September 26, 2017

ANANSE IS NO LONGER A TRICKSTER

Introducing Ananse The Teacher

Our favorite childhood folklore character; Ananse has been known as a trickster who always has something mischievous under his sleeve. This time around, the Adventures of Ananse returns with him as a teacher; yes, you read right! From Ananse the Trickster to Ananse the Teacher

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) – and so enters Ananse the Teacher.

As the true family man he is, the journey wouldn’t be complete 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, 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 colorful and culturally inspired interface that takes you through a journey led by Ananse the Teacher 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.  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 The Teacher 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 educational stakeholders.

Students playing Ananse the Teacher at the launch

Kwaku Agyei Marfo Tabiri, the brains behind the match3 puzzle, a challenge in Ananse The Teacher app stated that whiles 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”. It is clear to see that the game was designed to inspire kids to learn. The stories are so interesting; with beautiful art, engaging stories and captivating puzzles that will leave you on edge for the next update. 

GhScientific’s Dr. Tagoe, who contributed to the creation of the science content for Ananse the Teacher expressed the importance of using everyday items to teach basic scientific principles; “With this kids will learn without even knowing it and will come to believe that science is never too far from them”. His sentiments were echoed by Gabriel Tetteh, the developer of the English and Tourism content who commented that “Ananse the Teacher 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”

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?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.youngatheart.anansetheteacher