Update (2-Jan-2012): more up to date instructions can be found here: http://alexlittle.net/blog/2011/06/03/installing-geez-virtual-keyboard-on-android-devices/
Instructions for installing a Ge’ez Virtual Keyboard on Android:
- Root your device – exactly how this is done will depend on your device and you’ll need to look up on Google how to do this – note that rooting is not the same as unlocking your phone, rooting means you get administrative privileges to update system files, such as the font files we’ll update below.
- Download the files DroidSans.ttf and RootExplorer-v2.15.apk and copy these onto the phone’s SD card (or equivalent)
- Install and run the RootExplorer application and go to the sdcard folder
- In rootexplorer, find the DroidSans.ttf file and copy it
- Go to the /system/fonts folder and push the button marked “mount R/W”, the button will the change to be marked “mount R/O”
- Paste the DroidSans.ttf file into this folder – replacing the existing DroidSans.ttf file. Leave all the other font files as they are. It’s probably a good idea to make a backup of the original DroidSans.ttf file first, before you overwrite it. Just rename the original file to (something like) DroidSans.ttf.bak.
- Now restart the phone and the new font will be installed
- Now to install the keyboard, download the keyboard apk file
- Copy this to your phones SD card and install the application
- You should now be able to switch between the standard and Ge’ez keyboards. You may need to enable the keyboard by going to: Settings -> Language & Keyboard then select check the box to enable the new keyboard
- To find out how to switch between keyboards, watch our video:
We have tested this installation procedure on a few different phone models, though obviously we can’t cover every possible phone type and can’t guarantee it will work for every device. If you have any problems/issues then please post a comment. We’d also be very happy to hear that it did work for you!
The presentation I gave about an hour ago at eLearning Africa 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:
I was just having a look at the statistics for the Mekelle Uni Moodle and am very pleased to see how much the site has increased in usage over the last year. Great to see students making up a large proportion of the hits. Last year we were seeing more hits from teachers, probably due to their course development and issues with lab opening. The drop is hits during February and March this year is likely due to three factors: (a) one of the labs being closed following theft of some terminals, (b) end of semester exams and (c) subsequent inter-semester break. I hope the site usage continues to increase.
Over the last few months, we have been looking at ways in which we can move Digital Campus away from being a one-off project and into an ongoing programme. Our focus is now on how we can help improve ICT professionalism, creating more career opportunities and better career paths for those who work in IT.
We have been investigating the various options for this and our plans now revolve around Digital Campus supporting (through a partnership agreement) an ICT company based in Ethiopia to provide quality ICT services. Digital Campus in Europe would stay not-for-profit, but we would like to steer clear of being seen as a charity or donor organisation. Although we’re able to source and provide hardware very close to being free, we would only want this equipment to be used in environments where there is a clear support structure in place. I know far too many donated computer labs either permanently locked up or hardware reduced to doorstops because it simply hasn’t been properly maintained.
Digital Campus Ethiopia (for want of a better name) would initially provide the first line of support, being directly based in the client organisation and Digital Campus Europe would initially provide the second/third line support, but also giving training, work experience and internships, with a view to the Ethiopian based company subsequently taking over this role, building into a viable self-sustaining business. This should help offer a higher level of service quality as well as being able to offer better paid career options to local staff.
The challenges are very high, especially in finding a suitable team of staff (or an existing company) to partner with, as these people will be critical to the success (or otherwise) of the venture. But everyone I’ve spoken to recently seems to see it as the ‘right way’ to go.
I’d be interested to hear thoughts and opinions on this approach.
Last night we presented the Certificate in Online Education to another 20 teachers from Technology Institute and Health Sciences. Over the past week we’ve been verifying that everyone has completed the assignments and other requirements. We’re still learning about the best way to deliver the course to get active participation especially when we’re not present in Mekelle. Before coming to back to Mekelle we were a little worried that few teachers had completed any of the assignments or their courses. But actually most had completed what was asked of them, just that we didn’t know – either they’d started to develop a different course to the one they’d first told us about, or they’d created the required activities, but not submitted the links to notify us.
Most of the teachers are now moving onto the advanced course which we started this week. We’re not starting a new basic course this semester, as we’d really like the elearning team to deliver this themselves with our support from a distance, rather than Jaime and I continually running the workshops.
Has been a fun couple of weeks in Mekelle, but hard work and much more to do, as ever. I have a few other blog articles to finish writing and get posted up, so hope to do this over the next few days. With such a short visit, I didn’t get the time to catchup with everyone I wanted to, but hopefully I’ll be back again in May/June time for a slightly longer visit.
This week Alex and I have completed the introductory module of the Certificate in Online Education for teachers of Technical and Health Sciences faculties of Mekele University in Ethiopia. This course began in October 2010 with 1 Face-To-Face week. During the online period from October 2010 to February 2011, the participants had the opportunity to create course Web using tools that are useful in teaching, converting traditional courses and learned to use Web-based components to enhance face-to-face instruction.
All course materials are placed on Moodle and include module content (course outline, lecture notes, additional resources, audio and video lectures, assignments and open educational resources) and communication (forum, chat room, e-mail).
This material is intended to strengthen the current teaching of the courses to the current students in learning activities through access to computer labs on university campuses.
In this version of the Certificate in Online Education, we have included the evaluation of the developed courses based on peer review and on action plan for the future development work.
- Peer Review: participants gave the opinions and constructive feedback on the peer’s course. The completed form was uploaded as submission for this assignment.
- Course Review and Action Plan: each participant completed this form based on the feedback from the trainers, from other course participants and from their students.
Of the 26 participants who started the Certificate in Online Education in October 2010, 20 have completed the requirements to receive a certificate conferred by the Computation Sciences School, University of Alcala, Madrid Spain.
Mekele University has 20 new teachers with Pedagogical and Technical skills for e-learning and at least 20 new courses provided in a blended learning environment, taking the best of the classical classroom training (face-to-face instructor-led learning), and the best of online learning (self-paced learning, follow-up mechanisms on the Web and greater flexibility to meet the different learning styles).