Embedded digital literacy was the solution to many of the challenges we faced in Kakuma. Our education software a-ACADEMY Skills4Life, consisting of two distinct apps for literacy and numeracy training, enabled us to follow a blended learning approach by providing learners with contextually appropriate high-quality learning materials. By using images, videos and audios of their living environment, we linked each skill taught to the learners’ own everyday experiences. At the same time, our use of multimedia elements notably improved English-language acquisition within the group. As Rose Chelia, a literacy teacher in Kakuma has noted: “My students could connect words and phrases with the images and sounds from the computer. It was really astounding to see how much this helped everyone when compared to choosing individual students to translate in the classroom.”
In addition, as a digitised learning experience, a-ACADEMY Skills4Life switched the role of the teacher to that of a facilitator. Since the program allowed each learner to choose topics they wished to learn about freely, they were empowered to guide themselves along their individual path of education. This collaborative approach increased their motivation immensely, as they were given free reign to learn according to their own needs and interests. No wonder, then, that teachers using a-ACADEMY Skills4Life reported that on any day designated for digital learning, they experienced 100 % attendance every time.
LESLLA learners in Kakuma were also passively improving their digital literacy skills – simply by engaging with the software. As we noticed, when engaging with a well-structured, high-quality learning environment, simply navigating the software provided learners with the experience and understanding required for successfully using computers in their day jobs, for example. When Benson Ajikon from Kakuma told us: “I have never thought that I can get access to computers. I’m very motivated to learn more and get even better in using the computer” we knew we had found a way to teach literacy, numeracy and digital literacy while making the learning process captivating at the same time.