Richard Appiah Akoto, a teacher in Ghana, has used his imagination to teach his students the secrets of Microsoft Word. With just a blackboard and a talent for drawing, he drew the computer application on his blackboard.
Teaching kids how to use a computer is hard enough already, but doing it without any computers is a challenge! Akoto teaches at Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High in the small town of Sekyedomase. The 33 year old, became a “social media sensation after he posted pictures of himself sketching out a Microsoft Word screen in coloured chalk on his classroom blackboard so his students could learn digital skills even without devices”. The image went viral, and Microsoft took notice, and has now stepped in to help out.
The company flew him out to in Singapore to attend the Education Exchange (E2), where education leaders from around the world met. He explained his story: “I wanted to teach them how to launch Microsoft Word. But I had no computer to show them,” he said in an interview with Microsoft at the event. “I had to do my best. So, I decided to draw what the screen looks like on the blackboard with chalk.”(…) “I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, a mouse, a formatting toolbar, a drawing toolbar, and so on.
“After reading the Facebook post that made Akoto famous, a Saudi benefactor at University of Leeds in the UK sent him a laptop “as a small gift to his students.” Inspired by the teacher’s story, NIIT Ghana, a computer training school based in Accra, also donated five desktop computers to the school, along with books and a laptop for Akoto.
“Microsoft will be working with Richard through a local partner in Ghana to provide device and software support required for his students at the Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High School in the town of Sekyedomase in rural Ghana. He will also gain access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Program (MCE) for professional development.”
Thanks to this photo going viral, his students now have an opportunity play with real computers.