I Still Go To School

on teaching, learning, travelling


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eEducation and eLearning

As I am currently continuing my education with an MA in eEducation at FernUni Hagen, I am hopefully soon to complete module 3 (Developing New Media) . The degree consists of 8 modules, which can be freely chosen throughout the course.

Generally speaking, the courses haven’t been as I expected them. Having heard of distance education courses offered by US or UK universities, my expectation was to have lots of online sessions with streamable lectures and interactive content.

But it turned out differently, in a very challenging way: the courses consist of 3-6 excercises, mostly research papers. As a student, your sole input is the instruction: complete this task until given date, stick to APA. Some modules have links to useful papers attached, but that’s as far as input goes. So basically, I was on my own, on new terrain. Of course there is a pretty well kept and regularly forum for each task… but I frequently had the problem of not knowing which questions to ask the tutor, apart from “Where do I start?”, which was frustrating!

With time I got into it, and with a friend and study buddy figured that this might just be the modus operandi we have to get used to. Now every paper and every product for the course is super hard work, made from scratch, which gives learning itself a completely different meaning.

I found, that I mostly had to teach myself!

So I’d like to show you the fruit of my effort a bit. Please be gentle with judgement, it’s the first time for me to ever create a video, and it took me AGES to learn how to edit sound and motion picture and record speech. Personally, I’m still not satisfied, but anyways, I’ll have plenty of chances to improve.

I’d be grateful if you left your feedback here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1j_-GhMo3xP8QZw5hDYgpYjmHrM9gLIfZpYyv2w0EswY/viewform

[ALERT: it’s all in German]

Picture credit: @demandaj / Flickr

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Food is Love

Food is love, and it is a universal expression of culture, identity and affection. Africans love their food. Every time I tell someone here that I really like their local food, their faces light up and they tell me about all the other foods I have yet to try!

Food is managed in tribes, but since the independence of West African countries, they have started to mix the food, and to create a sort of variety, which didn’t exist until then. Still now, Ivoirian people proudly insist on having the most variety of all West African countries. This is mostly true, because of the waves of immigration from surrounding areas. People immigrate and bring their food and knowledge.
I have by far not tried everything on the market, but the most typical food is offered at every corner (literally, they have little stands where they sell food everywhere).

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Willie and I went out to grab food at a place he knows in Cocody, not far from the school. Everything is prepared and fried fresh. Don’t be too picky on hygiene though 😉 The two little bowls of water are given to you to wash your hands before and after the meal, together with a tiny bag of detergent.
So what we have here is “Aloco” [‘a-lo-ko], fried Banana. It is super greasy and sweet, blending perfectly with the spiced meat, and turning your mealtime into a tasty and exotic pleasure. This time we had chicken, but the stands usually sell beef and fish as well. The second side dish is called “azzeke” [a-che-‘ke], made from cassava, sweet potato. It’s served grinded, and in small portions packed into sachés. Its taste is like potato, but a little bit sour. And, of course, everything is eaten with your hands! Super yummy!

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To my own surprise, there are a few drinks as well, which are typical for the region. One is “Gnamnankou” [ja-‘mo:-ku:]. That stuff is intense. The yellow, milky liquid consists of sugar, jalapeno, and ginger. It’s served frozen, or at least cold. The first sip feels gentle at the beginning, but the spice burns down your throat seconds after. Together with the icy consistency – a perfectly refreshing drink. On the picture the drink is inside an industrial bottle, but it’s not produced in factories; so people “recycle” bottles of companies and sell it like that.

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Drink number two: “Bissap” [‘bi-sap], a purple-red coloured beverage. When I asked what it was made of, mostly I was told “from a red flower” and that it was “good for your blood”. After some research I found out it was hibiscus! In Austria we make tea from it, but the plant is a slightly different one here. And it’s good for the blood: hibiscus is antihypertensive, meaning it regulates, reduces your blood pressure. The drink itself is too sugary for me, I can only enjoy it in the form of ice, served in the little sachés.

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This is a typical meal we enjoy at school, where we have three ladies cooking for the kids and teachers every day. So we have fried fish, with azzeke, spices, and a sauce made from onions and tomatoes with palm oil.
Also at home with the family, I eat fish almost every day, with azzeke, rice, yam, cassava, and sometimes even fries.


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Providence for a start

School children attending parade. South Africa. Photo: Trevor Samson / World Bank

So, welcome to my first public blog.
I know I’m a bit late to jump on the band wagon, but bare with me!The idea of opening a blog came to me because of recent plans of going to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, for a year – to teach English.
This blog will focus on the topics of education, travelling and contain random thoughts on other topics. I will include pictures and videos as well, just to give a more vivid impression.
I’m happy about any comments left and discussion going on.
lg ewald