Digital schools Initiative
Concept of the project
Digital school’s initiative works on developing the learning process, whereby ACDA and its partners seek to provide a digital learning opportunity within a number of ACDA’s community schools by providing assistive curricula uploaded to the tablet devices, in addition to electronic educational games for simplifying the educational process.
First Phase 2017
The first stage of the project was launched in 4 governorates; Cairo, Assiut, Qena and Sohag, to include 34 community schools. Each school of the 34 schools was equipped by technological toolkit containing tablets, a tablet for each child, a data show and a Raspberry server.
Second Phase 2020
Based on the achieved results in the first phase and the lessons learned which showed that the initiative provided good educational environment as well as children-friendly atmosphere. Whereas the learning process became excited, fun and encouraged children to self-education. So, the digital school initiative was applied in 15 community schools in Assiut governorate as a second phase.
A supplementary curriculum design was assigned to a company specialized in producing techno- educational materials. As a result, the educational programs that use the spirit of Montessori methodology were produced and uploaded to a server that used to present the curricula to all students simultaneously within the school. Furthermore, the school was supported with a Montessori toolkit to be used in the practical activities which will support students’ understanding of the curriculum.
After implementing the first phase and designing the supplementary curriculum, the curriculum had to be developed in a new way to make sure that children not getting bored. The curriculum development was assigned to a company specialized in educational video games, where the curriculum is designed in an attractive multi-level educational video game, that takes into account the individual differences of children, and avoids the glitches that found in the curriculum in the first phase.
Building the capacity of teachers and community members
The teachers were trained on how to use the tablet devices and how to adapt the components of the technology toolkit altogether, as they were trained on the supplementary curriculum, its applications and the toolkit.
The need for someone who maintains the tablet devices emerged from the various damages that the tablets might be exposed to, so it was obligatory for ACDA to search for a sustainable source of maintenance. Consequently, ACDA decided to take advantage of the capabilities of the talented community members living near schools and provide them with a technical training to be able to maintain the devices.
ACDA’s Success Partners
Sawiris Foundation for Social Development – Orange Egypt for Communication
With the emergence and spread of the Corona epidemic, the Ministry of Education decided to close schools at all levels. The Ministry has substituted another alternative to the regular study, which is to complete the educational content with digital learning strategies and to assign students to carry out research projects on specific topics that measure the students ’mastery of these contents in order to complete the learning outcomes.
As known, the community schools have a different learning methodology, so it was important to find away for the students to complete their Curricula and carry out their researches. Thus, ACDA launched an initiative, applied for the first time at the level of Upper Egypt governorates, to find alternative way for the students, as it followed the following steps:
- Using the schools’ available resources, the most important of which is the availability of a tablet for each student. It relied on the tablet to facilitate to the student completing the educational process and carrying out their researches.
- Downloading the fourth-grade materials from the Egyptian Knowledge Bank and the digital platform of the Ministry of Education. Then Uploading them to the children’s tablets, for 430-student in 15 community schools. So, each student could have the materials on his\her own device.
Also, uploading the materials to the server inside the school, to serve students in different ways.
- A meeting with the teachers was held to explain the learning materials, how to make them available to students, how to follow students in carrying out their research projects, and how to follow that up also with the relevant educational departments.
- Delivery the tablet devices to children to use at home, in coordination with the Directorate of Education in Qena Governorate.
This initiative had a wide impact on helping the students in implementing their research projects, as all students used the educational content uploaded to the tablet and completed their researches successfully. Likewise, they have learned how to do a research project and practice distance learning using digital technology and various learning resources.