South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is providing multimedia tablets and training to 160 teachers at 11 schools in the Eastern Cape as part of a project that aims to develop a mobile teaching model that can be applied countrywide. This very successful project is known as the ICT4RED project which aims to support education in rural areas using ICT’s and especially Android tablets. SchoolNet conducts the ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development in Queenstown.
The project employs a “learn to earn” model, in which teachers get the opportunity to earn their tablets by attending training courses once a month in the afternoons, and by using them in their classrooms to support teaching and learning processes. This is further supported by a system in which teachers are rewarded with “digital badges” to encourage their progress. Once the teachers at each school show that they are ready, the rollout will be extended to learners as well. At Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary, the second phase began on 18 July with each Matric student receiving their own tablet to support their studies.
Recently ICT4RED held a ‘tablet fun day’ where they hosted 150 teachers, on Saturday 2 November, with a whole day committed to tablet learning. The teachers had a great time at the photo booth at the start of the day.
The event was held at Queens College who made their school, students and WiFi available to ICT4RED. The tablet fun day used the teaching strategy, learning stations, to create a large scale, school-wide learning station, resembling a fun market place of learning! The teachers went around collecting tidbits of skills, apps, knowledge and collaborations collecting as many ‘stars’ as possible within a limited time span.
Sponsors provided many wonderful prizes on the day. The first draw was for a Samsung S4 phone sponsored by Afritech. The winner was Nozuko Nyoka from Bangilizwe JS (Saki School)
To qualify for an HP laptop, a teacher had to visit a mouse station to complete a teacher interview questionnaire. The HP laptop winner was Ms Vuyiswa Magwevana from Mthimbini JS. There were many sponsored prizes which included mini Bluetooth speakers, tablet pens, earphones, and portable speakers. At least half of the teachers who were there won something.
Summing up the ‘Fun with Tablets’ workshop Hlengiwe Mfeka of SchoolNet says:
“It was an exciting and amazing day for the Cofimvaba teachers. The workshop was a huge success and the teacher turnout was very good. It revitalized teachers’ commitment to the project.”