The cutting edge technology project titled TechEd is creating exciting and inspired learning.
The cutting edge technology project titled TechEd is creating exciting and inspired learning.

February 2015: Learners from St Christopher’s using the Khan Academy.

 

The cutting edge technology project titled TechEd is creating exciting and inspired learning. South African learners face many challenges on their path to quality education and this technology-driven project aims to improve learner performances as well as help create a viable blueprint for other schools. Last year saw TechEd launch with great success into one school and 2015 looks set to be even more exciting with the addition of two more schools to the project.

The pioneering project launched in early 2014 at one of the RedCap Schools, St Christopher’s Primary School, in rural KwaZulu-Natal. The innovative technology project comprises the Global Literacy Project, a child-driven learning movement on tablets that teaches kids to read so that they can then read to learn, and Khan Academy, which teaches maths content on desktop computers. Both initiatives succeeded in making the learning process a fun and memorable occasion for learners!

Last year saw the leap to technology at St Christopher’s prove highly successful with year-end ANA results boasting remarkable learner achievement in  Maths for the Khan Academy participants. Aside from the shining results, school attendance improved, learners’ understanding of technology advanced and pupils gained valuable classroom confidence. Teachers noticed that learners weren’t afraid to try things even though they might fail. As a result, extra break and Saturday lessons were even added to the lesson plan as student numbers and interest in the project soared. Moving into the second year of the TechEd Project teachers expect even greater enthusiasm and better results from learners.

This year sees two new RedCap Schools, Nyakana Combined Primary School and Zilungisele Primary School, added as implementation sites to the thriving TechEd Project. They will be joined by two additions to the deployment;  using KA Lite, which is an offline version of Khan Academy, and partnering with the Breteau Foundation whose aim is to bring digital learning platforms to underprivileged school children. Both these programmes should continue to inspire excitement and enthusiasm for learning amongst learners, teachers, parents and the surrounding community.

A big thanks must be said to key international and national implementation partners that are committed to creating a brighter future for South Africa’s children: Global Literacy Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, Tufts University Language Centre, Georgia State University Psychology Department, Breteau Foundation, Khan Academy, Numeric, Shepid, AirBand, KA Lite, Bodill Education and Next Level Outcomes.

 

*Annexure

RedCap Schools– A holistic education programme in five schools in KwaDukuza focused on improving learner performance.

TechEd A technology in education programme funded and facilitated by the MRP Foundation.

Global Literacy Project (GLP)- A child-driven learning movement using tablet-based technology to tackle the widespread problem of illiteracy and poor education.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab- A GLP Platform and Content Development Partner who helped design the GLP Project.

Tufts University Language Centre- As one of thePlatform and Content Development Partners of the GLP Tufts finds and develops the content for the colourful learning apps which the tablets are preloaded with.

Georgia State University Psychology Department- One of thePlatform and Content Development Partner of the GLP.

Breteau Foundation- Part of the literacy component of TechEd the Breteau Foundation aims to bring digital learning platforms to underprivileged school children.

Khan Academy- Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Khan Academy is used as part of the numeracy component of TechEd.

Numeric- Numeric is using Khan Academy to create exciting and high impact learning environments around South Africa.

KA Lite- An offline version of Khan Academy. It is a lightweight solution providing high-quality education by bringing the power of online learning to the offline world. KA Lite is part of the numeracy component of TechEd.

Shepid- IT and Technical Support.

AirBand- A focused wireless broadband company that provides the bandwidth for the TechEd project.

Bodill Education- Independent Maths testing and curriculum consultants.

Next Level Outcomes- The independent research organisation responsible for facilitating the testing and evaluation study on the TechEd Project.

The South African Post Office- Donated funds towards the TechEd Project.