THE UGANDA DIGITAL EDUCATION RESOURCE BANK (UDERB)
The Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank (www.uderb.org ) is an online repository of learning objects relevant to the Uganda educational system produced or identified by Uganda teachers and students.
The learning objects on the Uganda Education Resource Bank include but are not limited to lesson plans, past exam papers, simulations, animations, learning activities, website links, photographs, study guides, audio and video clips etc.
SchoolNet Uganda has spearheaded the deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities in Uganda schools. Most of SchoolNet Uganda efforts have been directed towards ICT infrastructure and pedagogical training of teachers so that they develop the necessary attitudes, knowledge and skills to use ICT to enhance the teaching and learning process.
The most outstanding challenge remains how to effectively create, find and populate ICT systems with appropriate digital content relevant to Uganda’s education system. The fact that there are limited digital educational resources has also acted as a key disincentive to many schools that would otherwise invest in ICT for Education.
A number of Uganda schools are now connected to the Internet but Internet as a teaching and learning resource poses a number of challenges to the teachers and students.
The challenges include:
- Limited education resources relevant to the Uganda education system on the Internet.
- A lot of the results returned by the search engines are irrelevant and discouraging.
- High cost of Internet connection limiting the time teachers and students can be online.
- Lack of skills to search for particular information on the part of teachers and students.
- Most of the information on the Internet lacks peer-review.
Despite the above challenges, the Internet is a great resource for interactive educational content.
In 2004, I-Network and IICD (International Institute for Communication and Development) sent out a call for proposal for the Open Knowledge Network – Catalyzing the Creation and Exchange of Local Content Small Grant Fund (OKN CCELC-SGF).
The goal of CCELC is to strengthen the abilities of local communities and organizations in developing countries to create, synthesis, adapt, and exchange valuable, and potentially wealth-generating local content, including appropriate knowledge from elsewhere.
Under the CCELC program, I-Network and IICD announced a small grants fund (CCELC-SGF) to address issues in the creation and exchange of local content in Uganda. The CCELC-SGF was an amount of 40,000 Euros that was to be distributed among 5 projects as non-renewable 1-year grants of 8,000 Euros each.
A copy of the call for proposal of the OKN CCELC-SGF for Uganda is available for download from the link below
In order to address the challenge of digital content relevant to the Uganda educational system, SchoolNet Uganda submitted to OKN CCELC-SGF for Uganda a proposal for the development of the Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank (UDERB). Major activities under this project included:
- Training teachers in the use of ICT to create multimedia content and to access teaching and learning resources on the Internet as a way of supplementing the textbooks.
- Developing the Uganda Digital Educational Resource Bank to provide teachers with access to relevant teaching curriculum and to provide an opportunity for teachers and schools to share educational resources.
- Creating an online community of practice through social networking.
- Promoting the Uganda Digital Educational Resource Bank at national and international conferences and exhibitions.
- Documenting and sharing the process, performance and outcome experiences of the project for possible replication.The 5 Award winners out of more than 120 proposals which were submitted were announced at the Awards Ceremony held on Monday Nov 8, 2004.
The 5 Award winners were:
- Local Community Content Initiative (LCCI), COFEY-Uganda.
- Thinkquest Uganda Contest, Think Quest Uganda.
- Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank, SchoolNet Uganda.
- Using ICT to champion sustainable livelihoods and good governance in Mafubira Sub County (Jinja District), CEDA-Jinja.
- Women’s Voices Project, Radio Apac Women’s Forum.
Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank (UDERB) Project update.
A number of activities have been accomplished under this project.
- A core group of content developers was set up.
- Preferred characteristics of the learning resources spelled out.
- Two content development and identification capacity-building trainings workshops were conducted for teachers.
- The Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank (www.uderb.org) is a repository of learning Objects put together by Uganda teachers for teachers. It consists of past paper questions from schools, subject study guides, samples of lesson plans, student activities, website links, peer-review of online resources, photographs, video clips, FLOSS tools, simulations relevant to the Uganda educational system. UDERB is a growing open content resource.
- The UDERB site (www.uderb.org ) is visited by an average of 65 unique visitors per day with the majority coming from Uganda, USA and UK.
- Educational videos which have been produced by the teachers are available offline on DVDs and Video tapes. They can be obtained from the SchoolNet Uganda offices but the interested user must meet the cost of the storage medium.
- A mailing list has been setup to facilitate sharing of experience and resources by teachers and students.
- The Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank (UDERB) has been mainstreamed into SchoolNet Uganda core activities. There is always a section on the UDERB in all SchoolNet Uganda trainings. This has enabled the project to live and grow beyond the 1- year OKN-SGF period.
- The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has indicated that it follows up the development of UDERB with keen interest and may support similar projects in the near future.
- Encouraging feedback has been received from people inside and outside Uganda.
“I have liked the resources very much but how have you helped the schools in our villages without computers and Internet. However, bravo SchoolNet Uganda for your innovative mind”
……….Moses Kirabo, Wanyange Girls, Uganda .
“We in Solomon Islands are currently setting up our SchoolNet called Solomon Islands SchoolNet Project. Viewing ad learning from how Uganda SchoolNet is developing its content and resources is really great”
…..Philip, Solomon Islands.
At SchoolNet Uganda, the Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank Project is coordinated by Kakinda Daniel, the Executive and Training Director SchoolNet Uganda.
More information about the Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank can be obtained by:
- Reading the iconnect-online.org article: Uganda- Catalysing Creation and Exchange of local content by Edris Kisambira
Or you can download a copy of the article using the link below.
- Visit the Uganda Digital Education Resource Bank website (www.uderb.org).
- Send an inquiry to SchoolNet Uganda using the CONTACT US online form on this website.