Exciting times for learners as virtual classrooms roll out
Vodacom chips in with the technology and other resources
Over 14,000 learners are set to benefit from virtual classrooms that include robotics and coding elements. The virtual classroom solution (VCS) was recently launched at Dr WF Nkomo Secondary School in Atteridgeville, Tshwane, and will benefit 1,500 pupils at the school.
Principal Khazamula Chauke says the VCS ensures that the school’s educators and learners are more productive. “Teachers can now interact with learners without being physically in the same room… Along with internet connectivity throughout the school and access to e-learning, learners now have their own data-enabled laptops, so they don’t have to rely on what is in the information technology (IT) centre,” he adds.
The laptops also enable learners to access curricula-aligned content and various platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 Education, 2Enable and Vodacom e-School.
“The children are really excited. They’re also enjoying other benefits of the programme such as being able to access extra resources by remotely connecting to educational broadcasting centres and other schools. I have no doubt that we will see greater improvement in their learning, productivity and how they perform academically,” says Chauke.
Following the implementation of the programme, Chauke says many learners are now also showing an interest in technology.
“In schools such as ours, subjects like IT haven’t been fully rolled out. This is definitely creating interest in that space, as now learners are more empowered to navigate a digital world. The coding and robotics elements have particularly grabbed their attention and I’m excited to see where these digital skills will take them,” he adds.
The department of basic education is bringing VCS in partnership with the Vodacom Foundation.
According to Takalani Netshitenzhe, the director of external affairs at Vodacom SA, its virtual classroom (VC) was approved by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa at the height of Covid-19, to enable remote access to teaching and learning in poor communities.
Vodacom aims to roll out 13 virtual classrooms, which will benefit about 14,000 pupils.
Netshitenzhe says the VC will help prepare pupils for the 4th Industrial Revolution as it has a fully kitted e-learning end-to-end solution, with internet connectivity across the school.
“The network enables the school to connect to educational broadcasting centres and other schools, to share resources and expertise remotely,” he adds.
– This article first appeared in GCIS's Vuk'Uzenzele
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