also patted a manitee on the snout and had a Lariam-induced dream about astral projection.

Station Street, Kitty

After a fairly gruelling journey on Friday, Pontus and I arrived in Georgetown in the early hours of Saturday. During the taxi ride from the airport we saw some crazy minibus driving, the Banks brewery and some beautiful, wooden, colonial-style houses – not a bad preview for what’s to come, I suspect.

The apartment is slightly better than expected, with a few mod-cons inside and a hammock out the back. Norma, who lives downstairs and looks after our flat, kindly cooked us breakfast on the first morning.

We then set off on a walking tour of the city to get a feel for our new surroundings. The centre of Georgetown isn’t quite what I expected – i’s not all that built up and the traffic on the roads is relatively light. Although it’s clearly not the welathiest city, there doesn’t seem to be too much disparity between the richest and poorest.

Matt and Hugh have been busy getting to know the local VSO contingent. On Saturday night we went out for food and drinks with a few of them (one of whom has been blogging since she arrived in Sept 07 – read Hannah’s blog here).

Yesterday (Sunday), we went to NCERD to check out the facilities for where we’ll be teaching over the coming weeks and to meet Jane, the person who first put forward the idea of a Web Skills project. Happily, everything seemed to be pretty much in order.

Afterwards we did some nature-spotting (which I’m sure will be explained in a later post) and dropped in at the swimming pool at a local hotel.

Today’s the first day of the course and our first students will be two groups of school students. This morning we’ll be teaching some basic HTML; after lunch we’re planning to have a preliminary discussion around social networking, kicking things off by watching Us Now.

We’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime I need to get my things together.

Oh, and if the picture accompanying this post doesn’t explain the title, we’re in a part of Georgetown called Kitty. You can see more pics on my Flickr account.