Technology in education is the inevitable change that the educators of the 21st century will have to embrace. For years, policy makers, teachers, parents and students alike have been weighing the potential benefits of technology in education against its risks and consequences.
Prior to introduction of the Competency-based curriculum (CBC), teachers and students could afford to use technology sparingly since there was no direct pedagogical requirement by the curriculum to do so. However, Competency-based curriculum (CBC) throws a spanner in the works making technology not an option anymore for the educators. Every learner, teacher or parents involved in CBC requires technology as it is a core competence in the curriculum and to a great extent, supports majority of the other competencies such as communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving and creativity and imagination. Mobile and web apps, interactive games, computers, tablet PCs and smart phones now becomes part and parcel of our classrooms and so of our teaching and learning processes.
The Beacon Academy; an emerging private primary school in Embu County is taking the technology challenge head on. By engaging the leading EdTech company in Kenya; Infoney Solutions Limited, the school has been able to start using technology in their classrooms and now they are in the process to extending the same in the homes. As the school director; Mr. Duncan Mwangi said “this will create seamless engagement of the learners in and out of the physical classroom and keep parents up to date with the learners’ progress”
Infoney Solutions Limited involvement in the project
According to the school director Mr. Duncan Mwangi, “engaging Infoney Solutions Limited is the best decision that the school has made owing to the company’s vast experience in the industry and the wide array of products and education technology solutions they provide”. Infoney solutions not only provided the hardware and the software but most importantly, provided the most needed teacher training and continuous support to the school.
Infoney Solutions Limited;
- Deployed highly interactive CBC digital content into the tablets. The content covers all learning areas and provided variety of activities and assessments for the learners
- Installed the 8-4-4 revision content (KlickIt 8-4-4 revision app) in all the tablets. The content comprises of class 5,6,7 and 8 revision materials and KCPE past papers (2006-2020) full with answers and explanations. With this content ready for use, Mr. Duncan the school director told the students, “Class 8 2021 you are very lucky to have a revision app that consolidates thousands of past KCPE questions, answers and explanations in one device. This will help you achieve very good grades in K.C.P.E exams.”
- Installed the classroom management software in all tablets and in the teacher laptops to enable smooth running of the digital lessons. With this, the teacher can monitor all students’ activities, share learning materials, play audio-visual media contents, create assessments and provide interactive white board to each learner’s tablet.
- Installed a library of story books with over 700 English and Kiswahili story books to support reading lessons, writing wizard application for pre-school learners and other useful applications in the tablets
- Trained the teachers on the use of the pre-installed digital content, the classroom management software and the other educational apps installed in the tablets
How technology is supporting CBC suggested learning experiences in the school
- Current students are digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology and it’s intertwined into their lives. In fact, it’s one of the basic 21st-century skills that they’ll need in school and the workplace in the future.
With the new Competency-based Curriculum, technology integration in the classroom now begins from Pre-primary and carries through to Primary, Junior secondary and Senior secondary education. But using technology in the classroom isn’t just about digital devices in class—It relates to learning experiences suggested in the curriculum design in every learning area, strand and sub strands. It also relates to effective facilitation of the interactions between the teacher, students and the parents. At The Beacon Academy, technology is being used to improve students’ engagement and effectiveness in line with the demands of the curriculum and to enhance teacher efficacy in the following ways:
- The digital devices deployed in the school are loaded with highly interactive digital content aligned to the curriculum and it comprises of the required digital learning experiences. This gives the teacher necessary resources to achieve the digital literacy competency in the classroom
- The classroom management software installed enhances collaboration between the teacher and the students and also amongst the students. It also enables the teacher to effectively administer digital assessments or computer-based assessments (CBA) and have them marked immediately
- The students under the 8-4-4 curriculum are having access to rich revision materials (KlickIt 8-4-4 revision app) with candidates enjoying a repository of all KCPE past papers with answers and explanations
- The teacher is able to ensure full participation of all learners even the shy ones in the classroom. Through the student response system and the survey question module in the classroom management software, the teacher is able to measure individual student’s understanding of every topic.
With the support of Infoney Solutions Limited, Digital education is generating new learning opportunities for the students as they engage in exciting digital environments and as the school change educational practices through use of blended learning, personalized and self-paced learning, new collaboration models and a wide array of innovative and engaging learning strategies.
Furthermore, a 21st century view of student success requires students to not only be thoughtful consumers of digital content, but effective and collaborative creators of digital solutions and be able to demonstrate 21st century competencies in technology.