WordCamp In Africa – Learning Growing Collaboration

Africa Digital

WordCamp In Africa – Learning Growing Collaboration
William Jackson, M.Ed
WordCamp Organizer, Speaker, KidsCamp Organizer
Past sponsor WordCamp Harare and EdCamp Nigeria

Kids Camp In Africa
Kids Camp In Africa

“In our fast-changing world driven by digital technology,
it is important that every child becomes a creative actor
of localized digital solutions, not its passive consumer”.
@ashuna112 #ACW2019 #AfricaCodeWeek

There is a rapid expansion of WordCamp conferences in Africa,
this magnificent continent of resources both human and
environmental.
WordCamp conferences are seen growing, thriving and
educating people with a passion not just for technology, but
opening doors for business ventures, entrepreneurial opportunities,
unheard of digital collaboration. The opportunities to enable and
empowering African entrepreneurs to share their Brands and find
new Niches and partnerships.

As Blogger, Micro-bloggers, content creator and digital
influencer  for over 15 years, digital impressions expand
based on engagements.  That engagement builds with
the increase of involvement, engagement,
collaboration and sharing content.

WordCamp allows rapid and sustainable growth based on thought
leadership digitally and correspondingly with continued engagement
at MeetUps.  Content creation is only limited by the creative minds that
apply what is learned at WordCamp conferences and the growing number
of KidsCamp and YouthCamp conferences.

WordCamp is a casual and at the same time professional
conference where information is shared related to
WordPress. WP is a free and open source personal publishing
application that powers over 40% of the web.
The immersion of Africa will rapidly increase these numbers and
allow for those African digital innovators to share their talents,
gifts and knowledge.

Africa is expanding the influence of knowledge and applied
knowledge to grow new generations of thought leaders,
digital dreamers, critical thinkers and collaborations that
will take place not just locally, but expand nationally and
across the continent.

Accompanying the traditional WC are KidsCamp and
YouthCamp components that encourage kids from
7yrs to 14yrs and YouthCamp from 15yrs to 17yrs.
There are increased numbers of youth, teens and
young Africans that are starting businesses and
becoming digital innovators, influencers and digital
business owners.

WC conferences build relevant discussions and
information is applicable immediately during
and after the conference. Networking is formidable
because real people with real careers, professions,
businesses, and real dreams are present to share
and help others.

Mentors in multiple areas can be found and the growing
number of Internships helps to provide youth and teens
with real world opportunities to apply and learn skills
to build on.

Meetups allow discussions to be continued and the
building of PLN’s or Professional Learning Networks
that help assist in connections, collaborations
and building networks.

The formats from lectures/presentations, speed talks,
or lightning presentations, panels and interviews.
Presentations are diverse sessions that incorporate slides
and videos that can be accessed from the presenters web
site or through  WordCamp channel on
http://WordPress.tv  after the conference.
The professional development opportunities continue
and can be used at the convenience from home or
through mobile devices.

The building of digital infrastructures that allow
for strong and consistent connections is growing
quickly because of the demands for access.
Access to tech is not a privilege, it has become a right,
as education is a human right, digital access to
educational, business and humanitarian information
is a right of all Africans not matter their educational,
economic, cultural or color. New laws are in place to
make sure access if available and equitable.

As a WordCamp blogger, advocate, speaker, organizer,
volunteer and a the value for the cost of a two day and
the growing three day conference pays for itself.
Africans are seeing that their Brand grows rapidly and
their engagements increase proportionally to following
others on Social Media platforms like Twitter, Instagram
and LinkedIn.

To keep up to date access WordCamp Central and
WordPress TV for relevant and real information.

Resources:
WordCamp Central
https://central.wordcamp.org/

WordPress TV
https://wordpress.tv/

Follow William Jackson and Aida Correa
on the hashtag #thatwordcamplife or #thatwordpresslife

Sharing Ideas to Build African Content Creators

Image of Africa


Sharing Ideas to Build African Content Creators
William Jackson, M.Ed.
The continued growth of African content creators is
being seen in the global expansion of Africans that
are sharing their digital stories.

Whether their stories are personal, professional,
collaborative, political or based on social issues
there are more African bloggers than ever before.
Digital infrastructures are allowing Africans to build
businesses using their cell phones and tablets.
Technology is opening new doors to compete and
collaborate and the world is noticing on Social Media
and digital commerce.

There are many African bloggers not sure how to
start and where to go for help. The availability of
WordCamp conferences and other tech workshops,
meetups and meetings helps tremendously.
Understanding and comprehension of how to apply
content creation is important. Blogging is not and will
not die because of the diversity that is available.

Sharing from my experiences to help bloggers on the
African content are from my experiences as a blogger,
speaker, volunteer, advocate and organizer at WordCamp,
Bar Camp and other tech events.
As a professional educator with a Masters in Technology
with a focus in Educational Technology, Social Media
and STEAM and 30 years of teaching I have seen so much
on the local, national and international levels.

African communities are improving their infrastructures
so the increase is necessary to support the growing number
of users. Resources are valuable to allow for growth
educationally, economically and even socially.



22 Ideas for Growth and Engagement of

African Content Creators
1. Find your calling for content creation, you should
enjoy the process and feel that your accomplishing
something that is coming from your heart and your head.
2. Question your direction in content and where you’re
going. The direction that you are traveling is important
to the stability and growth of your personal and business
life.
3. Use your current skills to build your craft and build
your Brand. Starting is sometimes the hardest part, but
begin and don’t look back.
4. Always participate in learning activities, being a life-long
learner is beneficial because it sets the foundation for
continued learning and growth.
5. Stay true to your Brand, your Brand represents you
and the business you are building.

6. Look at your potential competition as possible future
collaboration. Find common ground to work on and build
a following together. The world is a global economy that
is based on business collaborations.
7. Be proud of who you are and be authentic in your Brand.
8. Don’t be distracted by others and their growth, don’t
imitate others that are growing faster than you, study
their marketing abilities and who is their audience.
9. Embrace your cultural heritage and leverage it to grow,
but always be mindful of the power of embracing diversity.
10. Don’t forget where you came from and how you can
help others grow from their situations and circumstances.
11. Watch your level of articulation and language when
posting content on diverse platforms.
Your words carry power.

12. Be careful how  you share information across cultures,
genders and generations. The language you use can make
or break your Brand and building relationships.
13. Be prepared for trips to libraries for research. Gaining
information to build beyond your opinion, speculation and
perceptions from experiences. 
14. Being involved in Social Media and tech it is important
to always have your devices charged because you never
know when content will be available for your next blog
or video.
15.  Try to put aside your personal ideologies and nuances
that will affect your writing. Distractions must be kept to
a minimum.
16. Write for multiple platforms, diversity helps to bring
about diversity in thinking and looking at things differently.
The TEDTalk “The Danger of a Single Story” is important
to listen to and helps understand potential perceptions.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an excellent storyteller.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg

17. Check to make sure your writing from the heart and that your writing
not just for yourself, but potential readers.
18. Never forget the humanistic and humanity in your storytelling.
You have a voice that has power so make sure there is a purpose.
19. Look at your attire and the perceptions that you create.
Writing changes as you change in maturity, experience and
relationships. Adapting is important and necessary over time.

20. Surround yourself with people that are growing and moving.
Developing and rising take time, but the foundation can be
made by who and whom you hang out with and collaborate with.
21. Guilt by association is very powerful, be aware of your
associations, relationships, and who you’re seen with.
22. Have your “elevator pitch” ready at all times. You may
end up giving it in the bathroom or the most awkward places
and the rewards can be life changing.

WordCamp Conferences – You Have Too Want It and Own It

Aida and William teaching KidsCamp Orlando

WordCamp Conferences – You Have Too Want It and Own It
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Organizer, Volunteer, Speaker, Advocate, Micro-sponsor

The growing anniversaries of WordCamp conferences is a
pivital point in many of those attending these transitiveness
tech conferences globally.
Organizers and Bloggers

Organizers and BloggersWC or WordCamp is an opportunity to learn new skills and
apply to the value and importance of building knowledge
then applying that knowledge strategically. Learning
marketing strategies, the value of recognizing changes
in applications that take the future and pull us forward.
The evolution of “tracks” shows the diversity of the
speakers in culture, gender, demographics and their
knowledge base.

Diversity and inclusiveness means across the board
cultural, gender, color and even generational values
to all. The understanding that as content creators we
cannot live in a vacuum or in our own worlds because
of the beauty of diversity in interests applied to
the dynamic platform of WordPress.

One of the pivital points of WordCamp is the Kids Camp
that provides a platform of networking, education,
encouragement, empowerment and even enlightenment.
Youth, teens and young adults grow in their business
and entrepreneurial knowledge.
They are engaged in exchanges of knowledge, higher
order thinking and critical thinking skills.

The instruction, mentoring and role modeling through
the speakers and volunteers showed that youth, teens
and young adults are encouraged to be engaged and involved.
Sharing to the future bloggers, graphic designers, coders,
programmers that they have to want to own it, and through
that ownership they are a growing influence.

Teaching future content creators, bloggers, entrepreneurs,
business owners, educators, venture capitalists and others
that allow for engagement, empowerment and elevation for the
future business leaders in technology.
My observations as an educator, business owner and parent
are the lessons learned from WordCamp conferences I have
attended, spoken and volunteered since 2011.

Learning is not conditional, it should be contagious and
continuous. There should be relevancy in applying what is
being learned to real world situations. Applied knowledge
can create change, the WordCamp community is not a selfish
community, it is based on a foundation of innovation,
creativity, imagination and sharing.

Diversity is valuable and inclusiveness is a continuous
learning process as more women are speaking and more people
of color such as myself (African American and male) and
Aida Correa (Afro-Latina and female) each of us is over
50 so generational circumstances are important too.

Flag of Costa Rica
Flag of Costa Rica

Involved in WordCampCR (Costa Rica) Central America
is an extension of the value of diversity in culture,
cultural understanding and cultural acceptance.
Even speaking and volunteering in Calgary, Canada at
WordCampYYC (Calgary, Alberta) Canada

Image of WordCamp YYC
Image of WordCamp YYC

The extension of the conference for WordCamp and Kids Camp
into Meetups held once or twice a month that encourages
interaction and collaboration. Learning has to be applied
to the crafts that are chosen, being accountable and
responsible for your knowledge and applying where it is
beneficial for growth.

The speakers at WordCamp conferences provide the
content,  it is up to those attending to apply that
knowledge for their benefit and even the benefit
of their customers.
The dynamics of tech can only show change when effectively
applied and applied strategically. Owning our Brands is
owning our vision for what we want people to see and their
perceptions of what we present.

Encouraging youth, teens and young adults with their
parents to attend WordCamp and KidsCamp conferences
and along with monthly or bi-monthly Meetups.

WordCamp Central
https://central.wordcamp.org/
WordCamps are informal, community-organized
events that are put together by WordPress
users like you.
Everyone from casual users to core developers
participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

The Growth of My Quest To Teach

My Quest To Teach Logo
My Quest To Teach is now on Alexa and Google, this means that
now you can listen to the international blog My Quest To Teach
by William Jackson, M.Ed. and Aida Correa.
William Jackson speaking at WordCamp Jacksonville 2018
William Jackson speaking at WordCamp Jacksonville 2018 The MQTT blog is a journey of William and Aida and
their quest to provide information addressing technology,
STEAM, Social Media, digital engagement, community
activism and how technology is changing the world we
live in especially for youth, teens and young adults
of color and culture. William is a 32 year professional educator, Aida is a
equally talented educator in STEAM, Web Development,
and small business. She has a dynamic curriculum for
youth, teens and young adults that is rich in hands-on
project based learning and engagement. Between them
are 50 years of educational and creative experiences.

This is your invitation listen to the web site, My Quest
To Teach using Google and Alexa located at
https://myquesttoteach.com/
Saying “Alexa play my quest to teach” or “Google
run my quest to teach” allows the Apps to play the blog.
You’re encouraged to send William and Aida feedback
by emailing myquesttoteach@gmail.com letting them
know what you think of the current blog or former blogs
that can be read to you. WordCamp Jacksonville 2017 If your a business owner, entrepreneur, solo-preneur
there are opportunities to expand your business and
grow your influence. Google or Alexa read who you are and what your about
with your business to local, national and international
businesses and organizations. New technologies are being integrated into blogging,
it is not just text there is digital engagement and
opportunities to share your Brand and build a Niche.
Technology is allowing individuals to build Professional
Learning Networks and Personal Learning Networks.
There are collaboration opportunities that extend the
opportunity of collaboration not competition. WordCamp US 2018 - Volunteering for the first time !!! Take your blogging to another level and move it beyond
a local site to national and international engagement. Contact Create My Voice – https://www.createmyvoice.com/
Chip and Pam Edwards – To gain more information just let
Chip and Pam know that William Jackson of My Quest To
Teach sent you there way…
https://www.createmyvoice.com/content/pages/contact-us.html William Jackson – My Quest To Teach
https://myquesttoteach.com
myquesttoteach@gmail.com KidsCamp - Building Digital Innovators with STEAM

Writing and Storytelling for Africans

Image of Africa

Writing and Storytelling for Africans
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
@wmjackson Twitter

image of William Jackson
image of William Jackson, Blogger and Educator

“Writers have to recognize the works of the artist and
those of the activist. Creating content is more than just
throwing words, video, pictures on a digital sheet of
paper. There is serious intellectual thought during the
writing process. Sometimes writing will be in a zone of
creativity and innovation to create new content that has
an intended outcome, but sometimes the outcomes are
unknown.” William Jackson

Professor Soyinka “Just sit down and write….” as he has
stated to growing African writers across the continent.
The ability of a blogger / writer to write also means that
they have a responsibility to tell the story of those that
cannot write, those that are silent and have no voice.

Digital content is powerful and enabling to bring recog-
nition, attention and urgency to civic issues that need
to be addressed.

The growth of the blogger / writer is composed of periods
of growth, reconciliation, enlightenment and a civic
responsibility to write / blog not just for oneself, but for
those that do not have a voice and will not be heard.
The ability to share a story comes from the ability to listen
and apply knowledge from a person’s experiences,
interactions, goals for growth and even how mistakes are
made and learned from.

The diversity of culture influences a writer’s ability to
“touch” the people they are writing to or writing for.
When past writers applied their skills they shared stories
that could be connected to real life, to the experiences
that many knew they could connect to.

The diversity of African bloggers represents the diversity of
a continent that influences not just the global weather, but
has digital extensions that influence business, commerce,
entrepreneurial spirits of the dreamers, creators and
innovators that have ideas to change the world around them.

Africa is in a constant state of flux economically, educationally,
culturally and the future is unknown, but it is becoming
brighter and brighter as business and entrepreneurial
opportunities become available.

Writers like author and Professor Wole Soyinka who are
involved in civic issues, governmental policies and the
educational growth of youth, teens and adults. He
is of the past, but influences the present.

There are modern writers waiting to be read.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been nominated for a Nobel
Peace Prize in 2017 and is a strong contender to win
one in literature.

The African continent has birthed intellectual and
intelligent writers that have embraced and applied
digital platforms to awaken and encourage others in
the African diaspora to spread their digital wings and
take flight. The storytellers of the past have grown and
adapted to the Bloggers, Vbloggers, Podcasters,
Facebook Live and Instagram visionaries building,
creating, designing and posting content that influences
thought not just emotions.

Stated by Soyinka, “when Africans learn the power they
have in their hands in writing, they can influence their
communities and make important and needed changes
because they will have a voice that others can hear and
follow.”

Writing is a grassroots process that builds knowledge in
Africans of all ages and can influence generations. The
educational process is key because as can be seen in Africa
it is dangerous to allow your colonizers to educate your
children. Their goals are not the goals of those being
oppressed. The goal of the oppressor is the keep the
oppressed ignorant. So that their resources can be drained
dry before the oppressed realize what is happening
to their lands, to their people and their very existence.

Stated by Prof. William Jackson of My Quest to Teach
“If we (Blacks) are not speaking for ourselves or writing
for ourselves, someone else is going to describe who we
are, where we came from and ultimately where we are going.”

This creates identity problems because those that are doing
the writing are not looking through the eyes of those being
written about. The people are not seen as people they are
seen as little things with no value, as Chinua Achebe states,
“as funny things.”

Too many stories are wrong in their direction to offer solutions
to issues that Africans are experiencing. Africans must be able
to tell their own stories because there is a story to tell…..
“Your pen has to be on fire.” Chinua Achebe
Social Media has opened more doors to express, share
and even demand change.

Resources:
How many people use social media in Africa?
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/13/africa/africa-social-media-consumption/
BBC Africa
https://www.youtube.com/user/bbcafrica
10 Best African Speakers
https://www.africa.com/ted-global-2017-meet-the-10-africans-on-the-list-of-speakers/