My name is Ephantus Murira Mutiga, a teacher of Biology and Chemistry at St. John Fisher’s Mbuinjeru, a mixed-day secondary school in Embu county. I hold a Degree in Bachelor of Education Science. I was motivated to pursue an education career when I was in primary school when my teacher used to give me opportunities to teach other pupils in his absentia. The same continued in high school and I realized I could make a great teacher. I also realized it’s through a teaching career where I would get a good chance to impact communities on good virtues, like good morals, fight drug abuse, and can produce great people in the communities.
My first training on integrating technology in the classroom using Kolibri happened at Mbuinjeru Primary school in February 2020. It was organized by Edutab Africa and the sub-county Curriculum Support Officer. 22 teachers from 11 different schools were in attendance. This two-day training covered how to install Kolibri on a computer, add content, share content and use it in teaching. Initially, it was not that easy, but as we continued with the training it became enjoyable. Edutab Africa also made five follow-ups to provide support both physically and virtually. 8 out of 20 teachers in my school are getting used to it (Kolibri) as I continue sharing and training them. However, we suffer from limited ICT infrastructure, since we use the devices from the primary school section, therefore it is not easy to have every teacher using them.
Further, I have supported three different public schools namely, Mbuinjeru secondary and Kigaa secondary in Embu county, and Kirirwa primary school in Meru county. Out of these, only Kirirwa primary has an ICT room. I installed Kolibri and uploaded content to their school computer, trained the teachers, and created a WhatsApp group for responding to challenges they may face. I also installed a desk app for helping them remotely in case they encounter challenges.
Technology has made my teaching job easier through the use of simulations to reinforce theoretical biology and chemistry concepts. I no longer write notes on blackboard instead nor dictate because I project PowerPoint presentations during class and let the learners access detailed notes from Kolibri. The students are finding it fun and interesting learning biology and chemistry and they are now understanding concepts more easily which has improved their performance. Explaining abstract concepts through the use of visual aids like simulations and videos captures the attention of students.
One of the memorable moments when using Kolibri was during the initial training when I realized my students could access content using tablets, and as a teacher, I am able to monitor content access from the coach tools in Kolibri. Additionally, realizing that there are huge amounts of high-quality Open Educational Resources that can be put in Kolibri to aid my teaching. I also felt good when I realized my fellow teachers could also access Kolibri’s content and use it to teach, which included simulations, videos, and notes.
My wish is to become a very competent teacher of science and improve my subjects’ performance. Also, considering my situation with limited resources and much demanding syllabus, it acts as a motivation to other teachers to adopt the use of ICT in teaching and learning.
Ephantus Murira Mutiga is a teacher of Biology and Chemistry at St. John Fisher’s Mbuinjeru, a mixed-day secondary school in Embu county, Kenya.