Richard Appiah Akoto the Chalkboard Computer Teacher, Stars at Microsoft’s Education Exchange

Richard Appiah Akoto the Chalkboard Computer Teacher, Stars at Microsoft’s Education Exchange

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Richard Appiah Akoto, 33, became a social media sensation after he posted pictures of himself painstakingly sketching out a mock-up of a Microsoft Word screen in coloured chalk on his classroom blackboard so his students could learn digital skills even without devices.

These photos went viral, and social media users brought this to the attention of Microsoft. The company’s official twitter then tweeted promising the 33-year-old teacher a computer and access to educational material.

Akoto is currently in Singapore attending  Microsoft’s Global Education Exchange Summit which aims to celebrate amazing educators and provide them with the opportunity to collaborate with each other. This program also aims to look at how technology and new ways of teaching can prepare students for success in the digital age.

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”They have some knowledge about computers, but they don’t know how to actually operate one. 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. 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.

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” Akoto told Microsoft.

According to Microsoft, he received a long ovation when he appeared on stage at the summit as Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education at Microsoft, praised him as one example of the many teachers worldwide who overcome massive obstacles to meet their students’ needs every day.

Richard Appiah Akoto the Chalkboard Computer Teacher, Stars at Microsoft’s Education Exchange
Richard Appiah Akoto the Chalkboard Computer Teacher, Stars at Microsoft’s Education Exchange

Richard Appiah Akoto’s story is a great one. Teachers in Africa and persons in other careers should be inspired by it. Your career should be driven by passion, not money.