By Patricia King’ori
Technology has had a tremendous impact on our daily lives especially in the work place. We are now able to store and access information and various programs over the internet instead of going through a computer hard drive.
Educators as well are now turning to cloud technology to enhance children’s learning and prepare them for a highly advanced global economy that relies heavily on rapid technological advancement and innovation. This has been boosted further by the explosion of cheaper smart mobile devices and easy to use free applications. With technology evolving at breakneck speed, students need constant access to information depending on their education needs.
With the help of e-learning platforms, teachers and students are able to interact through web based portals and access the latest curriculum content through PCs, laptops and tablets.
Samsung Electronics East Africa Solar Powered Internet Schools (SPIS) Program is an initiative by the company that utilizes cloud technology digital innovation to enhance the quality of education in rural areas that are outside the grid by providing a technology-rich learning and teaching environment. The program focuses on the deployment of ICT Infrastructure like the Samsung Interactive Whiteboard, commonly called E-board, the multi-purpose Samsung printer and Samsung tablets. This technology-laden environment is complimented with professional development of educators, content generation and management, as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICT in enhancing learning and teaching, in the classroom.
With the e-board technology, there is cross-group collaboration between and among teachers and learners across different geographical boundaries. With the help of e-learning platforms, teachers and students are able to interact through web based portals and access the latest curriculum content through PCs, laptops and tablets. With the help of webcams and applications like Skype, students can exchange ideas online and even take exams real time.
Teachers are also able to monitor tests in real time and grade them as soon as the student is done. Learning is also made interactive with educational videos that teachers can download and share with students on their tablets. It provides an amazing learning and teaching experience for the teachers and students. With the tablets, teachers can direct students to various education resources like web links and case studies during class. Students can privately request assistance when needed, making teaching more personalized hence improving the quality of learning.
Students at Arap Moi Primary School in Rongai, Kajiado County, where one SPIS was donated by Samsung Electronics a year ago, have better recall on information because of the engaging content hence improved grades. With the help of content developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Standard one and two pupils have registered marked improvements in English, Maths and Science. Both teachers and students utilize printers for a variety of roles like printing assignments, notes, exam papers, newsletters, art work and examination results.
A feature of cloud in the classroom is the ability to back up information. Usually we worry about students losing books and in the near future tablets and other smart mobile devices. Cloud technology has enabled us to store information in a space that is difficult to misplace or destroy. It automatically saves content that can be retrieved at any given time even if the devices crash.
(Patricia King’ori is the Marketing and Communications Business Leader, Samsung Electronics East Africa).