Safaricom takes education to the cloud

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Safaricom Blackboard
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Education in Kenya got another huge milestone over the weekend with the launch of an e-learning management system at Starehe Boys Centre, presided by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. The portal which is a pilot project that will be run on Safaricom’s cloud and accessed via a web URL was launched yesterday. It is accessed via smartboards donated by Intersol Limited to two Starehe Centres and teachers will be able to interact and teach using the training tools stored in the Safaricom Cloud. Schools will have their accounts and store their data which will include exercises and recorded lessons.

The access of this data will be at a fee and setup will be on a high speed internet connection. Payments for the service will be facilitated via MPESA. This management system seeks to give life to the methods used to teach students and tools used will be interactive smartboards, thin clients and tablets. Teachers will be able to interact with students tablets and share screens on the smartboard all over the class. This will ease teaching as a teacher will be able to communicate to students easier, give more visual lessons for diagrams as opposed to the usual blackboard. Interactive diagrams and other materials will be in use. Teachers will also be able to share the active lesson with virtual classrooms and have other students connected to the portal from a separate classroom share in the training, get to ask and answer questions just like they would in the back of the class.

Information Permanent Secretary and a major proponent of e-Learning, Dr.  Bitange Ndemo said that the initiative is in line with the country’s economic  Blueprint Vision 2030, and in the attainment of Millennium Development Goals on education.

“This one initiative touches on the three pillars of Vision 2030; the Social pillar which touches on Education and Training, the Economic Pillar which gives attention to the introduction of IT enabled services, and the Enablers among them Science Technology and Innovation,”he explained.

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