In Part 1 of this series, we learned a bit about Karla de Pineda and her diverse role as Edify’s Guatemala Program Director. This week we dive in a bit more to explore what it means to work with low-fee private schools and where the fieldwork takes her to, as we ride along on a visual tour of parts of Guatemala. Enjoy!
In preparation for the week, I want to share a bit about what our busy schedule looks like at Edify, Guatemala. As a countrywide team, we create an annual calendar of all activities in advance. Once we do so, we create one for each region or zone in which we work. The goal of providing these calendars in advance (example to the right) is so that the schools plan ahead knowing our support will be ongoing. Edify works to accompany them along the whole process from learning to implementation, and evaluation in multiple cycles–modeling the project-based, hands-on learning approach that we would like for them to use with their students.
Today we hosted our very first Edify Guatemala ed-tech workshop with eight of our partner schools–all “low-fee” private schools, which means they charge between $20-50/month. Technology has been a big push for us, in particular, because Guatemalan law mandates each school has a computer lab; however, not all are up-to-date or have access to the internet. To address this access issue, Edify is piloting the use of a Rasberry Pie which has some pre-loaded sites and programs such as Khan Academy for math and Scratch so that the students can learn initial coding.
During our full-day session, we worked collectively to create a resource bank of best practices that we could share across schools. Our goal is to move away from more traditional computational classes that independently teach Microsoft Word and Powerpoint towards integrating technology across content areas in meaningful and transformative ways. It was definitely a new way of looking at things and was a long, exciting day, but we look forward to seeing how they implement this in their school-sites, I will make sure to keep you updated!
Thursday & Friday
Today was an office, hands-on day. Together with my Edify finance colleagues, we are working to provide an online catalog of products that can be shared with all of our partner schools to help them improve their work. As our work continues to grow across the country and region, generating online content and resources (just like this blog!) will be even more valuable. However, we still value the role of in-person connections and engagement, much of which you will see the next few days during our school visits.
Each week a few days are dedicated to fieldwork in schools. Most of our schools are located in rural areas, requiring quite a long drive, with some very beautiful and unique scenery. During these visits, we observe classrooms, hold conversations with the school leaders, and look for physical evidence of the learning that takes place in classrooms. In order to give you a taste of what this looks like I am sharing a quick video and some images so that you can ride along with me!
Thank you, Karla, for your wonderful insight and insiders tour, keep up the great work! To all the educational changemakers and leaders like Karla around the globe, we would love to hear and share your story, please get in touch!
Thanks for reading!
Maxie and Paula
Meet Karla de Pineda: