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Tech Coach Experiences Upgrade Moving to Africa

Ryan Harwood shares his story of working in Ghana

After ten years of teaching in North Carolina public schools, Ryan Harwood decided he wanted a change. So he and his wife made a big one. They moved to Ghana. Ryan and his wife had always wanted to work internationally, and following the recommendation of a former principal who had moved there a few years earlier, they found Ghana a natural fit.

He started as a humanities teacher at Ghana’s Lincoln Community School, where he now works as a Technology Integration Coach. You might assume that the technology he and his kids had access to would be a step down from the classrooms in the States. Quite the contrary. In North Carolina, the classes had only one computer for the kids and one for the teacher.

“When I got here to Ghana, it was a Bring Your Own Device school and every kid had a laptop or access to a laptop,” he says. “The Internet connection wasn’t as fast, but there was more connectivity because more kids had devices. We were handed a laptop as we came in as teachers, so I instantly had a MacBook to work with whereas, in the States, I had a giant super monitor Dell. I had kind of an instant update by moving to a developing country. That was not what I expected. I think most people expect that when you go to a developing country, you’re not going to have things. But in the case of an international school, that’s not always going to be true.”

Ryan’s story is a fascinating one, and he’s turning another page as he and his family prepare to move to Amman, Jordan. I look forward to catching up with him down the line to hear more first-hand knowledge of international learning environments.

About Ryan Harwood

Ryan spent the first 12 years of his career as a humanities teacher with a passion for technology integration. He is currently sharing that passion with other teachers as the Technology Integration Coach at Lincoln Community School in Ghana. He is a facilitator for COETAIL a Google for Education Certified Trainer and founder of EdCamp Accra and the #AfricaEd Twitter chat.

Follow Ryan Harwood on Twitter.

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