Enhancing interaction in the classroom using technology

By Sheilah Birgen
m:lab
  Published 8th December 2013
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Enhancing interaction in the classroom using technology

One of the common mistake that entrepreneurs and developers make is assuming what the end user wants. Most of the times what you think the end user needs might not be what they really want. Most developers and entrepreneurs in the edTech ecosystem assume that educational games are mostly what the kids like so everyone is developing educational games for the kids. But that is not the case with most of the kids who attended Wireless Wednesday for kids.

Steve Blank emphasizes on “getting out of the building” he says, “in a startup, no facts exist inside the building, only opinions”. Unless you get out of the building, get out of your comfort zone and talk to potential customers, entrepreneurs stand the risk of build a product that nobody wants and talking to customers after spending a lot of your resources, and many times don’t have enough resources left to achieve success.

m:lab East Africa for the first time held Wireless Wednesday on edTech for kids. The meetup was aimed at giving the students a chance to sample some of the applications in the edTech ecosystem and share their thoughts on how learning can be made more interactive using technology. The forum enabled the students, who are the end users of the mobile innovations in education a chance to tell the entrepreneurs and developers what they want and how they want it.

 “Technology is interesting but it can be distracting at the same time” says one student. Most students especially in Secondary school said incorporating things like video clips to accompany the theory part especially in sciences can make learning more interactive. It is easier for the video clips to explain more about the theory part just like practicals in school but the difference is, with video clips the students can keep referring back.

Wireless Wednesday Kids

One student from Precious Blood Riruta Secondary School suggested that developers can come up with an education social site like chat/WhatsApp where students can be sharing what they have learnt in a certain subject say Biology and get to ask their friends in the group questions where they did/do not understand. This creates a more relaxed way of learning for the students at the same time they get to interact with each other.

Students are willing to use the available applications in education for learning but the problem is they do not know about the existing applications in edTech. This is a challenge for the developers and entrepreneurs in the edTech ecosystem. How well have you marketed your application? Do the students know about it? have you partnered with the relevant people like schools, the teachers name them. Students are looking for applications that will help them study, no parent will refuse to pay for an application that helps their children. It is every parents wish to see their children excel in their studies and if it means paying a fee for an application that is of help to the children then why not!

Samsung, the sponsor of Wireless Wednesday for education informed about the tablet they are planning to roll out late December or early January. The tablet can be used by grown ups and also kids. It has a kiddie mode where when your kid wants to use the table you switch it to kiddie mode then all the games and fun activities that the kids like come up. The parent can be able to control what the kid does with the tablet. The tablet comes in bright colors that are attractive to the kids.

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