This is a guest post from Ennis Jones from Obami. Obami is a local social learning management system and has won several international awards. Recently Obami digitized the Anas for teachers. Obami is free and well worth trying out in your classroom – with good local support available.
What is Obami?
Obami is an internationally recognised, award-winning, social
learning management system. It is local, contextual, customisable and
What does Obami do?
Obami helps people to create or join learning communities. It
is available on web and mobile and brings everyone
within the education space together… learners, teachers and parents; as
well as governing bodies, NGO’s, small businesses, corporates-doing-good, and
other passionate people.
By applying social media technologies to the virtual learning
environment, Obami provides a powerful solution for individuals or schools to tap
into or support existing learning communities. This gives everyone the
opportunity to connect, create, share and learn. Obami is free for primary and secondary schools.
Obami supports and enhances all aspects of the teaching and learning experience.
It provides a platform that…
– Facilitates the sharing of great educational resources
– Encourages social engagement between educators and learners
– Offers academic and personal development through assessment
Obami ensures the most appropriate experience for everyone. Schools can manage the safety, privacy and sharing settings –
relevant to different ages, grades and social circles – within the context
of their own school, the wider Obami community and the world-wide-web.
Obami also provides school and other learning community
administrators with cyber-bully and profanity monitoring tools, ensuring that the
environment is kept enjoyable for all.
More about ObamiObami is a web and
mobile based platform that allows anyone to create, manage & access digital
content, share resources, create mini-websites and even undertake exams – it brings
social learning into the classroom.
Because some schools
have been slow to manage change and adopt new technologies, Obami accommodates requests
from independent learners (individuals under and over 13 years of age) via the “Obami
School”. The platform doesn’t aim to replicate Facebook but rather to focus on
developing and nurturing creative skills – as a result, the learning platform
has been recognised for these efforts:
learning beyond the classroom involving peers, parents, on the street and even on
– Obami Portals can be created by anyone.
By focusing on learning by ‘doing’, portals allow for communities to be created
around user generated content. Portals are easy to set up with simple “add
item” and “drag & drop” functionality.
The add item tool
accommodates anything from formatted text and extended math symbols and
equations, to embeddable widgets, images, RSS feeds and even entire websites. Obami
automatically resizes elements to fit within a number of pre-defined page
templates but also offers tools which allow for tooltips, external hyperlinks
and the bespoke resizing of images. All this allows for educator facilitated,
as well as self organised, learning.
– Obami has an assignments application which can be
used for pop-quizzes, tests, surveys or as feedback forms, questionnaires and permissions
slips. Obami recently crowd-sourced 168 NSC past papers through UCT students,
across 33 different subject areas and made them Obami style ‘sit & submit’
revision papers for Matrics: http://www.obami.com/portals/Obami/NSC_past_papers/ … They also
digitised the ANAs across Grade 4/5/6 & 9 themselves: http://www.obami.com/portals/Obami/Welcome_to_Obami/ANAs
– Obami has resource and media applications to facilitate the storage of items in the cloud
(docs, spreadsheets, PDFs, audio, video…). Alongside offering free cloud
hosting, it can also facilitate the embedding of widgets, YouTube videos, OER,
Slideshare presentations and other web based technologies throughout the
platform and within its other applications.
– Obami has a blogging application. It can be used
across different subjects and organised into specific subject folders.
– Obami has powerful
communication tools including a messaging
system, online chat and a calendar for event tracking (which
automatically sync with parental accounts so that upcoming school work,
impending tests and homework is easily communicated to parents).
It is worth noting
that every application on Obami allows for commenting
so that discussion can be facilitated. Pages can be printed for easy reading
and any page can be set as one’s homepage. This allows for easy and rapid
access to one’s most used application.
Using Obami in the classroom,
support and feedback
Obami FAQs, Tutorials etc: http://www.obami.com/portals/obami/faqs
Obami prides itself on offering
full site page specific helper text along with unlimited access to online support
which is offered via the platform’s feedback tab (responses are usually made within
Obami has focused on the South African
market, even though it is being increasingly adopted in the US, Europe and
other African countries like Ghana, Namibia, Botswana and Kenya.
Accolades and achievements: http://www.obami.com/portals/Obami/About_Obami/Latest_News
Most recent unpublicized
successesObami supports the DBE and will
be working together to bring quality educational resources and support the
· Obami has been asked to consult
the Nigerian Government
· Obami was selected as one of
Africa’s Top 40 Start-up companies, and will be presenting at DEMO Africa in
· Obami has partnered with the
University of Cape Town, and is part of the curricula for its Teaching with
· Obami has partnered with
Creative Commons and will be delivering a digital course on licensing creative
works across Africa
The Obami Team Story
Watch the Obami Team story on YouTube
The Obami Team story… http://www.youtube.com/user/ObamiSocialLearning