A lot of the educational development in Liberian schools have one way or another been facilitated by the use of technology. Whether it is from downloading files from online for future references, searching for useful classroom material, nursery rhymes or searching for just the weather, mobile phones/tablets have become the educational tool.
A handful of schools, including the More Than Me (MTM) Academy, are excited about using information and communication technology (ICT) devices such as tablets for use in teaching and learning.
Such technology in the Liberian educational system gives pupils access to learning material, workbooks, and other subject matter from the Liberian Curriculum.
The Liberian government has an open-source version of the Liberian Curriculum that can be placed on tablets, providing a “learning pace” for students who can’t afford to go to school.
MTM has used the Skype Class before, using teachers in America to teach girls in their classrooms in Liberia. There were of course some challenges, including the language barrier and the quality of Internet connection both of which hindered a smooth learning process.
“Both countries speak English. The children over here can understand the teachers, but when it comes to our English, the people there can’t understand it,” Sam Herring shared.
The Academy intends to use the technology once more this school year and they’re in search of great educators abroad that want to teach their students through Skype.
Herring, who is MTM’s Special Projects Manager, says having technology such as tablets can cater to the learning environment for each specific child in the classrooms.
“Imagine having a classroom of students where only one or two are picking up. Instead of dividing them, the tablets will allow the teacher to focus on that child directly instead of pointing him/her out to their classmates as being behind. The child can learn at his/her own pace with a tablet,” he explained.
Considering the fact that having such technology devices can be very expensive, More Than Me believe when it comes to education and empowering people, there should not be a price.
“Without education, Liberia will never change. If you can give a child a basic and primary k-12 grade education, you can make them productive and a functional part of society,” he stated.
Meanwhile, MTM says the purpose of using technology in Liberia is to customize the learning system rather then change the Liberian curriculum.
‘With the tablets its more then just Internet service, we are looking to get them into every school we might partner with. We’re not looking to put together a different curriculum from what the government already has. Rather, we’re finding ways to supplement it and add things to it that will enhance the learning environment,” he added.
Technology in the Liberian schools will connect students to what every student around the world has and that’s information.
“It will happen with every government school that we will work with in the future,” he says.