The Ideas Box enables access to a large number of contents with different roles depending on the needs of its users. Indeed, there are the contents that we find in classic paper books, e-books and DVDs. However, it should be noted that the Ideas Box server also contains interesting videos on art, music, sport, environment, geopolitics, and many other topics.
Furthermore, the Khan Academy educational application, which allows exchanging and solving math problems, is also available in the Ideas Box. This application has been used individually and collectively, as well as with school groups.
Many activities for classes using Khan Academy, including personalized math support sessions for students were organized in collaboration with teachers.
Users are particularly interested in Khan Academy due to its entertaining learning methodology which differs from that of a traditional classroom setting. This is new for a refugee camp and it allows users to study by watching videos in a stress-free environment. A class of sixth graders attending a geometry lesson was very impressed and interested in the videos, especially by the way in which they explain how to solve problems easily. One of the teachers accompanying them said that Khan Academy is “…a very easy method to learn math, allowing students to grasp the concepts quickly by watching videos and listening to the instructions, despite the fact that in general, students hate math.”
Therefore, the Khan Academy proves an excellent tool for learning math and makes it easy to solve math problems.
In addition to being able to learn in groups, Khan Academy has also allowed Ideas Box users to learn and practice on their own. In fact, the young students using the Box show a particular interest for this application specialized in learning math. This can be demonstrated by the high demand of access to the Khan Academy in the Box, especially during vacation time. While on break, students used the Ideas Box to review their classes. At this time, some of the students registered to use the application to study and do the exercises regularly. The school and the Ideas Box work together, with the latter providing considerable educational support. It is in this context that Khan Academy will be employed regularly and permanently in view of becoming a fixture among the educational methods available to students and teachers who also use the Ideas Box. As a result, they will have the means to go further into the classes and solve problems via the educational videos of Khan Academy.
Two middle school students living in the camps and who are regular users of the Ideas Box tell us relevant Khan Academy is as a support tool for their classes. Alexis Kiruhura, an 8th grader and Mobutu, a 9th grader, confirm that “this application helps us solve problems that we did not have the time to finish in class. We are very interested in this educational application because it goes hand in hand with algebra, geometry and other lessons that we study in class. Some of the equipment that we use to access Khan Academy, such as tablets, is new to us, so it motivates us even more to learn and review our math class.”
Access to Khan Academy through tablets is motivating for young as well as other refugees these tools are new and attractive. This encourages the young to learn and solve problems. As a result, small groups have been organized among the young people in Musasa camp to hold Q&A sessions and workshops around Khan Academy and its use.
We can conclude that Khan Academy is not only allowing users to learn and improve their math skills, but that the Box also encourages exchange and allows sharing educational video contents that can render studying easier.
By Maurice MAYIMBIKIZA
Coordinator of the Ideas Box Project