Safiétou Ndiaye, teacher of English at Lycée Moderne de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal

My experience with iEARN: shaping better learners, better citizens and tomorrow’s leaders through project based learning.

My students and I agreed to work on the “My Country”, focusing on an environmental issue which we face in the surroundings of our school but which is common in many areas in our country, Senegal. I introduced the project to my students when tackling a chapter entitled “Environment”. I wanted this lesson to be practical and innovative and for me the best way was to do it through a project. My students were enthusiastic, committed and willing to present a good project since they were told they will have to share it with iEARNers around the world.

We identified an environmental issue; we went in the field to find the causes by interviewing people, taking pictures and making videos. We drew the negative impact such issue could have on the environment. We proposed some solutions among which “community service” that we implemented. We organized cleaning up activities around our school and helped cleaners in charge of cleaning the surroundings of the stadium, opposite our school.

My students made proof of so much commitment during the community service that I believe this experience will have a positive impact on them as citizens and future leaders, since they now call themselves “iEARN LYMODAK (the short name of our school) environment protectors”.  They posted their work and a video to the iEARN youth forum.

They are ready to work on another aspect of the “My Country” project or any other project. I intend to get my students in each level I will have this coming academic year, work on an iEARN project. I shared my experience with colleagues in my school and other schools and look forward to seeing them try and enjoy working on an iEARN project! Thanks to the “My Country” project, I won the first prize of a contest  on innovative teaching organized by Microsoft Partners in Learning in West and Central Africa. I was invited to attend a forum in Aqaba, Jordan where I “brought” iEARN with me!

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