Dr. Anna Watoł

University of Silesia
Visual technology in learning/teaching African children

The area of my scientific interest is related to the Maasai community, who for several years have been building their village and school. The research which is being implemented in Kenya and Tanzania revolves around the question: What is the role of Information and Communications Technology in the learning/teaching processes in a Maasai village? Also, a series of detailed problems were specified, several of which relate to the use of ICT within the school environment and outside of it. Launching a "mini computer lab" in the Masai school has become a practical purpose of the projects „Pomagam dzieciom w Afryce” (I help children in Africa) and „Szkoła pod baobabem” (School under a baobab tree). Their scientific objective was to provide answers to questions related to the application of European theoretical and practical knowledge in the creation and operation of a school within a community which has never previously been in contact with any educational institutions. The enterprise involves academics from Polish and African universities.

Over the past several years, Information and Communications Technology has become an important element of contemporary school culture. Considering the ongoing economic and civilisational changes in the world, it appears legitimate and even desirable to embark on initiatives related to dissemination of education by means of the new media in developing countries. Properly used visual technology can efficiently and effectively support the process of teaching and learning. Properly selected teaching media provide for a wide range of customisation of the learning process in their own right, i.e. learning that takes into account the specific developmental potential of every human being.