Our Practicum Period has come to an end but not of course without its triumphs and tribulations. The greatest achievement has been increasing the social integration amongst the participants, which has been the first aim of Blogging the Dream. In the last post, it is demonstrated through the participants’ own words how this project has been beneficial to them, whether it be through friendships, gaining computer skills or simply spending time in a welcoming atmosphere.
In terms of challenges, we have encountered both expected and unexpected difficulties throughout our Training and Practicum Periods. The participants involved had lower levels of computer skills than we originally thought, so we have had to spend a significant amount of time teaching the basics. As the technical level of the training advanced, the ability of our computers to perform decreased. The Rising Voices grant provided Orizonturi Foundation with a new computer, which is the only one that can support the needed software and perform all functions required to blog. Thus, the participants’ “face time” with the computers has not been entirely conducive to learning. Although there are noticeable improvements in their skills, we still have not accomplished all of our intended objectives.
After completion of the Practicum Period our project proposed the initiation of the Blogging Club, in which members would create a common blog together through weekly meetings. However, in order to address the shortcomings we have experienced thus far, we are going to use this next month as a transition period. This will allow time to continue learning and implementing additional technical skills. Furthermore, we need this time to discuss with participants what goals they want to accomplish through the common blog (i.e. what topics and themes do they want the blog to address?) Leadership roles and basic club organization also needs to be determined during this transitional stretch.
Lastly, we are hoping to get more individuals involved, which we will continue to do on an ongoing basis. Since the commencement of the project, the students involved from Centrul Scolar have spread interest to their peers, drawing in additional students. Due to the lack of older participants, we want to direct our focus towards this particular demographic. Currently we are targeting members of the literary club to get involved with the incentive that Blogging the Dream is simply another opportunity for their material to be dispersed.