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ACE Project in Kenya
Case #4: ACE Project (Accelerating Learning through 21st Century Education), Kenya
By Kelsey Keech
This program, launched in 2009, is a 3-year program funded by Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, and the Clinton Global Initiative, in cooperation with Kenyan Ministry of Education. The program is launching in 60 schools and will provide over 6,000 networked computers country-wide. The program aims to educate 7,000 teachers in best-practices for using technology in the classroom, and estimates it will reach
Currently, the program has been established in 23 primary schools and three colleges. Fifty student laptops, two teacher laptops, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, one LCD project, one scanner, one Printer, 2 wireless Access Points, 2 digital cameras and 2 hand held video cameras have been provided to each school. The Kenya Teacher Education and Professional Development program (TEPD, a USAID funded program, of which the ACE project is one component), is mentoring and coaching teachers and handling monitoring and evaluation of the program’s results.
The ACE project is in the process of establishing the
School Technology Innovation Centre
in at the Kenya Institute of Technology in Nairobi. The Ministry of Education will use this center to research innovative technology solutions in education, and teachers will be trained in effective technology use in the classroom.
Several curricula are available through the Microsoft Partners in Learning system, including Peer Coaching (trains teachers to train their coworkers in educational technology), a security curriculum, live@edu (a browser-based series of network programs, including e-mail, web apps, instant messaging and storage), Leading Change for School Leaders, and basic digital literacy.
The Kenya Institute of Education has committed to
digitizing its entire Kenyan school curriculum
to offer e-learning at all Kenyan schools. The Parliamentary Select Commission on Energy has prioritized access to electricity for learning institutions in rural areas in order to facilitate e-learning country-wide. They plan to do this through their electrification program and through the use of solar power.
At present, the Kenya Institute of Education has developed an online teacher-training course on the new digitized curriculum.
Lessons learned: Children stay longer after school because they like using the computers. Interviews with children and teachers suggest that these additional hours are spent in self-discovery. Teachers enjoyed receiving the Intel/Microsoft computer trainings on effective ICT education. Children with disabilities, such as children at the school for the deaf, were able to use special programs to gain more out of their educational experience.
However, evaluation information is not currently available for this program. While the program addresses two key concerns in ICT education--infrastructure and teacher training--it is unclear whether children are benefiting academically as a result. Ideally, with the teacher education in best-practices it provides, the provision of new laptops for Kenyan schools will result in positive educational outcomes for students and teachers alike.
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