Meet Rosemary, Tiffany, Jane, and Purity. These four young women represent amazing potential for their communities and for Kenya. They attended our session and gave valuable feedback to help shape the development of the Intel®’s new online learning platform that is called Intel® She Will Connect – My Digital Journey.
This learning platform is a break-through way to teach digital literacy. It involves a game-like setting and includes quests, missions and challenges. These are all set up with a dialog with characters who guide them through learning concepts of digital citizenship and online safety. With the game-like aspect, the students are engaged in the stories of the program characters and developing their own character to the highest level. This platform will become a place for girls and women to learn how to engage safely online and know how to access any information they need to achieve their dreams.
Our day with these young women started out with a fun icebreaker that shows how we need strong connections to each other in order to be successful in our goals. As each participant checked in, they wrote a goal for their life on a beach ball. Many of the goals that we saw on this beach ball were items to help their entire community and better the world around them.
As the day went on, it was apparent that these women have the drive to change their world and that they see digital citizenship is a vital key to achieving this change. When asked how they envision computers and the internet in their adult lives, they responded with answers around improving their communities and helping others. Some examples include Jane wanting to provide technical support to those who are new to learning computers and that Purity dreams of setting up a computer school in the community.
Purity uses computers and the internet in her daily life as she teaches secondary school math and science. Even though she knew some of the information contained in the learning platform, she still learned a lot and knows that her students will definitely be excited and eager to learn through My Digital Journey. The school she teaches at has computers, and as her students become more engaged in the outside world through the internet, it is important that they know how to do so safely and securely.
We were especially impressed with Tiffany, who was one of our youngest participants of the day. Even at her young age, she knows that she wants to continue learning in order to find a job teaching others about computers and show women all around her that they can do whatever a man does. Tiffany sees the challenges that her older siblings have and the mistakes they have made. She wants to use these experiences to better her life through continuing education and with technology.
As these women went through the learning platform as a group, they discussed their goals among each other and how each of the challenges could be used in their daily lives. The sections that left the strongest impact on them included creating strong passwords, and staying safe while online. Since they see such value in community, they suggested that the learning platform be completed in groups. One way that My Digital Journey is unique is that it is not instructor led, but rather completed at the participant’s own pace. Working in groups maintains the sense of community and helps each of the participants understand the material as they discuss each section.
All of the participants in the sessions have been deeply engaged in the platform – so much so that we had to push them out the door each time for break and lunch because they didn’t want to stop their playing and learning.