Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kyaithani Cluster Teacher & Student Computer Lab Training

The week of 22-16 Aug 2016 was a wonderful week at Kyaithani and Lower Yatta Secondary Schools in Kenya.  Teachers and students from all 5 primary and 2 secondary schools within the Kyaithani Cluster of schools were trained in how to use the 42 new Aleutia computers, Edubuntu software and almost 500GB of educational software included on the computers for offline access.  They also learned how to use the Libre open office applications and how to access the internet with the newly installed satellite links.  In addition they learned about a key component of the computer lab system, the Epoptes software, which allows the teachers to monitor and control the 20 student computers in each lab from their teaching computer.  These computers and software are specifically made to work well in the sub-Sahara environment.

The teachers and students were so excited!  And so were we!!

Patrick with some of the 44 teachers and students on day 5 of training

Most of the students and many of the teachers had never touched a computer before.  They were so keen to learn.

Student on day 2 eagerly accessing Khan Academy knowledge base

There is 500GB of information available offline for teachers and students

The girls at Lower Yatta Secondary are absorbed in learning

And the students at Kyaithani Secondary are all keen to get involved

James and Patrick from our project partner Kenya Connect (Wamunyu, Kenya)  and Laura, a director of Kenya Connect from Maryland USA conducted the excellent training for the project.  We could not have accomplished this without their help!  They are a great organization.  Check them out at  or at  to learn more about the fantastic work they do in Kenya.

James teaches how to run the computer labs

James does a lot of training for the students at the 55 primary schools that Kenya Connect work with near Wamunyu village in Kenya.

Here are some of his comments about the training this week:

"The highlight of the first 2 days of training at Kyaithani Secondary School was the Khan Academy content.  All of the students were totally immersed in the program researching the offline content on the Aleutia computers on many different topics in different subjects."

"I am pleased to say that the students from Kyaithani who attended the training will be quite instrumental in training their fellow students.  We noted that every time we went on tea or lunch breaks a group of students would fill the lab and the students participating in the training would coach the other students about the new technology."

"What was most amazing was that after we concluded the training, the lab was filled with over 60 students all eager to learn the new technology.  Ruth, one of the students we trained took over and started training the students!  We were so moved to see this student who had never worked with a computer before take a role of a "teacher" after only two days training!!"

We provided custom built desks and benches
so 2 or 3 students could share a computer

In addition to teachers and students from Kyaithani Secondary and Lower Yatta Secondary Schools where the 2 new computer labs are located, teachers and students from each of the 5 primary schools in the area also attended.  These primary schools are Nandini, Kyaithani, Muusini, Ndunguni and Nthilani.

Laura introduced the teachers to integrating Kinesthetics into teaching (activity breaks).  Everyone enjoyed this very much and it helped keep everyone focussed and intent on more learning.

Students loved Laura's teaching techniques

The teachers loved the breaks too

On the final day of training Laura lead everyone in a review of the training content over the past week using a volley ball review game.  It was much fun for the teachers and students as they had never experienced arts integration and kinesthetic learning before.

It's volleyball, even without a proper net!

James concluded:

"We are confident that the students and teachers mastered a lot of the content that we taught them.  We hope that the two labs will soon blossom to be an oasis of knowledge for all the cluster schools of the Kyaithani area."

Thanks to The Rotary Foundation, the Government of Canada, Rotary District 5040, and our 11 partner Rotary Clubs for their financial support of this project.  And to Kenya Connect for their valuable partnership with us!!

It is so wonderful to see these students and teachers so eager to learn about, and use, the new tools in the 2 new computer labs.  The same as the Kenya Connect computer lab in Wamunyu, we will be calling our 2 new computer labs "Learning Resource Centres".

Here are some more pictures.

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