eKitabu Tunaenda Digital Newsletter August 2021
We are experimenting and have begun a process journal to set down in writing what we are learning. The interrelationships and boundaries of what we are learning, as well as how to form an experiment, are often the subjects of our experimentation. For example, finding out what is an effective and efficient way to support a teacher in a school to improve learning outcomes—this complex question involves interrelationships between the teacher, the learner and the support approach, including whether the support takes the form of a person, and if so, who is that person and how do they engage? Or another example, one we relate to the first question as conceivably subordinate to it, a subsystem, at minimum an overlapping context: what is a good mix of devices, both efficient and cost-effective, to support utilization of accessible digital content in an inclusive classroom? Or a third example, this one apparently a far distance removed from the first two: how do we engage with an organization of persons with disabilities in a country where we have not worked before or only have little experience, to produce video storybooks in local sign language, and simultaneously, sustainably, develop their skills to produce more? The interrelationships within each of these questions and its context are interesting, between the teacher and the support; between the teacher, the device mix and whether and for what the devices and content get used; and among our team and the local organization—just to name a few. Equally the boundaries of the questions are interesting. For example, if effective support for a deaf teacher in a classroom includes the availability of materials in local sign language, can the engagement of the local Deaf community in producing those materials change perspectives and have systemic effects on learning outcomes? These many questions, and finding ways to experiment, reflect, learn, and try things are the subject of the process journal entries we are learning how to write. In a word, they are research. In this newsletter, we include an entry on our current work in Ethiopia.
In other news, we have extended the Digital Essay Competition (DEC) 2021 submission deadline Tuesday 31st August. In 2021, we are asking students, “What are the hardest and best experiences you have had during the COVID-19 pandemic?” Or “Ni magumu na mazuri yapi uliyopitia kipindi hiki cha Korona?” All students are encouraged to participate and submit their essays online in English, Kiswahili, Art, Kenyan Sign Language (KSL), French, and German categories at essay.ekitabu.com or via WhatsApp to 0708727037. In case of any difficulties in submitting an essay, please call us or text us to help. We will hold prizegiving just as we have always done at Nairobi International Book Fair in September with scholarship funds, computing devices, and national recognition for winners and finalists.