The Internet as we know it has several resources and has had a very big impact on our lives since the early 1990’s. At home, schools, universities, business premises, bars and even buses these days have internet. For many, they just use to browse informational sites and social media.
In educational setups, the internet has been a big help to students especially during the time of coursework. People get to research, download and copy (plagiarise) other peoples work. Many times I have seen this happening and from my own experience at Gulu University.
During my time at the university, if not reading or cooking, I would most likely be downloading documents, ebooks, movies and of course the latest RnB songs.
I had a lot of thirst for reading online materials and was happy to learn government information, new computing concepts to stay a head of my peers. I was also very regular at the library, especially for newspapers and of course being around “nice” people. That was at campus.
For many times, since then, I realised that I had gathered a lot of content and yet new content was still coming. Then in 2013, I met some guy from Kawa Uganda who happened to come to Lira to promote his concept of e-learning. Instantly, recognized my efforts in the area of ICT and later gave me lots of educational materials. The materials where almost 20GB including valuable Geography documentaries, science animations and rare text books. That year, in the Computer Lab, I created an e-Library by simply copying these educational resources on all the servers, with strict permissions to only view. Together with CyberSchool which was already installed, the computer lab became the most sought after place in school. After classes, students would race to enter the lab and explore the e-Library. On weekends, an average of 600 students would use the 40 computers in the computer lab. I had to make students enter in shifts of 1 hour each. After 1 hour, another set of 40 students would come in.
however, in 2014, when we were doing computer repairs, our technician formatted the disks and I lost everything. That incident made made me think a lot of things.
Using the remaining files on my laptop, I started thinking of how I could still help students and teachers access educational resources, without necessary sharing my laptop (I always think that computers are like women).
Over the next year, I have many of my colleagues educational content in DVDs, flash disks and uploaded some onto Google drive. But still the impact was minimal.
In 2015, I hosted a website for my startup, Walktrack Uganda and with no physical presence and concrete business on ground, the traffic to the site was negligible. It was only excited friends who would check once in a while. However, I continued hosted the site every year.
From my experience at campus and I realised that we not only need to download from others, but we should also provide for others. That is how that Walktrack Edu Platform idea came about. I had only one goal-to provide educational resources for free.
Now in Uganda, there are many educational websites and all of them have some kind of arrangement that makes each different from the other. We have the carefully crafted Mwalimu Online Learning Tool, which I used a lot at the beginning and Mukalele’s sharebility which at first was his personal website.
I would not like to go into the details and specifics and these platforms, but it challenged me to do something and contribute to Uganda’s education sector. All I needed was to also publish, not just publish a book but web publishing.
According to Technopedia, web publishing is the process of publishing original content on the Internet.
The process includes building and uploading websites, updating the associated web pages, and posting content to these web pages online. Web publishing comprises of personal, business, and community websites in addition to e-books and blogs. I decided to publish all my stuff online and also got others from other sources. With this thinking in mind, Walktrack Edu Platform was born in January 2017.
Walktrack Edu Platform is an educational website that provides free & open educational resources for both teachers & students across Uganda. It provides important resources for secondary and university, although emphasis has been put on secondary. The resources are a result of my many years teaching experience at Lira Town College & All Saints University Lango.
The resources include Classroom notes, Powerpoint presentations, Questions & Answer booklets, Short books and Past papers. It has many resources from Lira Town College but will later create a platform to allow other people to upload new content to the platform.
My core motivation to put these resources here is to provide free high quality educational resources to Uganda’s digital generation so as to enhance quality learning especially in northern Uganda.
It is good to leverage today’s technological tools to bridge the gaps in our current educational set-up. I intend to provide more online assessments (objectives) especially in O-level Computer Studies & science subjects & provide important educational infographics in an easy to understand format.
The advantage with this platform is unlike others, I have provided lots of stuff, some in zipped folders so you get a complete package. What I am working on currently is the searching algorithm, which will allow to rapidly search the big resource bank for whatever you want.
I am very sure Walktrack Edu Platform will help many teachers & students, especially in the area of computing.I have received messages from Kabale, Kole, Gulu, Kampala and many other commending me to taking this work. With your support and goodwill, Walktrack Edu Platform will sure help thousands in search for new knowledge in today’s digital world. I am delighted by the positive response so far. I wish you all the best and please spread the word.