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Children using new digital learning tools in the Open Space Literacy (OSL) classrooms now benefit from additional free e-learning material. Due to SOS Children's Villages ensuring access to quality education in Kenya, Longhorn Publishers has partnered with SOS Kenya in the areas of e-learning, advancing digital learning and in improving the quality of education. The content offered for free includes access to the e-book store and the e-learning platform.

Longhorn Publishers, the only listed publishing house in the region, was impressed by the fact that SOS is doing a commendable job to ensure numerous students in Kenya not only get access to education but also get quality education that impacts both their lives and the lives of the communities they live in through digital devices in OSL schools. The content is much needed as it is a great revision platform for learners in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. The success has been proven: Children benefitting from the new digital learning tools in OSL classrooms demonstrated better literacy than their peers who were not using technology for learning. Interestingly, the students with access to technology in their classrooms also had better attendance.

Teach the teacher

To make the most of the material e-Learning techniques need to be learned not only by the students, but also by the teachers. Longhorn therefore held a trained teachers and SOS staff on the use of e-Learning material, modern ways of teachin including the integration of ICT in teaching and learning as well as the benefits of e-Learning in teaching and learning. “It will simplify my work and greatly help my pupils progress to the next level well equipped.”, one of the trainees stated. "I believe this is the way to go while focusing on strategic partnership to enhance the ultimate goal that ICT4D could bring in the organization. Currently education and learning has become portable while anybody could have in their hands through handheld devices."

What does the e-learning platform offer

The content offered by Longhorn offers general readership materials and curriculum specific titles for eight countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, DRC Congo, Zimbabwe and South Sudan). “This is an excellent way of keeping the learners interested in school while increasing their intellectual capacity in a way they can relate.”, the headteacher says. The e-learning platform offers junked content and provides short revision notes alongside interactive revision questions, opener and other termly exams with auto-test, auto mark and auto-time capabilities. The platform can monitor students’ progress reports and identify students’ weaknesses and strengths for reward purposes.

At the moment, the app is available for use in Kenya. Content for other countries is currently being developed.

The e-book store

The e-book store is a platform that hosts more than 280 titles in various digital formats (audio book, interactive books, animated stories for children and standard epubs) enabling learners to diversify their studies in a much relaxed and interesting mode of study.

Access for children using Open Space Literacy (OSL)

The platform can be accessed online by children in the schools using both the OSL devices as well as their parents' mobile devices from the link http://ebooks.longhornpublishers.com or offline on the Longhorn e-readers app.

Users can subscribe for e-Learning materials monthly, termly or yearly for a small fee.

Currently, the project is being implemented in Eldoret, Mombasa and Nairobi Herman Gmeiner Schools. With a farther inclusion of the 28 schools implementing OSL in Nairobi.