Onyango Samwel Opiyo – Maranda High School
Dear Mr President, at the end of the 20th century, the world witnessed a move from industrial revolution toward an information revolution. Principal to this revolution has been the rapid growth of new technologies in Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
Of all these technologies, the internet is the most pervasive and ubiquitous in terms of capabilities such as being a repository of information and a medium to send and receive information. As a digital learner, I have utilized it a great deal. I have always received assignment details and notes during the holidays as E-Mail attachments, done research on the assignments in the World Wide Web and sent the assignments back after completing them to various teachers.
I have also been obtaining knowledge through communication with resourceful persons through social networks and E-Mail technology such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, G-Mail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. This has been both through chatting, video chatting and voice calling and has led to increased consultations that incur minimal costs. I have been obtaining educational materials in softcopy and multimedia formats through Electronic File Transfer software’s like TeamViewer Software. All these have been enabled by the fact that the internet has made the world a global village.
As a digital learner, I have been applying Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) and Computer Aided Learning (CAL) in my education. I have been using Eureka Software and Virtual Classroom Software which present explanation of various concepts in multimedia format and then presents questions at the end of each sub-topic. Through the usage of these software’s, I have been able to revisit areas I have difficulty in mastering the content. This has improved my level of mastery of content since these software’s make abstract concepts easier to understand. For instance, I have been able to view models of various
Industrial processes in Chemistry using these software’s thus aiding in understanding and memorization of the concepts. I have been using Geogebra Software to gain practical skills in mathematics in topics such as translation, transformation, rotation, reflection, loci and geometry. I have also been doing aptitude tests in my phone that have improved my language skills and critical thinking therefore propelling me to academic success.
E-Learning and online library services have also contributed to my academic success as a digital student. This is through various categories of e-learning such as knowledge databases, online support, asynchronous training, that is self-paced learning on CD-ROMs or blogs with access to instructors through bulletin boards or e-mail and through synchronous training, that is in real time with a live instructor facilitating the training.
I have been watching many lectures found in Harvard University’s blog that have improved my knowledge of computer as a subject and also other subjects. For instance, I have understood how the Operating System manages tasks such as interrupt handling, error handling, job scheduling, memory management, input/output management and security. I have been doing HTML Web scripting introduction courses in www.w3cschools.com.
This has improved my understanding on Hyper Text Mark-up Language. This web scripting language has been used to construct the World Wide Web which was the great invention of Tim Berners-Lee. I have also been accessing information about particular topics in library databases online such as Kenya National Library Database blog.
As a digital student, computer based simulation has also enabled me acquire practical skills in Science related subjects. Computer based simulation which involves representing the behavior of a real-life situation by using computerized models has provided me with clear illustrations on how to work with apparatus and take accurate readings. I have been using Eureka Simulation Software to gain practical skills in Chemistry, Physics and Biology practical’s. This has improved my grades in Science Practical’s which is a key component in passing highly in Science subjects.
As a digital learner, E-Commerce and Electronic Fund Transfer has enabled me acquire learning materials which are unavailable in local bookshops. These materials acquired through e-commerce, which is, processes of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services with the support of the internet, have given me an upper hand in understanding various concepts.
I have been using online stores such as Jumia and Amazon to acquire learning materials. For instance, I have bought books such as Abbott Physics, topographical maps used in Geography amongst other things which are unavailable locally through these stores.
Although I have greatly benefitted in my education through the use of computers, there has been limitations that have also come with mainly the use of internet. Computer crimes such as flaming, hacking
And cracking of user accounts and documents and espionage have been difficult to deal with. Spamming in e-mail technology has also led to wastage of time and can lead to spread of virus. ICT has increased plagiarism and information anxiety due to rapid developments in computing technology.
Lack of enough facilities has reduced the effectiveness of ICT in my education. Lack of enough stand-alone computers to facilitate digital learning has led to usage of alternative method of using N-Computing which experiences a lot of challenges such as reduced processing power per user due to work overload.
N-Computing has also proved unreliable as the drivers are trial versions. Therefore as a digital president, if you roll out laptops/tablets to high school students also it would greatly facilitate digital learning especially in our school and the nation as a whole thus leading to fulfilment of vision 2030. It may also give students from rural or remote areas a chance to also interact with other learners and benefit from digital learning.
Slow and unreliable internet has reduced effective application of digital learning in my education since video chatting and effective communication cannot take place. Laying of fibre optic cables to our school would improve the internet speeds due to their high bandwidth and thus enable full utilization of digital learning facilities. It would also enhance portability without cutting internet connection.
Appreciation goes to my school which has tried as much as possible to ensure that we get the resources we require and to NEPAD for availing the same. They have even gone as far as acquiring an interactive white board and a gateway so as to improve the quality of education offered in our school. I would also like to thank my parents for offering the resources during the holidays and the government for facilitating the process to improve the level of education in the nation such as building of computer lab through the CDF funds in our school.