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The Whole World in my Bag: Adventures and Strategies in Technology Outreach to Underprivileged Youth in Nepal

Your Name and Title: Gretel Patch, Technology Integration Coordinator

School, Library, or Organization Name: Lincoln School

Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A

Country from Which You Will Present: Nepal

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience (such as primary school teachers, high school administrators, students, etc.): Middle and High School Teachers

Short Session Description (one line): Join me for a discussion on the technology integration strategies I learned and used that can be applied in any country to teach less advantaged youth 21st Century digital skills.

Full Session Description (one paragraph minimum):

In February 2011, the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) was initiated in Kathmandu, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA). This 400-hour, two-year program provides intensive English language instruction for roughly 280 14- to- 18-year-olds from underprivileged backgrounds. Students, half male and half female, are also introduced to American culture, holidays, and traditions.

These students consider it a great honor to be selected for this program and they give it their all. In addition to attending public school six days a week, students come after school and on their only day off (Saturday) to Access classes five hours weekly, often traveling great distances on foot. Students, many of whom are ethnic minorities, have blossomed in both language acquisition and confidence. They have developed respect for and appreciation of U.S. culture and heritage. At the completion of the program, students will be better equipped to serve within their country, towns, and society.

While students are achieving English language skills taught through traditional methods, they lack basic computer and technology skills that would help take their learning to the next level and equip them with essential digital skills.  Many of their teachers, though eager and willing, are limited in their technology skills and access to updated equipment. Seeing this need and wanting to help, I volunteered my time over the past several months to teach these students and their teachers basic computer skills that educate, engage, and empower them.  

I was both excited by the possibilities and overwhelmed. I had before me empty slates–willing students–that were eager to learn. Many of them had never sat down at a computer, checked their email, taken their own photos with a digital camera, filmed their own videos with a Flip, or swiped on an iPad. Ever. None of them have a computer at home. Those who use a computer at their local “cyber” check Facebook and watch YouTube. They don't think of the Internet as a powerful learning tool. Where would I even begin?

Somewhere. I designed content and wrote lesson plans to integrate slideshows, movies, presentations, interactive quizzes. I lent the students my own digital devices so they could explore the cameras, video camera, iPhone, and iPad. I used various iPad apps to support their English Language Learning.

One of their teachers looked at my bag of digital devices and said, "You've got the whole world in there!" I had to agree.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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Are you applying to be part of this special strand geared towards ed tech startups? There are requirements beyond the proposal that are required. If not, you need to edit your proposal by going to OPTIONS in the upper right hand corner, removing the GETIdeas tag, and entering another conference tag that's more relevant. 

Please read this:

Please let me know if this is the right strand that you are applying for or change to another strand. Once you've done this, I can approve this proposal. 

Hi Lucy. Thanks for your reply. I figured the Get Ideas strand is the best fit for this, but if you have a better suggestion I'm open.



If you're not an ed tech start up and not planning on submitting the extra requirements for the GETideas strand, then you should use 2012teachers, 2012students, and/or 2012curriculum. Generally, we are not an ICT focused conference (other than the very specific GETIdeas strand), but since you're addressing language, your proposal fits!  

Add the tags that you want, and I'll approve this.


Innovation Perspectives with GETideas


After reading your helpful link, I have changed the tags to include 2012teachers and 2012students which are a better fit. Thanks for the guidance!


Due to some technical difficulties, the recording for this session didn't turn out very well.

I have posted all of my slides and full narration here:

The Whole World in my Bag...

Please keep in touch!


And here is the link to the presentation and narration on Slideshare:


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