I must admit, one of the more fun aspects of teaching has nothing to do with instructing, but has everything to do with observing. I particularly enjoy watching the patterns that develop amongst my students when using software. In some instances the patterns are based upon mimicry (actually, I bet all of them are, but I don’t always see the original inspiration), where I demonstrate something, and then everybody executes the task the same way. This occurs during lessons when I am teaching.
The real fun begins when people are put in front of new software with no instruction, but with self-motivation. The self-motivation is what propels the exploration of software through the hardships and failures which will occur frequently during the process. In these particular cases, the self-motivation comes from the want to play. My students are exploring all of the games on the computer.
It is without a doubt that I am teaching my students ICT in a way that no syllabus in Kenya would have them learn. This is mostly because for the amount of time I see my students (2 hours per class per week), if I taught based on any syllabus I have seen they would learn specific aspects of computing that would never help them. What good is knowing how to make something bold if you can’t even turn the computer on in the first place? My whole goal is to make my students comfortable with computers overall, so that they might someday purchase their own. It helps that they are not examined at the end of the semester and they know full well they aren’t even getting a certificate for work they do in my class (it’s just how the situation is run here) because it means I have a little more freedom in how I teach and they have no expectations. It’s taken a while, but I think my students are starting to trust me that I am really trying to teach them, even if what I am teaching doesn’t match up with pieces of paper they are slipped from friends on the outside who are taking the notorious, “Kenyan Computer Packages,” courses widely available to anyone with 3,000 shillings and a week of time.