Information Technology Centre Opens at AEF Ruben School
On July 17 AEF Ruben School took another big step forward with the opening of the Information Technology Centre. The opening was attended by teaching staff and members of the management team. Principal Scholasica and Director Frank cut a ribbon for the occasion. The centre will be ably led by IT Teacher Facilitator Ms Milka Kavuugu who was appointed to the role with funding from Ruben Improves Scheme of Education (RISE). In the week preceding the opening, there had been a flurry of collaborative activity by many of the Ruben staff to enable the centre to become a reality including IT, maintenance, painters and electricians.
A significant catalyst in the development of the Centre was the generous donation from the Profuturo, a program of the Telefonica Foundation and La Caixa Foundation. The foundation provides digital technology that ‘can be a game changer for children being left behind – whether because of poverty, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, displacement or geographic isolation – connecting them to a world of opportunity and providing them with the skills they need to succeed in a digital world.’
The Profuturo donation included 4 boxes of tablets which can be transported to each of the schools classrooms for use. Each box contains 48 tablets. In addition, Profuturo supplied 4 laptops and small projectors. The Kenyan Ministry of Education kindly donated a projector for the centre along with 2 laptops and some tablets.
Milka’s primary role is to be a mentor/facilitator in the development of teacher IT skills at AEF Ruben. This will be achieved by:
a. Inviting all classes to visit the IT room at least once per week, or more if possible, where IT teaching is modeled
b. Attending classrooms accompanied by the tablets to model IT teaching.
c. Providing regular professional development workshops for teachers who have specific IT skill sets they wish to develop. These workshops can assist with specific content for subjects and more general types of technical skills, such as using a projector in the classroom.
d. Providing teachers with resources by distributing resources and strategies gained from networking with other schools and PD programs attended
e. Developing a culture where students support each other in the use of tablets
Some of her specific duties involve modeling methods of teaching individual subject topics using digital technologies. Whole classes can be booked in during any available timeslots during the school day. Smaller class groups are encouraged to use the Centre after 3.10pm on a weekly basis. Teachers will identify students who require additional support with reading using appropriate software packages. In this instance, there may be scope to load these programs onto specific tablets. Years 1 to 3, Pre-school and special needs classes can also access the Centre during exam periods
Teacher Training Workshops will be provided to address specific digital learning needs and Milka can arrange a tailored training workshop to support their development. More school visits, regular networking and attendance at IT workshops will ensure teachers at Ruben can match it with the best digital learning on offer in Kenya. Support from and networking with overseas schools will enhance these opportunities for growth.
Written by Denis Graham, a volunteer at the Ruben Centre
Edited by: Gregory Barake.