WINDHOEK – The Tech Education Innovation hub in collaboration with People’s Primary School Interactive Tech Library Project (PPS-ITLP), a public school in Windhoek, sees the design and implementation of an interactive tech library to enhance reading experiences of the Namibian child.
From June 2017 the group, which is coordinated by award-winning author and instructional technology designer, Helvi Itenge, under the supervision of Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus of Computing and Informatics Faculty at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), have been working with young learners from government schools in weekly participatory design workshops.
“The tech library which is the first of its kind in the country is inspired by a global movement of libraries of the future, entirely co-designed by Namibian learners of PPS, deploys technologies developed locally with and for the children, is state of the art from an educational and technology perspective and it will be a model learning hub for other schools in Namibia and abroad,” explained Itenge.
In contribution to many of their achievements, the Interactive Tech Library was selected the top 40th of the best education innovations from Africa to exhibit at Innovating Education in Africa (IEA) 2019 in Botswana, won third place at the Tech Innovation Bazaar 2019 and recently won 1st Prize at the Tech Idols Competition at the 6th National ICT Summit held in Windhoek this year.
Talking to Youth Corner, Itenge said that during the weekly workshops the innovation hub explored emerging technologies, redesigned the reading space, co-designed reading technology tools to enhance reading experiences for children, utilised persona creation and engaged different stakeholders.
Supported by computer science students of Nust, local artists, teachers and other professionals have developed a plan for a unique state-of-the-art interactive tech library.
“It incorporates new developments of technologies and educational theories to provide learners with innovative means and access to new media resources to acquire the necessary skills for the knowledge and information society of the 21st century,” says Itenge.
As part of their current status, the library’s architectural plan and budget are completed and ministerial approved.
According to Itenge, in the nearest future, they envision that the Tech Education Hub will provide emerging reading and learning technologies in schools and communities, promote innovation techniques to help educators shape their future and build connections with educators, learners and innovative thinkers to help schools and community libraries address emerging technologies in education.
The interactive tech library humbly requests organisations to support their plea for partial or full funding of the initiative.