ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH ICT
Behind every story of success, there is a challenge that necessitated innovation. Having been in the teaching profession for twenty two years now, I have observed some gaps in teaching in my country which required immediate and innovative solutions. Among these gaps is the absense of customized tools (developed by people on the ground) that would help a teacher prepare and deliver his/her lesson in a better way.
As a teacher, I felt a dire need to make my teaching much easier, effective and interesting. This prompted me to come up with a consortium of tools, all geared towards addressing a certain need in the line of my teaching. I developed each tool independently depending on the need at hand.
I started using these tools as an individual. Other teachers in my department and school started developing interest in some of them. Within a short time, some of the tools became popular to other schools in the country and one of them is currently being used by more than forty five (45) schools in Kenya (see appendix 1).
The following are some of the tools I have managed to develop since 2014 and which have been of great use to me and others:
- Lesson and Class Management System
a) Lesson Planning Module/Record of Work; teachers select topics to teach and the system generates lesson plans plus Record of Work. This saves the amount of time teachers spend in preparing lesson plans and records of work.
2. Interactive SMS System/Auto-teacher mode/Home Tutor
- Learners Sending sms requests e.g. for an assessment and the system automatically generates an assessment plus its marking scheme and sends the assessment plus the code for marking scheme. The student, after doing the assessment sends the code and gets the marking scheme.
i. By sending an SMS reading:Generate Biology 50 firstname.lastname@example.org(this will tell the system to generate 50 questions is Biology plus marking scheme and automatically send to sender’s email (in this example: email@example.com.)
- Parents send sms requests inquiring about homework for their kids; the sytem responds by stipulating homework, if none was given, it replies with instructions on how to make it generate homework depending on student’s/pupil’s grade/level.
- General communication between school/teacher with parents/learners via sms.
- The system also has ability to auto respond depending on query made; it can do so even after offices close, meaning, the learner can continue interacting with the auto-teacher even when the actual teacher is away.
- The system has capability of replying and forwarding messages received.
- Messages/requests/enquiries received are stored and can be retrieved for later reference or action if the system was unable to meet the clients needs at the time of receiving the message/request.
This module records lesson attendance for learners. Since the module is subject/lesson based, it helps the teacher establish a learner’s lesson attendance trend. The module also displays learners’ photos, making it easy for the teacher to master the learners quickly.
This is a huge application that I have developed over several years and which is now gaining momentum in seveal schools country wide. The system is detailed with tens of operations all geared towards managing books and other learning resources. It has two main areas:
a) Class texts management section (coupled with more than 20 types of reports)
b) Library section (with customized library features)
This system also has an online backup capability and constantly contacts (automatically) the school manager with details on resources available and their distribution.
*The system has a mobile App (for Android, IOS and windows phones). This supports those teachers who may not have access to a PC.
Learning Resources Organizer/Lesson Organizer Module
This tool is intended to help teachers organize lessons quickly.
This tool, unlike Powerpoint and others, does not require one to have skills in Presentation tools and above all, does not require the teacher to prepare slides for the lesson in advance but does it as teaching goes on. This saves time. All what the teacher has to do is to select a topic from pre-prepared list of topics(based on the syllabus) then gets a wide range of teaching and learning aids including videos (downloaded from YouTube) images, audios etc. (all preset and details contained in a database.)
I have plans to add more modules in the future and currently the one under development is the one below:
Exams and Assessment Modules – Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (Conceptualized for possible development).
This is a component that I have only thought out but not operational yet. My intention is to have a tool where the teacher types in an exam/assessment and the system evaluates it on the basis of Bloom’s Taxonomy