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Embracing technology for a brighter future

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Words by Samuel Wang’ombe-Cohort 4 fellow

Technology in Kenya is taking a different shape in the 21st century. The national government had foreseen this when it promised every learner with a laptop. The project was fruitful but the delivery of the gadgets was done towards the end of the year and enrolment in schools increased tremendously. They had targeted the then Class One pupils and this resulted in more enrolled learners to public schools. Private schools could have adapted the idea and implement the same project and be funded by the parents. They could have set a very good precedence.

To some areas, it was a blessing in disguise as this helped to transform learning gradually. In addition to the tablets not being enough, the distribution to schools took long. Now that the country is experiencing challenges during COVID-19 pandemic, teaching learners while at home was and is an issue to enhance remote learning. In arid and semi-arid areas enrolment in public schools had increased drastically and most of the teachers used to teach with technology on market days to attract learners in schools. Use of tablets during the market days helped me as a school administrator to entice the learners and indeed turn up is always 100%.

The most fascinating moment was to expose the learners and the teachers to Skype in the classroom whereby they could feel the virtual visit to oversees countries and shared educational matters with learners of the same level. Teaching with technology in the classroom was a challenge to most of the teachers in primary school when the tablets were issued to schools. Training of teachers was done countrywide targeting 12,000 teachers who were guided through an online course in the Microsoft Educator Community. They had to sit for an online exam on Technology Literacy in Education by Microsoft. The pass mark was 70% and most of the teachers scored between 60% and 80%. Educators who have undergone this training and got certified, feel empowered while teaching with technology in class. Their creativity and innovativeness stand out.

Virtual Learning Solutions team Creating awareness on Technology Literacy for Educators - 21 st century learning designs to secondary school teachers at KICC during a science.

As a teacher coach and ICT champion in Laikipia County, I have learnt a lot from both teachers and learners. During C0VID-19 pandemic, I have tried to reach teachers empowering them to transform learning using Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. If teachers felt empowered, rather than scared of technology and equipped themselves with technological skills, they could reach a multitude of learners virtually. Working closely with I Choose Life Africa (ICL) and Virtual Learning Solution (VLS) a Microsoft Global Partner, I have been able to reach more than 500 teachers countrywide. The main focus was Laikipia because ICL as a project has empowered teachers by offering pieces of training Remote Teaching while VLS trains and offers online Exam on Technology Literacy for Educators-21 st Century Learning Design.

In Kenya, the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) unlocks learners and promotes their critical and creative thinking. For a teacher to rhyme with the CBC system is highly advised to undergo a Teacher Professional Development Course on Technology Literacy for Educators- 21 st Century Learning Design that focuses on the following Collaboration, Skilled communication, Knowledge construction, Self-regulation, Real-world problem solving and Use of ICT for Learning. The course is self-directed and it’s online, the user gains experience interacting with the system which is Hands-on, Minds-on (HoMo). In-depth understanding of Rubrics is real and practical in the course undertaken.

Samuel guiding teachers on use of tablets and accessing content from the Content Access Point and The Rachel Server.

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