DAY IN THE LIFE: Digital learning champion

By: JOAN THATIAH

“I worked as a teacher before I got my master’s and my PhD. For the past two years, I have been trying to transform the role of the teacher from that of ‘custodian of knowledge’ to that of ‘facilitator of learning’.

I am hoping to achieve this through overseeing the creation of digital learning content that is aligned to the 8-4-4 system. There is a shift in education. Kenya is moving towards digital literacy, but digital literacy is only possible if there is content for the children.

“I was at my workstation at 8am after seeing my son off to school. As education manager, I have been tasked with ensuring that my team produces quality content and that it is engaging enough for children.

I work with a team of Kenyan teachers. The hardest part of the job is getting them out of their comfort zone. Getting them to see learning from a different perspective. If children take up an active role in learning, then learning will be more permanent.

If a child is 80 per cent involved in the process, then he will definitely apply what he learns in his life in the future.

“I work with a global team. Some editors are in the US while others are in Mexico. With the time difference, synchronising meetings is a daily challenge, but I have learnt to work around it.

NEW CONCEPT

“Ours is a relatively new concept in Kenya. This week, we began getting results from our ongoing survey on this concept. The statistics are good. It is fulfilling to see actual results, to see evidence that children are learning better.

We work hand in hand with the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum development. When I am not overseeing things at the office, I spend my day out in meetings.

“After work today, I had coffee with a friend before heading home to bond with my son. I am an extrovert. I thrive on networking and friendship. I also make a constant effort to read material that is not work-related.

This evening, at home, I read a few pages of Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. It’s about that moment when an idea becomes one large contagious movement.

“As I turned in, I was thinking about my son and the kind of education I want him to have. Many nights though, it is the children out there, children in informal learning centers that I haven’t reached, that keep me awake.

My dream is an Africa where all children can access digital learning content for free.”

SOURCE: DAILY NATION