Standing in a Grade 1 classroom in a primary school in Ek Phnom District, things appear quite different from five or six years ago. The same holds true for ten other primary schools in the Ek Phnom District of Battambang Province. The advent of SeeBeyondBorders’ Educational Technology project, funded by Electric Aid, has revolutionised teaching and learning in these classrooms.
A tablet, projector, and suite of digital resources together have enabled students to engage deeper with the fundamentals being taught. 3 times 3 equals 9 not “just because”; instead, following SeeBeyondBorders’ lesson plans and trainings, teachers demonstrate why through arrays and counting aides on the projector. Students are encouraged to think critically, even from such a young age, as the class explores an application that lets the teacher place various items on a weighing scale.
“I strongly support this project for teaching through Ed-tech. It benefits me, my students, our community and the school. The innovative methods and ongoing training have expanded our knowledge and skills. Without this project, we wouldn’t have learned these technologies and methods. I am very grateful for it.” Chanrath, Grade 1 Teacher
Yet, true to the spirit of continuous lifelong learning, SeeBeyondBorders has continued to present workshops for teachers, along with mentors and master mentors. Between July and September 2023, staff delivered 5 new workshops, reaching 52 teachers, 24 mentors, and consequently, 1,750 children. Some workshops aimed to strengthen teachers’ competence and confidence in navigating the Moodle digital platform, including locating lesson plans and using teaching resources; others introduced digital safety and strategies to keep students engaged while employing technology in the classroom.
“I get very excited every time my teacher starts to use the tablet and projector in class. I love reading on the big screen because there are big letters and pictures that also attract my classmates to volunteer to read on the board. Sometimes my teacher goes through the reading two times so that everyone gets a chance to read.” Grade 2 Student
Through Electric Aid’s support, SeeBeyondBorders’ success in developing Educational Technology has continued to grow, as we seek to expand the project’s accessibility. 29 sets of equipment were deployed in three months, all while also developing 37 new digital resources for Moodle.
Now, as the Cambodian academic year comes to a close, we are collecting year-end project data to determine what we succeeded at and what lessons there are to learn. As SeeBeyondBorders embarks on developing new formative assessments, refreshing existing manuals, and integrating technology more deeply, we look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with Electric Aid to further enrich Cambodian schoolchildren’s education — because change begins with education.