Fundamentals of Tech Literacy
Rural Africans lack opportunities to make a living, but the computers and the internet provide global opportunities. TechLit Africa teaches digital skills to kids in primary schools to unlock global opportunities.
We teach kids instead of adults, because kids are excited about technology, because schools enable us to empower thousands of people at once, and because both genders are equally represented in school.
Lacking Tech Literacy
We started working on this problem in 2018 by building a resource center in Mogotio. The next year, we taught computer classes to adults. And finally, in the middle of 2019, we decided to teach computer classes to kids in primary schools.
We have seen a gap between the skills adults in rural Africa have, and the skills required to earn a living online. Unfortunately, our experience has been confirmed time and time again by other organizations.
Pillars of Tech Literacy
TechLit students learn fundamental digital skills to become digital natives and thrive online.
TechLit classes in primary schools follow a curriculum that is made of three pillars, designed to close the gap between the skills adults in rural Africa have, and the skills required to earn a living online.
The first pillar of our curriculum is troubleshooting, which falls somewhere between technical debugging and generic problem solving.
When a computer program is not working, how do you fix the problem? When something you've created doesn't solve your problem, is there something in the way, is there something missing, or have you misunderstood the problem?
2. Internet Skills
The second pillar of our curriculum is internet skills, because life online is very different from life in- person.
In-person you trust your neighbor, but online you don't trust any accounts you can't verify. In-person you communicate live over the phone, but online your email might not get an answer for three days.
The third pillar of our curriculum is self-efficacy, which is a student's belief in their ability to succeed through their own actions.
Self-efficacy is what enables digital natives to adapt to new technology, learn new skillsets and follow an unbeaten path. Self-efficacy is what enables students to forge their own path, and set their own example.
There are more jobs online than there ever will be locally, and in rural Africa online jobs can easily take you from $4 per day to $8 per hour. TechLit computer classes are designed to unlock the global potential of all the kids in rural Africa.
About The Author
Tyler Cinnamon is a American programmer and entrepreneur. He started TechLit Africa with Nelly Cheboi in 2018 to disrupt poverty with used IT devices.