A summer internship many years ago in The Gambia began my work in international development. The internship was for three months. I stayed for thirteen years. I learned how to greet people with enthusiasm, have Plans A, B and C because things rarely happen the way you expect and learned that tomorrow and soon have more than one definition.
I got involved with technology and learning because anyone who could use a mouse was an expert. It started with a primary school teacher, Momodou Badjie. He called me his “backbone,” and he was my teacher. I set up on computer programs with Mr. Badjie at other primary schools across the country, was on the ICT committee at the Ministry of Education, learned to be a teacher and traveled throughout Africa facilitate workshops on using ICT. I reinstalled Windows 98 more times than I can remember, crawled on dirt floors trying to check if wires were connected and plugged in, blew up a few machines because I did not switch that little tab on the back from 110 to 220 and discovered my vocation is to work with educators.
That’s what I do. How can I help educators use technology to transform and enhance learning and teaching in Africa? Mr. Badjie died in 2010. I have never stopped asking “what would Mr. Badjie do?” in my work. When I can answer that question, I know what to do.