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Tech Age Teens (TAT) - Leadership and Technology for Youth

The Tech Age Teens program (TAT) (formally named Leadership and Technology for Youth)  encourages students in and around the city of Atyrau, Kazakhstan, to connect with their communities and creatively engage issues with information technology.

Teachers trained in community leadership and IT skills help students develop and learn from online forums, blogs, video diaries, and websites. A small group of students also participates in a summer conference during which they use their IT skills to design community projects. TAT is funded by Tengizchevroil.

Goals

• Make the internet a vital and effective tool for schools and libraries in Atyrau and its regions

• Improve leadership skills and professional competitiveness through specialized youth training

• Foster community development and creative intellectual outlets for Atyrau youth

• Preserve cultural heritage by increasing the number of and access to local-language Web content reflective of cultural traditions

Background

Atyrau lies in a remote, rural area of Kazakhstan. TAT represents a joint effort between private, public, and international actors to build greater community connections and promote economic development. Before TAT began operations, many schools in Atyrau possessed computers and internet access, but were not fully utilizing them. TAT builds on this valuable educational infrastructure by helping teachers incorporate these tools more effectively into their lesson planning and classroom activities. The technical training and creative intellectual outlets provided by TAT are helping students in Kazakhstan become more effective learners, and more promising community leaders.

Project Activities

Teacher training: Teachers from participating schools receive training in the areas of IT and community leadership. They use their training at their schools to develop Tech Age Teen clubs where they share their knowledge with students.

Tech Age Teen clubs: At club meetings, students use IT skills to conduct research, document community needs, communicate with community leaders, and network with one another. Community-leadership skills training also mobilizes students to work in their community, engage with local leaders, and design service projects.

Summer conference: A small group of students participate in a two‐week workshop where they learn additional ICT and web-design skills, as well as how to pass their knowledge on to others. Students also receive assistance and training in developing a service project for their community. Finally, students undertake mini-internships at private companies, NGOs, or government institutions, providing them with professional experience.

Community Development Projects: Based on projects they design at the summer conference, students work with civil-society organizations, city departments, or local businesses to address a pressing community issue.

Project Facts

64 teachers from the Atyrau public schools have participated in the Training of Teachers

32 schools have been selected to host the Tech Age Teens program