Microsoft honors Richard, a teacher who used chalk and blackboard to teach computers

A teacher from Ghana was an instant internet sensation after his picture of sketching out a mock-up of Microsoft Word screen in colored chalk on his blackboard went viral. Richard Appiah Akoto used chalks and blackboard to draw the screen of Microsoft Word, and this came straight from his memory. The school that he teaches in Ghana has no access to computers and thus as a last resort Richard tool to the blackboard. This helped him to teach digital skills without a computer.

Richard used the blackboard to teach computers

Richard used the blackboard to teach computers

He was applauded and given a standing ovation after he appeared at the Education Exchange. This gathering of nearly 400 educators and school leaders from 91 countries help them take a fresh look at technology and how the latter is helping them prepare the students for the digital age. Anthony Salcito, VO, Worldwide Education at Microsoft applauded Richard for he overcame several obstacles in order to teach the students.

Richard left Microsoft impressed so much so that they flew him all the way from Ghana to Singapore. Anthony has already said that Richard is now a part of a community of educators who share experiences and learn from each other.

“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”.

This is what Richard had to say, “I wanted to teach them how to launch Microsoft Word. But I had no computer to show them. I had to do my best. So, I decided to draw what the screen looks like on the blackboard with chalk,” he said. “I drew the features and labeled them correctly so that they would know what-was-what. Then I drew what you would see on your computer screen after launching Word.”

He further said that he has been doing it for every lesson. If a lesson demands system units or a formatting toolbar he would painstakingly draw the same. Apparently, this is a very common thing in Ghana where not many schools have access to computers. Microsoft has already instructed its local partner in Ghana to provide device and software support for the students of the Betanese Municipal Assembly Junior High School in rural Ghana.

It is a joy to see educators going an extra mile to help out their students, and Richard is a prime example of how perseverance can bring in a big difference.

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Mahit Huilgol has been using Windows on PC and Mobile since long. He has been following Microsoft developments from close quarters and loves writing about it.

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