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Online learning resources for children’s home schooling

Wednesday March 25 2020
home-pic

Home schooling. With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents can guide their children to use online learning tools. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NAIROBI

By SARAH NANJALA

With increasing the cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Kenya, parents need to put in place proper strategies for their children’s home schooling.

Tougher measures by the government might be put in place which may result to children staying longer at home.

Here are some internet-enabled tools and tips that you can use in ensuring your child continues learning from home:

1. Longhorn e-learning platform

Longhorn Publishers has developed an online platform where parents and students can access reading and studying materials.

The platform has comprehensive notes, quizzes and exam guides drawn from top examiners for both primary and secondary school goers, including interactive CBC.

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Not only is the platform available on the internet, but also on SMS platforms and can also be used offline. Parents can also use the platform to monitor the progress of their children through tests available on the platform.

To further ease the burden on parents, Airtel Kenya Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma on Sunday announced that the telco company will offer free internet access for its subscribers to students learning through the Longhorn e-learning Platform.

2. Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a free web service, developed by Google to be used by schools.

The online application, which can be used both on smartphone devices and computers, simplifies interactions between teachers and students at real time.

Institutions like Rusinga Schools have employed the use of Google Classroom, where students are invited to join a class through a private code, or automatically imported from a school domain.

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Rusinga Schools Headteacher Patricia Echessa-Kariuki says classes are on a video basis where the students can see their teacher, something she says is essential in the learning process.

They also follow the usual timetable as well as give assignments and hold class discussions.

Students can upload their assignments or send them to the teacher via email or WhatsApp.

Similarly, parents are given further tips by teachers on other platforms such as WhatsApp.

“Parents are encouraged to check homework and be part of the children’s learning. Therefore, even during this Covid-19 home schooling period, it is even more important that parents are checking on assignments, reading with their children, and being present to ensure that they are aware of what their children are doing online in class and between classes,” she said.

3. Ubongo Kids

Just because your children are learning from home does not mean that it should not be fun.

Ubongo Kids is an interactive education platform that uses cartoons to teach foundational concepts in subjects such as math, science as well as problem solving skills to children, particularly those in kindergarten and lower primary level.

Children can also interact via SMS from basic mobile phonmes, answering quizzes and getting feedback and encouragement from the cartoon characters.

The application is available on Play Store and Apple Store in both English and Kiswahili.

4. Kytabu

Kytabu is a textbook subscription application that allows students to rent preinstalled textbooks on their devices.

The app also allows a student to rent any book (including pages and chapters) that they need for a day, week, and month or school term by paying a fee through mobile money.

The platform has digitised hundreds of textbooks required for primary and secondary schools, as well as learning games, a virtual classroom for in-class chats and some past tests and exams.

5. eLimu

The eLimu app is an online tool that offers access to KCPE revision papers, class subject notes and a literacy app called Hadithi.

The application, which is available on Play Store and Apple Store, also offers access to textbooks which can be useful for revision and learning purposes for children at home.

Other similar noteworthy e-learning platforms include Eneza Education, E-Kitabu, and M-shule.

6. National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids is a children's magazine published by the National Geographic Society and is available online.

The platform is an excellent tool for children who want to expand their knowledge even beyond their curriculum as it offers a wide range of material that helps children discover the world around them.

It offers informative lessons or texts on subjects such as science, math, English, history, geography, art and animals.

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