E-learning can enable students from across the world to access the same standard of education, irrespective of where they are based, especially with the introduction of the Edutab on the Ugandan market.
According to Shyaka Mbanda, a team leader at TOD Idea with the Edutab, students of all levels of education– nursery, primary, secondary up to higher learning institutions become more engaged and lively learners both inside and outside the classroom.
The Edutab in question is a seven-inch android based touch screen tablet, boasting of more than 800 educational apps, videos and books aimed at revolutionising the way students study.
The apps are in form of number games, puzzles, music and art foster participatory learning, while the videos and books improve reading speed. The videos are also very engaging and help consolidate what the students have learnt in class because they are in control of the learning speeds.
The material, in line with what students from some of the most prestigious schools in the world, is installed at the TOD-Idea offices in Kampala and can be accessed offline. It can also be connected to the internet for more research and comes complete with a set of headsets that “shut out the world to help the students focus.”
Also, the material can be installed at a fee on a parent or guardian’s private tablet.
According to Mbanda, the TOD Idea was born out of the need to digitalise education technology, and deliver high quality content to students because, “interaction between teachers and pupils today is almost non-existent as the instructors rush through the syllabus.”
This means that many students are left behind by their brighter colleagues.
“But with the Edutab, a student can watch an eight-minute video about fractions while rewinding, stopping and forwarding. By the time they get back to school the next day, their confidence and interest in Maths has been elevated,” Jeremiah Mukasa, a parent who acquired two devices for his two children, says.
“Besides learning, I also wanted the children to stop fighting for my phone because it too has most of the apps on the tabs.”
The educational material on the devices, according to Mbanda, also helps students develop certain attributes such as speed processing, prediction and anticipation as well as the ability to compare and contrast, in turn making reading more fun.
For example, he says, Classic Simon, a game that features four coloured buttons which light up and produce a particular and distinct sound when tapped will improve concentration.
“The device lights up one or more buttons randomly. A player, of any age group will then be required to reproduce the sequence in that order by pressing the buttons. This is just one of the many games or videos that are very good to boost the child’s brain power,” he says.
Even though most of the apps are sourced from foreign developers, they also want to promote Ugandan programmes and develop apps that are bent towards the Ugandan Curriculum.
Already the team boasts brainshare.ug, which congregates all Uganda National Examinations Board past papers as well as ‘myrevisionguide,’ which helps candidates revise for their exams. All these are online as opposed to the apps that can be accessed offline.
The lack of local material is one of the challenges TOD-Idea have faced as they try to roll out the tabs and improve visibility of the business that commenced in September 2013.
“The idea was to sell these tabs directly to schools so that they are accessed by their pupils,” Mbanda, who also has also set up a branch in Rwanda, says. “But we are asked whether we have Ugandan material and when we say “not too much”, they say, ‘come back later’.”
It is for this reason that the firm have decided to target parents who, among other things want to see their children improve in class, acquire the Edutab.
“If we get about one million tabs with Ugandan material in the hands of students throughout country by 2016, chances are we shall have citizens that can create their own jobs as opposed to job seekers,” he says.
Amount a brand new edutab, complete with educational material will cost at TOD Idea.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor