One of the highlights of 2017, was getting the apps that we’ve spent so long working on into the hands of children at the Story Moja Festival.
eLimu’s apps are already in over a hundred schools across East Africa, but with android phones taking off, our next goal is to convince parents to let children use their phones for learning.
The September book festival at the Kenya National Museum was a great chance to get feedback from children and their parents about Hadithi Hadithi! our new literacy app, and our KCPE Revision app.
With the help of bright vitenge and big floor cushions, we soon attracted a crowd of children. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of watching children reading stories and playing games on something that you’ve spent two years working on!
We watched in delight as children who had been dragged away by their parents came back an hour later to read more stories. Quite a few children stayed reading story after story the whole day long. I even felt bad having to take the tablet away from one child as darkness fell at 7pm!
All designers like to think that their work is intuitive and easy to use, but it’s only when you put it in the hands of a six year old that you really find out if that’s true.
But Diana “good with children” Wangui, (yes, that’s what she calls herself) found that even five and six year olds were able to use the app by themselves. After a few minutes of guidance, even children that had never used a phone or a tablet were confident using it by themselves.
Gordon, our lead android developer, was excited to see his work being tried out, and noticed that even older children in Class 3 and 4 found the stories interesting. The phrase “content is king” is a mantra in our business, so it’s really important that our educational materials really captivate children, and make learning fun.
A lot of children at Story Moja did not have much confidence reading in Kiswahili, and would shy away from these stories at first. This is a worrying trend for many parents as it is our national language and is tested in KCPE.
But we found that with a bit of encouragement, they soon practised reading in Kiswahili too. The way that the words highlight in time with the narrator’s voice makes it easy to follow the stories, and the letter tracing and spelling exercises were just enough to keep their interest, while embedding key points on spelling and writing.
As one mother, Joan, said to me:
“I don’t think I have ever seen my daughter this interested about reading Kiswahili until you handed her a tablet with Kiswahili stories.”
If you’d like to get Hadithi Hadithi in your school, or be one of the first to get the android app, please email Diana at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Testing KCPE Revision
To be honest, we didn’t think children would be as interested in doing past papers at when there were so many other activities and things going on at Story Moja. But to our surprise, quite a few tried out our KCPE exams app too! It was great to see some Class 6 students working together to work out the answers, and the delight when they saw their score pop up and were told “Well done!”
“I wish I had this every day to do revision with. I scored 56% in science and it is my favourite subject!”
Grace, Class 6 student
You can take exams on a laptop or computer at exams.e-limu.org
Our Gold plan gives you complete access to all exams for from 2000 – 2016 for 1,500 KSh, with the Silver plan, you can buy one paper 50 KSh*; and with the Bronze plan, you can borrow a paper for a day for just 10 KSh.
You can download the android app here. If you’d like to get our KCPE Revision and KCPE Exams apps in your school email email@example.com or call us on: 0716 287 946
*Gold and Silver plans give access to the content you buy for 1 year.