In Lao PDR, we are supporting primary schools in rural areas to use and maintain Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to enable teachers and students to develop better digital literacy.
Our project provides equipment in the form of tablets, projectors, screens, speakers, and electrical cables. However, many of the school administration and school teachers had no experience using ICT equipment before. Some had never even held a tablet before in their lives. To introduce them to the equipment, training sessions are essential.
Our training sessions, delivered alongside the local authorities, covered the basic usage of the hardware and the maintenance of the equipment we provided. Simple instructions such as how to turn the equipment on and off and basic functions, such as how to navigate the tablet were also taught. To provide additional support for teachers after the training, we produced a video guide. The video covers the basic functions of the tablets and other equipment that teachers can refer to if they encounter issues in the future.
Each school received a projector and currently, some teachers are using them to enable the entire class to work through problems together. Tablets are also being used to facilitate group work and shared among student. Teachers are incorporating 1-2 hours of learning with ICT into the lesson plans per week to encourage and stimulate students.
Once both teachers and students master the basic functions of the equipment, our E-classroom App – a learning app in Lao language – is then introduced. The app provides fun, educational games to support children to learn the alphabet, practice spelling, and practice math problems. The app also hosts a range of picture books in Lao language. Teachers were introduced to the functionality of the E-classroom App, as well as ways to incorporate the app into their lessons.
Speaking about the project, Aide et Action Laos’ ICT Project Officer said, “Because the ICT equipment was completely new to the teachers, it will take time for them to learn how to use everything. But a strength of the project is the commitment of the teachers to mastering functions and maintaining the equipment. They see the potential and want students to benefit from the new approach to learning.”