The Main Project

Page 2

A digital library is made up of a variety of digital sources and media (digital encyclopedia, e-books, digital news, images, audio and movies) which is then provided via a computer (server) and retrieved by users on their devices (e.g. PC, smartphone, tablet etc.). The Digital Libraries we would like to establish at the pilot schools should primarily contain offline Wikis. Students and teachers  can use this information in as well as outside the lessons for research or (in case of teachers:) further education. Terminals in these cases could be personal devices (e.g. smartphones) or school owned devices (like ΙΤ labs or computer labs).

Recherche am Smartphone: Gehirn
Research with a smartphone: human brain

Additionally, we want to create the possibility for students and teachers to add their own material and information to the Digital Libraries. Exceeding plain consuming, they can thus become producers themselves. The Digital Libraries might then increasingly consist of independently created content.

Schüler referiert über Flagge
Student gives a talk on the origin of Malawi’s flag

On a long term basis — in accordance to the principle of subsidiarity — the project of Digital Libraries is meant to be continued by the schools autonomously. That way, the idea of „help for self-help“ comes into effect. We realized that the first project lacked an extensive pedagogical concept. That is why our implementation of digital media at Malawian schools (in the context of this main project) should be accompanied by an extensive and intensive pedagogical concept which teaches students the responsible use of the technology and digital sources but also enables them to use and modify the Digital Libraries independently.

 

Pedagogical Concept

Niels und Freddy in einer Diskussionsrunde zum Raspberry Pi
Niels (left)  and Fred in a round of talks about the Raspberry Pi

Exceeding mere consuming, students should gain a comprehension for the functioning of the technology and the responsibility that comes with using it.  Encouraging „digital majority/responsibility“ will be the pedagogical concept’s core interest. „Digital majority/responsibility“ paraphrases the competence „to use digital platforms independently, to avoid unwanted risks, to maintain a proper use and to pursue one’s interest in a constructive way.“2 The concept will include the following aspects:

 

  • Basics about the use of PCs (Hardware, software in general & certain programs in particular)
  • Using the PC as a working tool and an educational tool to gain knowledge and education in and outside the lessons
  • Research using the Digital Library
  • Dealing critically with sources and information from/on the internet
  • Viruses and virus protection

This concept must be developed in cooperation with the students, but above all with the pilot schools’ teachers because they alone can provide the expertise on pedagogics and teaching concepts in Malawi.

The pedagogical concept is also supposed to guarantee sustainability. An example for a measure would be to start a computer club in each school, led by a computer teacher and consisting of interested students. During and after the Digital Libraries’ initial implementation, the pedagogical concept will accompany the use. After that, the teachers at the schools can continue the pedagogical concept independently.

Recherche mit einem Smartphone
Research with a smartphone

  1. http://www.cmgt.uni-leipzig.de/projekte/digitale_muendigkeit.html, accessed on 5/27/2017