MENU

Education
Category

620

PIVOT EAST 2019 WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Agriculture, Education, Entertainment, Finalist, Health, PIVOT East, Uncategorized, Winners

July 1, 2019

PIVOT East was held on 27th June 2019 at iHub in Nairobi.  The event was held for its 6th time. It saw startups from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda pitching both virtually and physically to a panel of judges and other attendees. The event was live streamed to the public as this year’s conference was an exclusive and smaller event to enrich networking and interaction by the attendees. Invitees included seasoned startups founders, startup enablers, investors, industry players, government representatives and development partners.

The winners of PIVOT East were are follows:

Entertainment –

Winner-  Cloud9xp 

Runner up – UGticket

Cloud9xp (Kenya)

Cloud9xp is an online marketplace, booking service and distributor for leisure experiences. We offer a simple way to discover and book leisure experiences to do across Africa. 

UG Tickets (Uganda)

UG Tickets is a secure, online platform designed to facilitate the selling, marketing, and distribution of tickets for the convenience of event organizers/vendors and the consumers making it  possible for people to browse through a variety of events in music, football, festivals, conferences and talk-shows online; from any place, make the payments using mobile money and receive the tickets directly on their mobiles via Email and SMS. 

Enterprise

Winner – Enfinite Solution

Runner up – Vipimo

Enfinite Solutions Limited (Kenya)

Through our portfolio of premium products – WakiliCMS and EliteSuite, we strive to make sure that law firms and legal departments are run efficiently to minimize costs, increase profits and improve decision making criteria.

Vipimo (Kenya)

Vipimo is a ‘sensor as a service’ subscription service currently serving several large customers in the B2B space (large farms, freight forwarders).

Utilities – 

Winner – Coinbox

Runner up – Sheria Kiganjani

COINBOX KENYA (Kenya)

Coinbox allows its users to own Coinboxes in different and diverse listed brands and save for their due holidays by sending whatever amount they are comfortably able to their Coinbox until they reach the required amount.

SHERIA KIGANJANI(Tanzania)

Sheria Kiganjani is the first online legal digital platform in Tanzania which enable users to access various legal services remotely from  their devices i.e. Mobile Phones, Tablets, Computers etc.

Social Impact  Category- 

Winner – AfyaKit

Runner up – Ecomakaa

AfyaKit (Kenya)

We are a social venture start-up, focused on improving health outcomes by providing actionable in-facility data to health sector players across Sub Saharan Africa. They have  analytics tool that enables decision making for health managers.

ECO MAKAA  (Kenya)

‘Eco Makaa’ is an e-commerce company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base. These fuel briquettes are smokeless eco-friendly alternatives to wood charcoal

Finance Category – 

Winner – Mobishule

Runner up – Work Pay

MOBISHULE(Kenya)

Mobishule is a Value Added Service proposition to parents of  partners’ schools that enables them to access small amounts of school fee cash advances using mobile.

Work Pay (Kenya)

Work Pay is a workforce management and payment system with mobile biometric Time Tracking, Payroll Management and automated salary payouts/payments to banks and mobile wallets. Work Pay plus also provides B2B salary financing to help enterprises pay their employees on time always.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!!!

Read article

Wireless Wednesday – Barriers to Adoption of Mobile Technology in Education

Education, Wireless Wednesday

October 21, 2014

As technology has become more powerful and pervasive, it has provided educators with a valuable tool to support learning. Mobile technology, which has advanced considerably over the last decade, has enabled learning to be more accessible. This accessibility has provided educators with a way to support learning inside and outside the classroom.
Mobile technology integrates a wide set of tools and applications that enable learning to be dynamic so that students are no longer tied to their desks to experience and interact with learning objects. However there are some barriers hindering the full adoption of mobile technology in learning.

Participants during the previous Wireless Wednesday on Education

Participants during the previous Wireless Wednesday on Education

m:lab East Africa will host one of its frequent meetup dubbed “Wireless Wednesday” on education on 29th October 2014. The two hour meetup will bring together stakeholders in the Education Sector to discuss and explore the barriers hindering adoption of mobile technology in learning.
Details of the event
Venue: m:lab East Africa Balcony
Date: 29th October 2014
Time: 12 Noon – 2:00 pm
Wireless Wednesday meetups are aimed at creating a forum for exchange of views and networking between mobile application developers and practitioners in various industry sectors. The series of meetups on Education in particular are aimed at giving the different stakeholders in the Education sector a platform to share their thoughts on how to grow the EdTech ecosystem.
Participants networking after Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Participants networking after Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

To participate in the event, kindly RSVP HERE . There will be a live twitter stream during the event, you can join the discussion using the hashtag #WirelessWednesday.  Some observations made in the past Wireless Wednesday meetups on Education may be found in this blog article.

Read article

Mobile Technology Transforming Education Outcomes

Education, Wireless Wednesday

August 17, 2014

In the past few years, teaching and learning has taken on a whole new dimension due to the major impact of technology in education. Educators now have a medium to communicate effectively with one another and share ideas to better their teaching skills. They have a pool of endless resources they can utilize to offer students the assistance they need to develop their ability and advance.
Despite all this, there are still some barriers that we need to overcome like the cultural resistance from some teachers who are still skeptical about embracing technology in the classroom. They are comfortable with the status quo, seeing technological experimentation as outside the scope of their job descriptions. Also some of the teachers, school leaders and parents are still reluctant about the introduction of  smartphones and tablets in the classroom hence the students are not able to take advantage of the available innovations in education during class period.

Participants during Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Participants during Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Technology makes it easier for students to access educational solutions tailored to their unique requirements. Tapping this potential can transform the way students learn and how they perform in the educational system. Technology is not only used in the learning process but also as an administrative and management tool. This enables streamlining of the operations in the schools. The innovations can help to collect important data on students’ learning outcomes, that can then be used to advise and inform both teachers and parents.
Technology is helping to solve three important challenges in education which are access, personalization and cost.
[list type=”bullet”] [li]Personalization: Technology has provided students with a personal way of learning where activities can be tailored to meet the students needs. Teachers can also engage with their students in a more personalized, individual manner rather than the traditional one-size-fits all approach.  With the available technology, students can source or create their own content, share it with peers, share different learning paths and evolve better answers through collaboration.[/li] [li]Access: Technology has made education more accessible and flexible to the students. Apart from the traditional education system, technology has made it possible for students to receive education anytime and anywhere that matches their own pace and learning style this has helped overcome time and space constraints of traditional classroom environments [/li] [li]Cost: Students can now be able to access most of the learning material online without having to buy textbooks which are very expensive. Also most of the Universities have introduced online/distance learning where students don’t have to be physically in the classroom to learn. The program is much cheaper compared to the other regular program. There are also mobile applications that help students who cannot be able to afford money for after school tuition study like Eneza Education.[/li] [/list]
A participant sharing her thoughts on the theme of the day during Wireless Wednesday Meetup

A participant sharing her thoughts on the theme of the day during Wireless Wednesday Meetup

on 6th August, m:lab East Africa brought together stakeholders in the education sector to discuss how technology can help improve education outcomes during Wireless Wednesday Meetup. The meetup attracted a good number of teachers from the grassroot who shared some of the challenges hindering the adoption of technology in their schools. The challenges are;
[list type=”bullet”] [li]Lack of Electricity: Most of the places in the rural area still do not have access to electricity. The only way they get to charge their mobile  phones is by taking them to the shopping centers where they have to pay some fee to charge their phones. This is a challenge because even as all this innovations are coming up, they do not have the power to run the technological devices. Until power is widely available, reliable, and affordable in the rural areas, educational technology uptake will be slow in some of these areas.[/li] [li]Teachers training and Development: Most of the teachers in the rural areas are not technology literate, even using a simple computer is a challenge to them. There is a need to provide training and support to the teacher if they are to integrate technology into the classrooms.[/li] [li]Poor Infrastructure: Limited access to infrastructure is a challenge in that some of the rural/remote areas have limited or no access to internet, mobile devices (smartphone) and computers. During the meetup, one of the teacher from Kisii said that their school has only one computer, the oldest model which takes more that 10 minutes to boot.[/li] [/list] Device manufacturers have discovered the role that technology is playing in education and are working to design ruggedized devices that operate reliably in harsh usage environment and conditions without spoiling after a month. They are also working to extend the batter life of  the devices especially the smartphones. Mobile Network Operators like Orange are also willing to partner with players in the education ecosystems to provide connectivity to some of this solutions especially in the rural areas.
Participants Networking after Wireless Wednesday

Participants Networking after Wireless Wednesday

Recommendation
[list type=”bullet”] [li]Creating awareness: We need to create awareness to the parents, school leaders and teachers of the available technologies in education and how to integrate them well in the classroom. Technology plays a key role in education and if Properly used, technology can help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.[/li] [li]Pilot projects in rural areas; Most developers pilot their applications in the urban area and take long to penetrate to schools in the rural areas.. From the meetup we had, most of the teachers from schools in the grassroot do not know of some of this applications. Developers should also target the schools outside Nairobi.[/li] [li]Better understanding and sharing of available innovations and best practices so these can be utilised, where applicable, in different learning scenarios around the country [/li] [/list]  
 

Read article

Wireless Wednesday – How to use mobile technology to improve education outcomes

Education, Wireless Wednesday

August 1, 2014

Its time for mobile devices to play a pivotal role in education. There has been a rise in the number of mobile technologies deployed within the education sector. A majority of these mobile applications have been devised with the purpose of offering teachers and students a more flexible approach to learning and bringing digital content to students. The applications make it possible to extend education beyond the physical confines of the classroom and beyond the fixed time periods of the school day.

Previous Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Previous Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

According to a research conducted by GSMA on Transforming Learning through mobile Education, the research shows that mobile education offers three advantages with the potential to improve education delivery and thereby enhance learning outcomes:
[list type=”bullet”] [li]It simplifies access to content and experts, overcoming traditional constraints of time,location and collaboration[/li] [li]It personalizes education solutions for individual learners, helping educators customize the teaching process, using software and interactive media that adapt levels of difficulty to individual students’ understanding and pace[/li] [li]It addresses specific challenges that lower the efficiency of educational systems worldwide.[/li] [/list] Eneza Education is a good example of how mobile technology can improve students learning outcomes. Eneza Education is a virtual tutor and teacher’s assistant on a low-cost mobile phone. The technology provides students with a tool to study and learn, as well as a means to collect important data on students’ learning outcomes, that can then be used to advise and inform both teachers and parents.
Njeri Wangari from Safari Tales speaking during Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Njeri Wangari from Safari Tales speaking during Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

With the aim of assessing the impact of Eneza as a tool for revision,  Eneza conducted an impact study in 2012 at M.M Chandaria Primary School. The impact study that took a period of nine months involved 30 students who were selected randomly to use Eneza for 30 minutes weekly in the entire period. The outcome of the impact was just amazing. The impact study showed that Eneza students scored 9 points above the average student. This depicted a 5% growth in the scores for the individual students. For subjects examined, each of them showed a significant improvement. You can view the Infographic representation of the impact here.
Last year, m:lab East Africa organized two Wireless Wednesday meetups on Education that focused on first understanding the edTech ecosystem including the key stakeholders in the ecosystem, then understanding the role that stakeholders play in the ecosystem. On 6th August 2014, m:lab East Africa will host another Wireless Wednesday meetup on education to discuss “how mobile technology can help improve education outcomes”. The two hour meetup will attract the stakeholders in  the education sector.
Details of the meetup;
Date: 6th August 2014
Venue: m:lab East Africa Balcony (Bishop Magua Center opposite Uchumi Ngong Road)
Time: 12.00 – 2.00 pm
Key discussants and invitees include:
[list type=”bullet”] [li]Philip Omondi – Consultant and E-learning Lecturer Catholic University[/li] [li]Martin Njoroge – Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Electronics[/li] [li]Tonee Ndungu Founder Kytabu[/li] [li]Mary Amisi – Kenya High School[/li] [li]Twinomugisha, Alex – Business Development Manager Intel[/li] [/list] Also in attendance will be teachers from Kisii, Kisumu, Bungoma, Meru, Nakuru, Muranga and Nairobi
 Enock Liech and David Ochieng from Thika Road Christian testing the Samsung tablet before Wireless Wednesday for kids

Left: Enock Liech and David Ochieng from Thika Road Christian testing the Samsung tablet before Wireless Wednesday for kids

To participate in the event, kindly RSVP HERE. There will be a live twitter stream during the event, you can join the discussion using the hashtag #WirelessWednesday.  Some observations made in the past Wireless Wednesday meetups on Education may be found in this blog article.

Read article

Enhancing interaction in the classroom using technology

Education, Wireless Wednesday

December 6, 2013

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.

DSC_0024

Left: Enock Liech and Derrick Owino from Thika Road Christian testing the Samsung tablet before 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.

Wireless Wednesday Kids

Participants during Wireless Wednesday for kids

 “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.

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.

DSC_0145

Edgar Odeng from St. Mary’s Secondary School being interviewed by a journalist from Germany Radio about the event

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.

Read article

How can technology make learning more interactive in the classroom!

Education, Wireless Wednesday

November 25, 2013

We need to make learning interesting, interactive and relevant if we want the learners to participate and learn. How then can we use technology to make learning more interesting and interactive for the learners?

The m:lab will for the first time host Wireless Wednesday on edTech for students. The meetup will focus on students and their experience with technology in learning. Before the meetup, the students will be given devices to test the various education apps at the m:lab, then they can give feedback on the applications during the discussion as they also discuss the theme of the meetup. Students are invited to do this from 10.00 am.

edTech

Previous Wireless Wednesday Meetup on edTech

The meetup will attract students from across the country, both primary and secondary school students from private and public schools. The key discussants of the meetup will be students. Anyone interesting in attending the event is welcome but the students will be the ones running the show.

The meetup is themed: “How can technology make learning more interactive in the classroom”!

Date: 4th December 2013

Venue: m:lab East Africa (Bishop Magua Center opposite Uchumi Ngong Road)

Time: 12.00 – 2.00 pm

To attend the event kindly RSVP HERE. Parents feel free to register your kids for the event.

Read article

Should the Government give the role of Curriculum Development to the Private Sector?

Education, Wireless Wednesday

November 15, 2013

As learning is becoming more digitized in Kenya, its important to know how the stakeholders in the ecosystem can work together to make the edtech ecosystem grow. We identified key stakeholders in the edtech ecosystem as learners, policy makers, platform makers, publishers and teachers who set the tone for a great learning environment.

Learners who are both kids and grown ups play an important role in the ecosystem but tend to be ignored most of the times while coming up with innovations and also while making making decisions. Also when coming up with these new innovations some of the teachers feel left out because not all teachers are IT literate hence there is a big disconnect.

The government plays a big role in the edTech ecosystem because they are the policy makers.Policy sets the pace for everything. Some of the roles of the government in the ecosystem highlighted during the discussion include;

530389_616251868434293_1667928421_n

Participants during the edtech meetup

Curriculum development –  The government through its parastatal Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development conducts research and develops curriculum for all levels of education below the university. From the discussion it was suggested that the government should give the role of curriculum development to the private sector while they oversees and monitor the whole process. According to Njeri Wangari a publisher at East African Publishers, “If Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development is providing content and at the same time regulating the content, we run the risk of having substandard content being used by schools”

Policy making – Policy affects how everything runs in the edtech ecosystem. A good example, students are not allowed to use devices in the classroom hence most developers developing mobile innovations in education target the after school setting. The government should work on changing the policies to create an enabling environment for the edtech ecosystem.

Strengthen Public, Private Partnerships (PPP) – Public Private Partnership is really important because the government can not do everything on their own. The partnerships will ensure everyone plays a role in developing the ecosystem.

Quality control – The government sets the standards and enforces control in terms of what curriculum is to be used in schools, which are the examining bodies, what colleges are registered and on what basis. This ensures that we keep up the standards of our education system.

Content is an important aspect in education. Two very interesting questions came up during the discussion; is there right or wrong content? and should mobile developers be left to develop content?

According to Anne Salim from iHub Research, when it comes to content it depends on what you want the content to do for the learners, are you trying to solve illiteracy problem? are you trying to help them gain problem solving skills or creative thinking skills? depending on which category of learners you are targeting, it helps you to structure your content then determines how it is deployed in different devices.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs in the edtech ecosystem

There is a big opportunity for entrepreneurs in the edtech ecosystem provided you have the right content and the right business model. When it comes to content there is no shortcut, developers have to partner with publishers who will help with the content aspect as developers focus on the technical aspect. “Do not go for the big publishers because it is hard to get them, start with the small publishers and eventually you will get the attention of the big publishers” says Njeri

Business model is another important factor, it was noted that most developers in the edtech ecosystem use in app advertising and in-app purchase business model. According to Njeri Wangari, Parents hate advertisements in applications. Wangari also said that if you let the child run the bill for the parent in the case of in-app purchase you stand the risk of having the parent uninstall your application from the device.

1468602_616252235100923_895456338_n

Ken Mwenda Managing Director Emobilis interacting with a participant after the meetup

Way Forward

Public Private Partnership (PPP) is very important in the growth of the ecosystem. The Government should partner the with private sector where they delegate some of the roles and then they oversee or monitor the progress. Developers also should partner with content developers to come up with great innovations. There was an emphasis of the bottom up approach for developers when it comes to partnerships. Developers should first build a minimum viable product (MVP) that they can use to test it with the customers, this will help them start building a customer base which gives them traction. “Start small then build baby steps into the large ecosystem” says Jessica Colaco from iHub Research. Big partnerships at the initial stage for developers are kind of a waste according to John Kieti lead m:lab.

Read article

What is the role of different stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem in Kenya?

Education, Wireless Wednesday

November 11, 2013

Even as the digital education revolution continues to spread across the country, concerns are being raised about the sustainability of projects like the laptop project and other mobile innovations in the education sector. What are the roles of different stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem in ensuring sustainability of the innovations in education? Join the discussion on “The role of stakeholders in the edTech Ecosystem in Kenya” that will be held at the m:lab on 13th November 2013 from 12.00 – 2.00pm.

1421022_608830812509732_1960025827_o

Previous Wireless Wednesday Meetup

Some of the key discussants who will spearhead the discussion are;

    o

  • Joseph M. Matara – Regional Director GrayMatters

  • o

  • David Tole – Strategy and Content analyst Safaricom

  • o

  • Thomas Brown – Investment Analyser GrayMatters

  • o

  • Davinder Mdhur – Samsung

  • o

  • Moses Sitati – Nokia

  • o

  • Tony Hutia – Samsung
  • o

  • Anuj Tanna – VAS Product Manager Orange

  • o

  • Among others

You may find blog write up of the previous meetup here

RSVP HERE to attend. There will be a live twitter stream during the event, you can join the discussion using the hashtag #WirelessWednesday.

Read article

Role of Stakeholders in the edTech Ecosystem in Kenya2013

Education, Wireless Wednesday

November 1, 2013

Education is not just the responsibility of school leaders and teachers. Education involves different stakeholders who play a role directly or indirectly.Some of the key stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem are; Learners (kids and grownups), teachers, publishers, tech entrepreneurs and developers, Government and its parastatals including Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Parents, School owners, board members and the administration, device manufacturers, Telcos and ISPs among others. All these stakeholders have a role to play in the edTech ecosystem.

332918_528080707251410_918144276_o

Previous Wireless Wednesday Meetup on Education

Technology has now become part and parcel of our education at all levels starting from early childhood development education up to university level. The introduction of free laptops for class one students in Kenya will encourage the students to embrace technology at a very young age. The laptop project is a good initiative (this statement is debatable) but the question is, as the project is being rolled out, what is the role of the different stakeholders in ensuring that the project and many other such innovative initiatives in the education sector are continuous, effective and embraced in our education system? How can all the stakeholders work together to ensure that the edTech ecosystem is a success?
logo
m:lab East Africa in partnership with Samsung Kenya will bring together stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem in an informal meetup dubbed Wireless Wednesday to discuss the role of different stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem.
The meetup is themed: Role of stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem in Kenya”
Specifics of the event;
Date: 13th November 2013
Venue: m:Lab East Africa’s offices (3rd Floor, Bishop Magua Center, Ngong
Road)
Time: 12:00 Noon – 2:00 pm
Register HERE to attend.
You may find blog write up of the previous meetup here

Read article

It is time for an educational revolution – wireless wednesday recap

Education, Wireless Wednesday

May 17, 2013

“It is time for an educational revolution from the current education system where students are meant to sit behind desks and work!” says David Kiania. Its time to move to the digital technologies such as computers, mobile devices, digital media creation and distribution tools, videos games and social networking sites that will transform how we think about schooling and learning. According to Dr. Everlyne Makhanu, a lecturer from Strathmore University, we need to change our mindset and culture to embrace technology in learning and education practices.

977630_528080233918124_384251829_o

Dr. Everlyne Makhanu a lecturer at Strathmore University sharing her views on edTech during Wireless Wednesday

M:lab East Africa hosted the first Wireless Wednesday on edTech on 15th May 2013 in conjunction with iHub. The meetup which is sponsored by Intel was themed: Understanding the edTech Ecosystem in Kenya. The meetup was attended by different stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem i.e: students, teachers, phone manufacturers, entrepreneurs, mobile app developers and publishers among others.

Key stakeholders in the edTech ecosystem

The key stakeholders in the edtech ecosystem highlighted during the discussion include; Learners (kids and grownups), teachers, publishers, tech startups and developers, Ministry of Education and its parastatals including Kenya Institute of Education, Parents, School owners and the administration, device manufacturers, Telcos and ISPs among others.

Key observations noted during the discussion are;

Content – There was a long discussion around content, who is creating edtech content, is there a ready market for the content, how interactive is the content and is it relevant to the students/learners? It is a challenge to locally get digitized edtech content? Government policies, is one of the biggest limiting factor. Njeri Wangari from East Africa Publishers said that some publishers have tried digitizing their work but they face the challenge of generation gap, where the management view the whole digitizing process as a path that sooner or later will pass and people will go back to the manual textbooks. The second challenge is security that is the risk of piracy. The publishers and other content creators were challenged to first understand the end users and consumer preference before creating content.

922191_528080397251441_845991486_o

Njeri Wangari from East Africa Publishers sharing on some of the challenges that publishers have faced while trying to digitize local content

Infrastructure – Limited access to infrastructure is a challenge in that some of the rural/remote areas have limited or no access to internet, mobile devices and computers. Developers who are targeting such areas have to keep that in mind while developing their apps, for example if your app needs users to get the content from the server then how do you deal with that?

Languages – Language is another key factor that developers should keep in mind while developing their app. Their apps should use language that is familiar to the students either English or Kiswahili. The apps should also be as simple as possible to make it easy for the students who do not know how to use technology to use the apps.

Disconnect between developers, instructors and publishers – There is a big disconnect between developers, instructors and publishers. Developers are coming up with apps without talking to the people with the content, publishers are not willing to give out content to the developers and at the same time the publishers do not know the available technology to make the content as interactive as possible. The developers were urged to talk to the teachers especially the ones from the rural/remote schools because they have fresh content as most of the teachers in the urban areas have been overused.

Content interactivity – Most of the content available is not interactive, there is a low level of interactivity in the content making it no different from the textbooks. This is mostly due to lack of knowledge of the available technology by the publishers and other content creators. Inclusion of animation, audio visual, videos and pictures makes its fun and interactive for the learners.

Teacher/student ratio: There was a discussion on the teacher/student ration, if their is the need to invest in more teachers. Most of the schools have a shortage in teachers in that one teacher has over 60 students making it hard to have a one on one with the students. Developers were challenged to come up with apps that can help such students revise hence put them in a benefiting position with students from schools that have enough teachers. There were mixed feeling on this issue, others feeling that investing in more teachers will not change a lot because the curriculum will remain the same nothing much will change.

920140_528081033918044_1891226150_o

David Kiania, the Regional Sales
Manager – Communications Global Business Unit at Oracle contributing to the discussion during Wireless Wednesday at m:lab East Africa

Photos and video of the meetup are available on our social media.

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.528078583918289.1073741829.166170063442478&type=3

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVE_E_fwKKs

Read article