There are several benefits of using pen and paper, but teachers say parents should add laptops to the list of scholastic materials, for further digital learning, research and personalized lessons for students.
According to Harvard University research, writing by hand helps students to retain information and improves recall, involves more physical and mental effort, leading to a more active engagement with the material, increased focus and concentration, and can help students process information more deeply.
Additionally, teachers suggest that internet and digital tools like laptops allow students to explore various subjects, conduct research, and access educational materials that may not be available in traditional textbooks.
“Parents with smartphones, or a computer should help children do their research . As parents mind about buying books, they should also consider providing digital learning materials for their children. They are much help on research and during personalized learning,” Niyonizeye Abdulrahman, Co-founder and CEO of Smart Class Rwanda said.
“It makes teaching and learning easy. You can imagine drawing a house fly; it takes time and is not as perfect as using a computer to get diagrams, or teaching. Obviously, teachers are people, they cannot be perfect in drawing as a computer,” Niyonizeye added.
He made the observation during the EdTech Monday program, which was broadcast on KT Radio and KT Youtube channel, sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation and the Rwanda ICT Chamber.
The show was aired on September 25 from 6PM to 7PM.
The September episode aimed to discuss how to build digital tools that empower teachers and learners.
This theme is related to this year’s World Teachers Day that is centred around an important topic, “The teachers we need for the education we want: The international imperative to address the teacher shortage.”
“ICT is inclusive, sometimes you are surprised by a student with disability performing better than others who are not. They are given the same time during the examination, without favour, the time is standard for every student, but still they perform well,” Ukwizabigira Jean Baptiste, ICT Subject Manager and Assistant lecturer at Kepler university said.
“However, when it comes to teachers, all of them are not trained on the skills on how to teach students with disabilities. There is a gap. Some schools don’t even admit such students, they do not have enough means and ways of teaching, this is an issue that must be solved for the collective learning of students whether with disabilities, or not. Schools should take the initiative to do that, for example in our school, students with disabilities are offered full scholarships,” Ukwizabigira added.
He pointed out that parents should support children on accessing digital learning materials for easy learning.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming several industries, including education, and the government in partnership with MasterCard foundation using digital systems to better its education system and prepare its children for a smarter future.
To do that, a smart Classrooms project that uses technology to improve digital learning has been established. To improve the learning experience, classrooms are outfitted with tablets, projectors, and other digital tools. The tablets provide educational content such as films, animations, and interactive quizzes. The initiative also employs AI to personalise learning, with tablets adapting to each student’s speed and level.
According to the Ministry of education, over 4000 primary schools are connected to the internet and have computers, or one laptop per child, while 1783 secondary schools and 365 vocational schools have computers and are connected to the internet.
Among them, over 800 have digital classrooms and provide students with digital learning experience.
“Generally, Teachers have grasped the idea of teaching using digital tools but we still have a long way to go to improve pedagogical digital skills. We have made quite some good progress over the years but adaptation to technology takes a while. It is a gradual process,” Daton Eric Ngilinshuti, Division Manager in charge of Digital Content and Connectivity at Rwanda Polytechnic said.
“The virtual reality technology should be used while teaching. This will help all people, all categories without discrimination, this can also be an inclusive way of teaching,” Ngilinshuti added.