iTooch in Kenya - Travel diary
Discover the travel diary of Susan LaSante, in Kenya with iTooch
“This summer I had the opportunity to go to Kenya to work with children at the Joy Village, which is located in Limuru. The home is a ministry of Tree of Lives, an organization in Norfolk, Virginia (http://www.treeoflives.org/joy-home/). The Joy Village consists of 4 families with 8-9 children in a family. All of the children are orphans and many of them are HIV positive.
Our task during the trip was to work with the children to get a sense of their academic abilities. The children ranged in age from 3 to 14 and we did not have space to bring print materials to assess the vast range of academic skills. We decided the best approach would be to use an iPad, so we began searching for apps that would be appropriate. For the more advanced children, we chose iTooch apps. There were several features that made iTooch a good match for our project: the extensive database of questions assured there would be questions that aligned with the Kenyan curriculum; it did not require Internet access; the children could use the blackboard to solve their problems so we would not need to bring additional paper and pencils and the apps would give us feedback on how well the children understood the concepts. The children we worked with had never used an iPad but they quickly learned how to navigate around the app, reading the lessons if needed, using the blackboard, and working in practice mode or taking the test. The children were very motivated by the app and were sorry when their turn was over. We had a very limited time with them as most days they were in school but with the iTooch apps we were able to get a snapshot of their academic abilities. We also had the opportunity to use the app with a young man who was in the hospital and another who attended a local school near the hospital. “
Susan LaSante, is an assistive technology specialist from Littleton, Massachusetts with a Master’s degree in Education/Special Needs Technology. In her regular job she works with children with significant cognitive disabilities, as well as children with mild learning disabilities. She has travelled to Kenya 5 times over the past three years to work with children. Her life has been deeply blessed by the opportunity to work with teachers and children in Kenya.