One key strategy taken by most governments around the world, to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease was to close educational institutions. These closures have affected millions of learners not only in Africa, but globally.
In their bid to keep learning ongoing, most institutions have had to turn to online methods of teaching and learning. This has heightened the need to adopt innovative education delivery approaches, as well as increased demand for the support of educational technology learning experts.
Edutab.africa, is one such organisation which has been working closely with institutions in Africa to improve teaching and learning using technology and other engaging and innovative learning approaches. It is a youth led organisation created by a group of four young men in Kenya in 2018 to promote Educational Technology and other engaging learning approaches. The founders are from different training backgrounds ranging from Mathematics, Education, Development studies and Computing. One key objective of Edutab.africa is how to use educational technology to close the learning gap as well as increase collaboration and student engagement. Virtual learning environments in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) areas has also been one of their key areas of focus.
The COVID-19 crisis presented an opportunity to expedite some of their programs in Kenya and increase their efforts to promote Educational Technology in Africa and beyond.
The following are some of the projects that Edutab.africa has been engaged in.
In line with supporting African Higher Education Institutions to quickly move their teaching and learning online, the AAU ran a pilot training on e-Learning for 170 academic staff from the Lupane State University, Zimbabwe. Three of Edutab.africa’s team members – Michael Mumbo, Maxwell Fundi and Patrick Njoroge were among the team of over 90 e-Learning volunteers from across the world who worked with the AAU to deliver the virtual training as support facilitators and mentors on the use of Moodle for learning and teaching between May and July 2020.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, Edutab.africa had been running face-to-face programming, robotics and extracurricular math activities for students in STEM clubs in both primary and secondary schools. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamics of teaching and learning has changed significantly. Edutab.africa now run their sessions virtually. This has opened an avenue for students across the globe (not only those from Kenya) to participate in these programming sessions.
Through collaboration with Learning Equality, Edutab.africa has been implementing an Educational Technology project that uses Kolibri, an open source offline content management software to deliver OER materials to schools and communities in low resource settings across Kenya. This has been achieved through the use of low-cost computing – Raspberry-Pis as offline content servers for educational content used via a local network with tablets, phones and computers.
As part of promoting global cooperation, Edutab.africa has been involved in the International Community for Collaborative Content Creation (IC4) Project, a project bringing students from different continents to participate in collaborative STEAM Activities. In this project which started in 2016, students drawn from different socioeconomic backgrounds in Kenya, Finland, USA, Cameroon, Namibia and Brazil were introduced to participatory teaching through a network of Media Making Clubs (MMC). These MMCs, connected via internet and other technologies, have been making digital artefacts (including videos, short subject films, games, computer programs, and specialized applications) that represent, explain and clarify STEAM. The main aim of this project is to foster meaningful and scientifically rigorous collaborations that cross and connect cultures in STEAM areas.
For more information contact Edutab.africa on
Website – https://www.edutab.africa
Article submitted by: Edutab.africa’s team members – Michael Mumbo, Maxwell Fundi and Patrick Njoroge
This article represents the views of the authors and does not represent the official points of view of the AAU, or AAU ‘s development partners.