How to start, run an ICT school club

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - ICT col­umn Robert Ndlovu

USE the ICT club plat­form to dis­sem­i­nate ICT knowl­edge and skills. In­te­grat­ing stu­dent train­ing en­ter­prise in the ICT clubs is an ex­cel­lent idea that al­lows stu­dents to prac­tise their skills. Schools have the best set up. Start de­vel­op­ing the mind­set of be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur. The idea is to lever­age on the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, or­gan­i­sa­tion, teach­ing staff, stu­dents and the lo­ca­tion of the school. This sup­ple­ments the con­nect a school con­nect a com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive. There is no one stop shop for so­lu­tions to bridge the dig­i­tal di­vide.

Ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion has a di­rect link to the de­vel­op­ment and well be­ing of a school, a com­mu­nity, a city and in­deed a na­tion. Be­low is a very rough guide­line that your school can fol­low to set up their own ICT Club.

This guide can be used by stu­dents, teach­ers, ser­vice providers or par­ents.

1. Set up a com­pe­tent com­mit­tee. Clubs can­not be run by one per­son. Cre­ate a club with po­si­tions that will be filled with re­spon­si­ble stu­dents, de­fined as loyal, smart, and hard­work­ing. These mem­bers will plan, build, or­gan­ise and run your ICT club.

2. Get good club mem­bers. A chain is as strong as its weak­est link. Here you want stu­dents who are se­ri­ous and hard­work­ing and not stu­dents who want to join the club so as to watch Youtube movies or What­sapp call­ing.

3. Find a club pa­tron. A club pa­tron’s role is to guide your ICT club to re­alise your set goals and di­rec­tion. Nat­u­rally you must look for a per­son who has a nat­u­ral lik­ing for ICT.

You want some­one with an in­ter­est in the club ac­tiv­i­ties. Some­one who will en­joy spend­ing time lis­ten­ing to your plans and some­one who will de­vote some­time help­ing you get the in­for­ma­tion you want as you set up and run your club.

4. Re­quest for writ­ten per­mis­sion from the schools ad­min­is­tra­tion oth­er­wise you will be in trou­ble. In some in­stance you might have to rope in your SDA.

They carry the bag. Clearly com­mu­ni­cate your club’s ac­tiv­ity, ob­jec­tives, mis­sion and vi­sion.

5. Con­vince oth­ers to join. Once the club is run­ning, all of the work rests in the of­fi­cials of the club hands. Keep con­vinc­ing other stu­dents to join, since clubs are dy­nam­ics (oth­ers come and oth­ers go).

If you lose mem­bers you will not have a club. Use FB and What­sapp to get peo­ple to join if they have a mo­tive to join your club.

6. Ca­pac­ity build­ing: Or­gan­ise var­i­ous train­ing ses­sions to em­power mem­bers. Train­ing such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, pre­sen­ta­tion skills, com­puter us­age skills, in­ter­view and CV writ­ing skills, video edit­ing skills, web de­sign, blog, cre­at­ing of busi­ness doc­u­ments, soft­ware in­stal­la­tion, ba­sic com­puter trou­bleshoot­ing skills are vi­tal for ICT club mem­bers.

In­vite skilled pro­fes­sion­als from var­i­ous sec­tors via your fa­cil­i­ta­tor or pa­tron to ac­cess crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion about ICT area and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

7. Ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion: Stu­dents quit clubs that are bor­ing and have no mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­i­ties that are in­ter­ac­tive and stim­u­lat­ing. Keep the club ac­tive, have sched­uled club meet­ing days with de­fined agen­das.

As­sign roles and du­ties to club mem­bers. Use such fo­rum to ed­u­cate non-club mem­bers about your ac­tiv­i­ties and en­cour­age them to join. Con­duct com­pe­ti­tions and of­fer prizes such as air time and cal­cu­la­tors.

Last but not least you will need to have the ICT hard­ware, soft­ware and in some in­stances an in­ter­net con­nec­tion. If your school is not avail­ing this to you as a staff mem­ber or stu­dent then your fu­ture is pretty much at risk.

There are dozens of vol­un­teers who can help you get started in this. Just send a text or e-mail free con­sul­tancy.

Next week we will look into how pri­mary schools can use a FREE but very pow­er­ful pro­gram called SCRATCH to let pupils code their own in­ter­ac­tive sto­ries, an­i­ma­tions, and games. In the process, they learn to think cre­atively, rea­son sys­tem­at­i­cally, and work col­lab­o­ra­tively.

I have a tar­get school in mind. Mzi­likazi Pri­mary School! woza­tel @ 077 600 2605

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