Moving from traditional chalk teaching to technology, this project involved providing evidence of improved learning outcomes (Blended learning )from teachers’ use of smartphones to play video lessons for their classes via flat-screen TVs or data-projectors. Students showed average gains of 10–20% over control groups for maths and science in Masaka district.
There has been much enthusiasm for M -kusoma across Mpigi District in Uganda but one story that stands out is that of Ms. Topi Zalwango, a 43-year-old biology teacher from Kankobe Vocation School .
By the end of the M-kusoma project, Ms.Topi i had digitized each of her lessons. She stopped using traditional chalkboards, and now uses, televisions, LCD projectors, desktops, and interactive boards in the classroom.
“Students used to be sleepy, playful in class, and I would have a hard time getting them to pay attention,” says Ms.Topi. “I can see so many uses for this new technology. Students are so much more engaged. This is the age of technology and we should embrace it.”
Each of the selected teachers at Kankobe Vocation School was coached on a variety of information and communications technology (ICT) tools. Ms. Topi was the most creative and receptive at adapting those tools in the classroom. Now her students participate actively in class, even though philosophy can be difficult subject to discuss.
The results are tangible: Ms.Topi’s students are performing better during exams and their grades are increasing. MS Topi has continued using technology in increasingly creative ways. She has made her own YouTube channel, and recently started her own blog, just to give a few examples.
You can feel Ms. Topi’s enthusiasm the moment you walk into the classroom, and you can sense her patience and eagerness to follow-up on her students’ use of technology.
The program recently expanded to include 6 schools across Mpigi and Rakai Districts of Uganda.
The program addresses the need for digitally-enabled classrooms in the country – ones where students are excited about learning, and where the curriculum can be individualized based on student need.