Kenyatta University (KU) is the first higher learning institution to provide tablets to first year students in Kenya.
The China made tablets will benefit first year students enrolled in diploma, certificate, postgraduate and bachelors programs and will be distributed to students in satellite campuses throughout the country.
The move will cater for the various needs of students as they learn and interact with fellow lecturers, according to Prof Olive Mugenda, the Vice Chancellor of KU. It follows a recent launch of the university’s Digital School established out of its desire to raise access to higher education via innovative technology.
“Research shows that technology has the capability of changing learning radically within the country. In addition, mobile devices are quite helpful since they can be customized. This will promote learning beyond the confines of a teacher-managed classroom surrounding,” she added.
The tablets will promote self-paced learning for students by improving content with interactive features. Students will get a wider array of e-resources from the tablet in addition to acquiring collaborative learning and timely communication via on-line forum and chat platforms.
“The use of tablets will help save the institution money utilized in photocopying modules; something that has been taken over by unprincipled businessmen who sell them for their own benefit. This has seen lecturers who have been writing the modules lose out.
“The degree programs will run on a trimester cycle. This means that students enrolled for the undergraduate programs will finish their studies in three calendar years,” Mugenda said.
Making use of tablets means that students can study anywhere anytime without real-time Internet access, self evaluate and compare themselves with their peers as well as pro-actively interact through off line and on line forums and messages.
Mugenda also mentioned that the e-learning programs have the probability of delivering improved services and tools linked together with quality professional support. She also stated that the prices are affordable.
“The institution’s ICT model has been upgraded with the Internet bandwidth being increased to make it adequate. We have also trained a few officers who will fully engage with the students,” added Mugenda.