It Starts With You…You Are The Change – Joe Lemaron, Africa
“My greatest dream for education would be that students will move away from being just consumers of information, but become problem solvers, innovators, producers, global citizens,” says Joe Lemaron.To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on January 17, 2012.
Lemaron is putting his dream into action. As project manager for a joint British Council and Microsoft ICT in Learning project, Lemaron manages “Badiliko,” the Swahili word that means shift/change. He focuses on using technology to support the delivery function of educational projects, and build the IT capacity of educators, learners and communities in Sub Saharan Africa.
Lemaron knows first-hand what education can do for remote communities in Africa. “I come from a rural village in Kenya,” says Lemaron. “My community, the Maasai community, is largely known for livestock-keeping. And I am talking to you today about technology and how it can accelerate education. Education can empower anyone to be anybody.”
Of course, there are challenges to bringing technology to some of the most remote towns in the world: electricity, Internet connectivity, and teachers who may have never used a computer. “Many governments are keen to embed ICT into education – huge investments have been made to lay down cable fiber and increase connectivity. But one fundamental step that is lacking is equipping the teachers to use ICT and integrate it into their pedagogy.”
Lemaron is eager to change this, to help empower the teachers to make positive changes in their communities and with their students. “There are so many great teachers using ICT, who have been able to use technology to inspire their entire class in a compelling way,” notes Lemaron. But, he says, teachers should see technology is a means to an end, as opposed to the end itself.
“ICT is only a tool to accelerate educational outcomes,” says Lemaron. “Teachers need to know that it starts with you…you are the change.”
How do you think we can best empower teachers?
About Joe Lemaron
Website I check everyday: entrepreneur.com
Person who inspires me most: My mom. She is a primary school teacher. Also Barack Obama – not just because he is Kenyan, but also because education is what got him to where he is at the moment, as the President of the USA.
Favorite childhood memory: The time I got my first bike. I had a deal with my dad that if I became top of my class, he would buy me a bike – I was around 8 or so. So, I was #1 in my class and he got me my bike. It was one of my favorite moments.
Next travel destination: Ghana. I’ll be there for a master trainer event for school leaders and digital ambassadors.
Favorite book: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe