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South Africa Uses Smart Technology For Better Learning
How digital is changing teaching and learning in South Africa.
Paperless classrooms are becoming a reality in Gauteng public schools. The Wired for Life programme sees the Gauteng Department of Education converting 375 high schools in rural and township areas to digital teaching and learning. Starting with township schools that had a 100% matric pass rate in 2014, the Department is introducing interactive boards, laptops and tablets with full internet connectivity.
Wired for Life inspires close cooperation between the private sector and government because of the huge benefits of technology-savvy teachers and learners. Smart technology –
· stimulates learners’ curiosity
· inspires critical thinking and creativity
· encourages communication and collaboration
· provides access to infinite educational information, resources and apps
Technology can’t make up for human shortcomings such as inadequate training, poor preparation and resistance to change. Smart technology –
· requires highly skilled teachers
· demands excellent lesson preparation
· is vulnerable to power failures and technical glitches
· can suffer security breaches
Movies are digital, too
Another smart initiative uses the fun and excitement of going to the movies to improve learning.
EduCate, a maths and science matric revision programme, is now in its fifth year. DJ Sbu, Boity Thulo, Jimmy Nevis and Farah C Fortune are ambassadors for the programme. It consists of 10 filmed lessons covering the entire curriculum. The lessons are entertaining but educationally sound, and subject specialists are on hand to assist and answer questions.
EduCate was initiated by Primestars in 2010. The programme enjoys the support of business partners such as the BOSASA Group as well as national and provincial education departments.
With eduCate, learners experience that maths and science can be fun – and easily comprehensible. The enjoyable and immediate format of film opens the subjects in a way that would be difficult otherwise. Many disadvantaged learners would have no other chance to interact with the exceptional subject experts who mediate the screenings in cinemas all over the country.
BOSASA is a co-sponsor of eduCate, which runs from August to October every year and makes a difference to more than 20 000 matrics preparing for prelim and final examinations.
Richard Bhutelezi, departmental head for mathematics at Tisand Technical High School, credits the eduCate programme with an improvement in the school’s matric results. He adds that it also helps to alleviate the strain on teachers: “Some schools are running short of teachers, and programmes like this help a lot.”
BOSASA Group (Pty) Ltd