The month of August in the education calendar is holiday time for all our students. However, our scholarship students were hosted at camp for a week and involved an integrated approach to their study sessions using Khan Academy, one on one subject guidance and mentoring and the highly anticipated English composition where they were tested on creativity, literary skills and retention level. During the evenings, they were open to read through any of the books in our library that are mostly composed of nature and history encyclopedias.
From the first day, it proved to be a little more work on the side of the students in that they have to think, solve problems and do things differently and some of them were not fond of it while others embraced the challenge. This student centered learning is meant to motivate, educate and challenge the student on how to obtain and retain practical information from their education.
Our Khan Academy tuition sessions are mostly composed of Mathematics and Science questions. In the Science sessions, most of them are video tutorials while for Mathematics, every individual’s score is noted and worked on with the ability of the coach to recommend topics that the student may deem hard or has an attitude towards. All our second and third level secondary students now have Khan Academy accounts and carry out their sessions on laptops.
This form of learning we believe represents the future at a time when technology has transformed how people interact and express themselves. It also heightens student engagement, provides for individualized instruction and arm our students with relevant skills to succeed in an increasingly tech charged world. The management of workflow for teachers and students, distribution of assignments and their assessment is made easier.
On the other hand, our one on one guidance and mentoring sessions involved a thorough look up of their performance up to date, identification of their strengths and weaknesses, attention to detail and setting up a plan for their remaining time in secondary school. On arriving at camp, each of them introduced themselves where they stated their dream careers that ranged from engineering, statistics, nursing, medicine and natural resource management.
The hot afternoon sessions were interesting sessions as each student had to recap his or her previous day’s experience in an English composition. Each student would read out their piece and ranking was done amongst themselves on the basis of creativity, literary skills and information retention from the books in our library.
We found that the benefits of adopting digital approaches to learning will give our students the foundation to be successful outside of school while teaching them how to communicate in the digital world. Students becoming active learners and not sitting and waiting to be filled with knowledge ensures that they are encouraged to find, process and deliver knowledge in a new and exciting way.