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TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR EDUCATION

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By Jane Nungari Gichuho

Technology is a tool that can change the nature of learning.

First and foremost, educators want students to learn. It is certainly not enough to tell educators that they need to use the laptops and tablets that have invaded their schools simply because they are expensive or because students need to know how to use the latest gadget.

If it’s clear that technological tools will help them achieve that goal, educators will use those tools.

The real world is not broken down into discrete academic disciplines. I’ve heard a number of teachers say that they would like to be able to change the way they teach — to find ways to implement project-based, multidisciplinary lessons.

Let’s think about how that might happen when technology is used to support learning.

Technology lends itself to exploration. But before technology can be used effectively, exploration must be valued as important to both teaching and learning.

In a technology-rich classroom, students might search the Web for information, analyze river water, chart the results, and record what they’ve learned on the computer.

In such an environment, acquiring content changes from a static process to one of defining goals the learners wish to pursue. Students are active, rather than passive — producing knowledge and presenting that knowledge in a variety of formats.

In such an environment, educators can encourage a diversity of outcomes rather than insisting on one right answer. They can evaluate learning in multiple ways, instead of relying predominately on traditional paper and pencil tests.

And perhaps most importantly, teachers and students can move from pursuing individual efforts to being part of learning teams, which may include students from all over the world.

Of course, active learning is rarely a clean, neat process. Students engaged in such a process can create busy, noisy, and messy classrooms. It’s important to recognize that this kind of learning takes practice — for both the teacher and the students.

Activities and learning environments must be carefully guided and structured so learners are fully engaged in their learning. Students must learn that exploration doesn’t mean just running around doing what they want and ending up who knows where.

Educators must recognize that if students are investigating and asking questions, writing about what they’re learning, and doing those things in an authentic context, then they are learning to read and write and think.

In a technology-rich classroom, students don’t “learn” technology. Technology merely provides the tools to be used for authentic learning. It is a means, not an end.

Technology provides educators with the opportunity to move from simply streamlining the way things have always been done to really imagining things they would like to do.

What a wonderful opportunity!

2015 DEC Prize Giving

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Kiswahili Category Winners with Will, Hezekiel(SwahiliHub who sponsored the prize laptops) Michael and Mercy

The 2015 Digital Essay Competition is on the third year running organised by eKitabu.  The essay competition in the 47 counties and it part of eKitabu’s mission to advance digital education to allow students create their own digital content.

The digital contest is open to all students in all public and private schools across Kenya. This year’s theme was an open letter to the Head of State; Dear Mr President,….. My life as a Digital Learner.

Over 2,100 entries were made with 112 new schools,  65% up from 2014. Primary Schools that participated this year were 71 and Secondary Schools were 101, hereby making a total of 172 schools.

Among the 60 Finalists this year,  43 were female students and  17 were male students.

Among the 16 Winners this year,  12 were female students and  4 male students.

NAME SCHOOL COUNTY AWARD
Primary English Category
Zamzam Suleiman Little Angels Primary Isiolo Grand Prize Winner
Linda Nyawira Thika Road Christian

School

Nairobi 1st Runner-Up
Sarah Mochama Mbagathi Road Primary Nairobi 2nd Runner-Up
Awak Ibahim Mbagathi Road

Primary

Nairobi 3rd Runner-Up
Sharon Valentine Marion Preparatory School Nairobi 3rd Runner-Up
Primary Kiswahili Category
Makena Marlene Gacheri Loreto Convent Valley

Road Primary School

Nairobi Grand Prize Winner
Eileen Chepng’eno Kericho Primary

School

Kericho 1st Runner-Up
Darvyne Wakarind Tetu Girls Primary Nyeri 2nd Runner-Up
Secondary English Category
Velvin Chebet Samkul Moi Girls High School Uasin Gishu Grand Prize Winner
Nyaragi Gekonge Precious Blood  – Riruta Nairobi 1st Runner-Up
Onyango Samwel

Opiyo

Maranda High School Siaya 2nd Runner-Up
Laurie Osebe Moi Girls Eldoret Uasin Gishu 3rd Runner-Up
Charles Onyango

Opiyo

Maranda High School Siaya 3rd Runner-Up
Secondary Kiswahili Category
Wafula Nasipondi Sharon Hill School Eldoret Uasin Gishu Grand Prize Winner
Nyagaka Sandra Bonareri Moi Girls Eldoret Uasin Gishu 1st Runner-Up
Anderson Kithi Malindi High School Kilifi 2nd Runner-Up

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ZamZam receiving a certificate and prizes from Niccole of Field Masham.

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English category Winners with Will, Michael and David (KPA Chairman)