How do you teach students the basics of using computers when your school has none? You get creative, of course. This is what 33-year-old Owura Kwadwo Hottish has done for the past six years.
The 33-year-old educator teaches computer science at the Betenase M/A Junior High School in Kumasi. For years, he has been teaching students how to use Microsoft programs by drawing intricate diagrams on chalkboards. The method is quite common in Ghana, but caught the internet off-guard after the educator uploaded photos of his drawings to Facebook.
As you can see below, the diagrams feature startlingly accurate depictions of Microsoft Office. Once the tech company caught wind of Hottish’s methods, it decided to help out him and the school.
GoodNewsNetwork reports that Microsoft began by sending Hottish to an international educators’ conference in Singapore. This was the teacher’s first time outside of his home country. There, he lectured about his teaching methods to the Education Exchange, a gathering of nearly 400 educators and school leaders from 91 countries. When he finished, the teacher received a standing ovation.
Said Anthony Salcito, the vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft: “Your work has really inspired the world. It really shows the amazing innovation and commitment and passion that teachers have for helping their students get ready for the future. At Microsoft, we believe that educators are heroes and are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to transform learning and making a direct impact on the experiences and lifelong skills of their students.”
Intriguingly, Hottish did not think his methods were anything special. He said, “I have been doing this every time the lesson I’m teaching demands it. I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, a mouse, a formatting toolbar, a drawing toolbar, and so on. The students were okay with that. They are used to me doing everything on the board for them. When I did this, it was nothing new or strange for them.”
Thanks to Microsoft, the Betenase M/A Junior High School will now receive an entire computer lab. Hottish has also been granted access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Program (MCE) for professional development.
“Something very positive has come out of this and I am very happy,” said Hottish. “We are no longer going to use the chalkboard again. We will have computers.”
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Image Credit: Owura Kwadwo Hottish