Our favourite childhood folklore character, Ananse has been known as a trickster who always seems to have something mischievous under his sleeve. This time around, the Adventures of Ananse returns with him as a teacher! Yes, you read right!
Ananse is freed by three wise spiders, however, he captures one of them, Nephina the Golden Orb Spider thinking he could get gold. But Nephina is able to convince him to become a teacher which he agrees to, but on one condition: only if he sees the land of gold at the end of this task. Filled with the desire of reaching the land of gold, Ananse agrees to teach kids Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Of course, the journey wouldn’t be exciting without the help of his wife, Okonoreyaa, his kids: Ntikuma, Etikelenkele (The big headed one), Efudwohyedwohye (The potbellied One) and Yaa Kohyia (Yaa The Skinny One).
Young at Heart Ghana, a team of passionate tertiary student volunteers who are championing quality education in rural areas in Africa decided to aid Ananse in his quest by developing an app for Ananse to teach kids STEAM related topics with local content from Ananse stories and other Ghanaian folklore. With this educational app, we will travel to lands of adventure through the act of storytelling; know Ghana better by exploring our landmarks and tourist sites, and then finally reveal the secrets beheld by our beautiful and ancient Adinkra symbols to the younger generation! The game has a simple yet colourful and culturally inspired interface that takes you through a journey led by Ananse and his family. But what has Ananse got up his sleeves this time?
The team led by Josephine Marie Godwyll spent months on developing the app despite the numerous challenges they faced along the way. According to Ms Godwyll “Ananse TheTeacher App provides an engaging Edutech experience that is unique and exciting to children all across the world. What makes it different is the use of stories to provide a gamified learning experience rich in culture and practical learning activities in STEAM.”
The team expressed their gratitude to GhScientific for the content support & CommsAid for providing all graphics and art support.
Some of the team members described their experience on developing the app as being tough considering they had other demanding commitments of equal importance. Another remarked with pride that working on Ananse TheTeacher was splendid, probably one of the best applications he had worked on.
On 16th June 2017, Young At Heart Gh with their development partners: GhScientific, Tigo and Comms Aid, launched the app which was well-attended by students, educationists, bloggers and other stakeholders of education in Ghana.
Kwaku Agyei Marfo Tabiri, the brains behind the match3 puzzle, a challenge in Ananse TheTeacher app stated that while working on Ananse, he hoped to achieve a game that would excite kids about learning Ghanaian culture. According to him, “This app is uniquely Ghanaian, unlike other educational apps that are tailored for the west with songs about things your kids will never see. This one was made by Africans, for Africans. The stories are so interesting; we designed the game to inspire kids to learn. I believe we achieved that with beautiful art, engaging stories and interesting puzzles. You’ll see amazing things. Expect excitement! Download Ananse TheTeacher App now!”
Gabriel Tetteh, the developer of the English and Tourism content also commented that “The app was built on certain principles of education including the fact that education does not happen in a vacuum but in a society and must be based on societal values; teaching must start from known to the unknown; motivation and audio-visual aids are of great value to teaching and learning. In all, Ananse the Teacher App is a tremendous educative platform I wish I had encountered when I was a kid or in primary school.”
Today, millennials spend most of their time on various forms of technology. In 2013, researchers at New York University and the City University of New York found that Math video games can enhance students’ motivation to learn (Journal of Educational Psychology, 2013). Ananse The Teacher App by Young At Heart Gh is perhaps one of the revolutionary and bold steps towards improving the quality of teaching and learning in Ghana.
Hey, why don’t you check out the game right here and help Ananse get to the land of gold?
WRITER: Mina Nana Yaa
IMAGES: Mina Nana Yaa