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Feature Article of Saturday, 17 November 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Technology-Assisted Learning Hold The Key To Education

Could Technology-Assisted Learning Hold The Key To Providing Quality Free Education In Ghana?

By Kofi Thompson

Today, dear reader, I am reproducing an article that highlights the possibilities that technology-assisted learning offers our nation, as it strives to provide quality free education - from kindergarten to tertiary level - for the younger generation of Ghanaians.

One hopes that all the political parties in Ghana will focus on how the use of digital devices such as tablet computers, could help our country provide quality free education from kindergarten to tertiary level, to all Ghanaians with the aptitude to study - at a fraction of the cost of providing education through the traditional bricks-and-mortar method.

Entitled "The World's Cheapest Tablet Unveiled", the article was posted on Wealth Wire by Adam English, in the website's Monday, November 12th, 2012 edition. Please read on:

"While the world waits on bated breath for any news about Apple tablets, a small UK firm named Datawind just announced the world's cheapest Tablet.

While a top of the line IPad with the much-touted retina display costs a whopping $829.00, the new UbiSlate 7Ci will cost a mere $64.00. Students in India will be able to take advantage of a subsidy that lowers the price to $24.65.

The Aakash tablets have been developed through a public-private partnership to make computing technology available to Indian students. Internet usage is only at around 10% in the country, which leaves many students at a disadvantage as they move into the workforce.

Indian president Pranab Mukherjee personally launched the tablet while highlighting the importance of putting computing devices in the hands of hundreds of millions of students over the coming five years.

"Technology-enabled learning is a very important aspect of education," Mukherjee said. "This must be adapted to our specific needs and introduced expeditiously in all educational institutions across the country."

Unlike its predecessor from a year ago, the new tablet received widespread praise from the 15,000 teachers already trained on the device. Positive reviews are also popping up in the media.

The original model was slow, plagued by delivery delays and widely panned as an outdated and poorly designed tablet.

The first 100,000 will be provided directly to students at engineering universities and colleges. After the first batch, the new tablets will go on sale at university and college stores around India

While the tablet is not competitive with top-of-the-line tablets, it is more than capable of handling the needs of students and casual users.

The tablet run on the latest Android 4 platform and feature a 7 inch 800x480 capacitive display, 1 Ghz processor and 512 MB of DDR3 Ram. The device will store 4 GB of data internally and will be compatible with a 32 GB small external drive.

For internet access, a Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n card will guarantee compatibility with the latest wireless routers.

It even comes with a USB cable and a 4 port USB hub will allow it to communicate directly with more traditional computers."

End of culled Wealth Wire article by Adam English.

As a people, dear reader, there is nothing we cannot do, if we are creative in our thinking.

Providing quality free education from kindergarten to tertiary level, need not bankrupt our nation. We have the Indian example to guide us.

Could we not educate millions by making e-textbooks available to all those in our educational institutions, and outside of those institutions - and also providing them with broadband wireless internet access? Ditto providing wi-fi for all educational institutions in our country?

Perhaps by involving all the telecommunications companies in Ghana, and Google - through the use of tax incentives - our ruling elites may yet discover that indeed technology-assisted learning, could very well hold the key to providing quality free education in Ghana. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

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