Teaching Through Technology

Ten years ago, primary school teachers in Ek Phnom District of Battambang, Cambodia, would teach maths through rote repetition. Six minus two is four. Repeat.

A few years ago, with the advent of SeeBeyondBorders’ Educational Technology (EdTech) Project, teachers would count blocks on the LCD projector, showing how six minus four is two.

Now, through ElectricAid’s long-term support, teachers have a suite of options — they can keep counting blocks, display a place value chart or depict apples in a tree that subsequently ‘fall’ out. SeeBeyondBorders has been continuously expanding the bank of digital resources teachers have access to, developing new intuitive visualisations to enable deeper learning. From October to December 2023 alone, the project team produced 25 high-quality digital resources addressing different concepts in maths and literacy.

SeeBeyondBorders’ Education Specialist Phan Sophen, who spearheads the digital resource and lesson plan development, discusses the progress made in EdTech thanks to ElectricAid’s support.

Beyond developing a plethora of novel resources, the project team also runs workshops for teachers that work with EdTech. The two in the fourth quarter of 2023 were aimed at empowering teachers to tailor lessons to their class and navigate Moodle’s user-friendly interface to read existing plans, watch tutorial videos and utilise in-class visuals. They emphasise the importance of EdTech not just in demonstrating concepts but also in engaging students — in creating an atmosphere where they are eager to learn every day.

“Since we started with SeeBeyondBorders projects, they have greatly assisted teachers and students. We have introduced digital programmes, like slideshows, to make learning more engaging and enjoyable. This has increased student involvement, and we have enjoyed various activities together. Students are engaged, curious and disciplined during lessons.”

The outcomes of SeeBeyondBorders’ ElectricAid-funded EdTech Project are resoundingly clear. In schools receiving SeeBeyondBorders support in EdTech and mentoring, 65% of students achieved the maths minimum proficiency level at the end of the academic year, compared to 57% without EdTech support. This change is significant; it is indicative that EdTech has been aiding the 1,750 students in the project. Even something as simple as subtracting apples from a tree has the potential to make monumental changes in a student’s life, because change begins with education.

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