This anecdote’s [UNDERTONES] and [OVERTONES] are, individually and collectively, blatant exemplifications of the Digital Divide.

It was in the predawn hours, as always, communal work across time zones has its pleasures. Its rewards.

On the (6-week-delayed) first day of class for the core course HIS702:01 History of Panafricanism with my 9 graduate online students in the Master’s in African History at the sole, struggling university of The Gambia (Economic Community of West African States), the smallest country on the Mainland Motherland.

Friday, 24thOctober 2014:

[6:06:05 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: Ngorsène, I'd like to add you as a contact.

[6:06:33 AM]Ngorsène: yes, how are you? google hangouts possible?

[6:07:00 AM] ***Ngorsène has shared contact details with Jimmy Hendry Nzally. ***

[6:07:45 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: yes

[6:07:45 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: it's possible     [ASSERTIVENESS. RESILIENCE.]

[6:10:45 AM]Ngorsène: ok what do i do? i used to have an account, but i'm not sure i can find it. any guidance?                           [INSTRUCTOR’S PREPAREDNESS OR LACK THEREOF.]

[6:11:10 AM] *** Call from Jimmy Hendry Nzally ***

[6:14:37 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: this this the link

[6:14:38 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

[6:14:49 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: on top you will join

[6:17:30 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: if you there you can add me by tyyping my full names

[6:17:37 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: jimmy hendry nzally

[6:18:09 AM] *** Call ended, duration 06:59 ***

[6:22:30 AM] *** Missed call from Jimmy Hendry Nzally. ***

[6:23:00 AM] *** Call from Jimmy Hendry Nzally ***

[6:25:02 AM]Ngorsène: I'VE INVITED YOU ON HANGOUTS ALREADY

[6:25:03 AM] *** Call ended, duration 02:03 ***

[6:25:35 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: can u invite Jimmy instead becus we using his laptop  [“HASHTAG!???”: DIGITAL SEGREGATION IN GLOBAL EDUCATION. ONE LAPTOP SHARED BY 9 GRADUATE STUDENTS. ACHIEVEMENT GAPS IN PROGRESS = ECONOMIC CRIMES IN PROGRESS.]

[6:28:51 AM]Ngorsène: I DID. HE NEEDS TO ACCEPT IT

[6:29:01 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: Ok

[6:30:11 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: The issue we are encountering here is tht the internet connectivity is very poor.        [“HASHTAG”: DIGITAL SEGREGATION IN GLOBAL EDUCATION bis repetita. LET US JOIN FORCES TO RESIST THE MARGINALIZATION OF VIBRANT AFRICAN YOUTH IN THE ENJOYMENTS OF THE FRUITS OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION.]

[6:30:35 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: Its taking forever for a page to load [OF COURSE IT WOULD.]

[6:31:31 AM] Ngorsène: OK. I'LL JUST WAIT. WHAT'S UP W/  THE SYSTEM THEY USED FOR THE DEFENSE AS AN ALTERNATIVE?

[6:32:27 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: It was an online hosting site that I used.

[6:33:04 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: But all this systems cannot work without a proper internet connectivity

[6:33:17 AM]Ngorsène: OK...

[6:33:34 AM]Ngorsène: DID ALL THE STUDENTS RECEIVE MY EMAIL?

[6:33:38 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: Would u have the page is still loading for me to accept our hangout invitation.

[6:43:12 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: yes we are now sharing the reading materials           [VICTORY!]

[6:43:19 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: thanks prof.                [GRATEFULNESS.]

[6:46:06 AM]Ngorsène: TELL EVERYBODY TO READ THE SYLLABUS --AT LEAST; AND IF THESE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS KEEP US HERE ANY LONGER, THEY SHOULD ALSO STUDY THE READINGS"DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, DEVELOPING LEADERS". THANK YOU.            [UNCOMPROMISING ACADEMIC EXIGENCIES ACROSS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.]

[6:46:49 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: well noted prof          [(AFRICAN) STUDENTS’ PROVERBIAL DETERMINATION TO EMBRACE ACADEMIC RIGOR. "Oh, BOY," DO THESE DO DO THE READINGS?]

[6:47:02 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: we reading and discuss as a class now               [SPIRIT OF SELF-RELIANCE. PRINCIPLE(S) OF PEDAGOGICAL INDEPENDENCE IN PLACE (?)]

[6:47:48 AM]Ngorsène: GOOD. VERY GOOD. (ANY REALISTIC HOPE THE INTERNET IS GOING TO WORK BETTER?)

[6:48:35 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: not at all. it’s weak for now and the technician is movign up and down trying his best.             [RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF DESTITUTE INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE. Always...]

[6:53:07 AM]Ngorsène: how much longer will we keep trying?

[6:56:44 AM]Ngorsène: Maybe another 15-20m. Just email me when the system is up and I'LL LOG RIGHT BACK IN. OK?

[6:57:51 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: The technician is saying it's not possible to hold the class because of the connection.       [QUIET DESPERATION.]

[6:58:21 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: i spoke to Dr. Gomez too\     [LOCAL DEAN’S INVOLVEMENT/INTERVENTION!]

[6:58:26 AM]Ngorsène: OK. I'LL SEE EVERYBODY NEXT FRIDAY. IT'S A PITY. WA'SAALAM... [SEMI-DEPRESSIVE STATE (?). REPRESSED FURY. But careful, youth-wo-man: ANGER DISSOLVES RESOLVE…(?) INTELLECTUAL TRAUMA. DON’T “WE” DESERVE BETTER? Who is "WE"?????????]

[6:59:14 AM]Ngorsène: Email me whenever you have some updates. I will do my part and post all the readings on Google Docs as early as I can. Bye,

[6:59:30 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: thank you

[6:59:50 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: I will Prof.

[7:00:18 AM] Jimmy Hendry Nzally: we also apologies and Dr. Gomez is forwarding the matter urgently for action. [LOCAL DEAN ESCALATES ISSUE OF FIRST CLASS FLOP DUE TO POOR INTERNET!]

[7:01:04 AM]Ngorsène: it's all right, man. That's NOBODY's fault.

Jimmy Hendry Nzally: Thanks PRof!                   [GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION NONETHELESS, ALWAYS…]

Yours, truly.

New perspectives gained along the way: with the right plan, you may just be able to pull a molar from the roaring lion's mouth.

Therefore, plan your work, and work your plan. At the teeth-grinding edges of The Digital Divide...

~ Read next post in Big and Small Experiments Across the Digital Divide ~

Master’s in African History Online [Maat'O]

Posted by Dr. Jean-Jacques Ngor Sène

6 min read