Professional Learning On Clubhouse Can Change Professional Development For African Educators

William Jackson, M.Ed. STEAM Educator on Clubhouse @myquesttoteach

African educators are discovering the newest and one of the most engaging social media apps that is supercharging professional development. African teachers have access to activities while engaged in Clubhouse in rooms like Educ8 World that hosts diverse rooms addressing STEAM Education and Learning with educators like William and Aida Jackson. They are known as the XSTREAM TEAM located in the United States.

Clubhouse has opened new opportunities for African educators to connect and collaborate on an audio platform that provides access to high-caliber people globally and share resources to connect and learn from. African educators now have a global reach in professional development that is helping them to diversify their instruction to a global and cross-curriculum learning architecture. This learning is free and from educational peers globally.

My wife, Aida who is an Arts educator and STEAM advocate and I, teaching STEAM learning in public education and in higher education have access to resources to speak to youth, teens and young adults to inspire new careers in STEAM and the growing commercialization of the Space industry. There are growing opportunities for African youth to learn about career alternatives that help build the African influence in STEAM – Science Technology Engineering Arts Math. These are the tools need to compete for high-tech careers that will grow in Africa and are remote.

There is an authentic and unique relationship to these learning opportunities that has never existed for African educators and administrators. Other online digital spaces; Flipgrid, Facebook Live, Twitter Chats, Tic Tok do not have educational components. So teachers are hesitant to use them to apply for classroom use. New learning opportunities help to broaden teachers’ ability to collaborate online with organizations that support STEM and STEAM learning along with social engagements and social activism and visions for the future. 

Clubhouse offers new opportunities to truly share, listen, speak, discuss, collaborate the voices of professional educators and to be heard beyond just their areas. The opportunity to make transformative connections and develop real relationships with people that are respected and connected, that is very exhilarating professionally. African teachers can connect with African professionals so students can see people that look like them, speak like them and share similar goals. When students see these successful people it provides a spark for them to envision their future successes and build influences in Africa for the future.

Globally Clubhouse has grown from 600,000 in December 2020 to 10 million in February 2021 and continues to grow in influence. When my wife Aida introduced it to me in 2020 I was skeptical,  \after attending several rooms I was completely hooked and as a professor teaching Web 2.0 and Digital Media. I’m able to speak to professional educators from around the world in the areas that I am passionate about in helping youth, teens and young adults to grow in their skills, talents and abilities outside of the classroom. I have made multiple connections with African educators and working to create ongoing collaborations.

Empowering African students with information from professionals is one of the best ways to change the future of young people because teachers have access to real people doing real work in business, technology, science, research and development. African educators can connect with people that have a vested interest in making sure all students are successful and even understand the struggles of urban youth, youth in villages and other living conditions. Cross cultural education is positive to student growth and social challenges that
teachers are dealing with personally and professionally.

“Clubhouse allows educators globally to connect with fellow educators and share best practices, to discuss the bigger ideas around education to allow them to reflect on their practice to improve student outcomes and also challenge their own views on education. It also allows them to hear voices that they may not have access to normally.” Doctor Michael Harvey, @doctor_harves.

Educational experts like David Price, “Open: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future,”  have stated that the changes of information and the barriers to teacher learning are falling away. “Because information flows faster and more freely than ever, and because we are better connected than ever, the barriers to learning are being dismantled. We share what we learn instantly and, generally, without restrictions. How we learn, and whom we learn from, has been transformed. Our reliance upon anointed experts and authority figures has diminished, while our capacity to learn from each other has spiraled.”

Teaching over 30 years in public and higher education, the access to educational peers and resources will help to keep African knowledge and skill-sets fresh and relevant. “The more information African teachers have access to the better prepared African students will be prepared.” William Jackson, M.Ed. Florda State College of Jacksonville. This means that African teachers can share real-time information with their students that is relevant and empowering. 

Aida Correa-Jackson a professor with Lenoir-Rhyne University teaching in the field of inclusivity, her passion to share how inclusion and diversity can benefit organizations and corporations if applied correctly and technology is used strategically. Our African educational peers can follow us on Clubhouse @myquesttoteach and on Twitter @myquesttoteach those that are artists/educators can follow Aida @lovebuiltlife on Twitter and Clubhouse and join the discussions on @Educ8World as conferences are announced.

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