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The following article is contributed by Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa, a member of ADESSA.
“When a child who could be taught to read goes untaught, the child
suffers a lasting injury — and so does society,” said Judge Stephen Murphy.
We have entered the second quarter of 2019 and the question remains:
how much will our learners in South Africa improve in the crucial skills of
visual processing, reading and comprehension? According to Employment and
Social Development in Canada, reading comprehension will be one of the five top
skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs.
This is why, as parents and teachers, we need to ask ourselves the
important question: are we setting our children up for failure? Are we satisfied
with the high percentage of learners not reading at a proficient level in our
schools? More than 78% of South African learners cannot read for meaning,
according to the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
(PIRLS). During this study, which tested
the reading comprehension of learners in their fourth year of primary school,
South Africa ranked last out of 50 countries. Research has revealed that
children who do not learn to read by the end of third grade are likely to
remain poor readers and as a result fall behind in other academic areas too. It
has also been proven that learners who struggle with reading are more likely to
drop out of school. This is especially alarming when you look at the following
statistics: of the 624,733 full-time public school students who entered matric
at the start of 2018, only 512,735 actually wrote the exams.
A local study at one of the leading universities in South Africa
indicated that “One of the most challenging issues Higher Education Institutions
(HEI’s) face, but one that is not fully recognised by either students or
lecturers until some way into academic courses, is the problem of reading”. It
is presumed that students who have entered university are proficient readers
and have mastered the building blocks of reading, but this, however, is not the
case for all students.
I believe one of the key reasons why children are not reading at
an acceptable level is the basic assumption that learning to read is a natural
process. However, years of cognitive neuroscience research has clarified that
reading does not come naturally. Our brains are not wired to read. Children need to be taught not only how to
read, but to read-to-learn. In the first three years of schooling, children are
taught how to read. This is the time in reading development when a love for
reading and excitement about new information should be encouraged. During this
phase of development the sounds we hear in spoken language are transferred to a
written symbol system. We can call this phase of development the Learn-to-Read
– the “phonics phase”.
From Grade 4 children should progress to the Read-to-Learn phase,
moving from ‘sounding’ out words to being able to ‘recognize and decipher’
words, sentences, paragraphs and even whole chapters and constructing the
meaning of the text on different levels of comprehension. Our research across
more than 30 years has shown that this transition is becoming weaker and weaker
and is now at a stage where it seems to not take place accurately or efficiently
enough – thus the reason why so many children are struggling, also in higher
grade levels. Many learners fail to make the required transition to fluent
reading and subsequently encounter
significant difficulties in constructing meaning from text. Fluency in reading
is critical for reading competency and is consequently fundamental in reading
This is one of the areas where we see a considerable improvement
of up to five years on average with LAB-on-line. There is a great solution
available for Junior to Senior learners, as well as for our students in the FET
and tertiary phase of education, and parents and teachers alike should take
note of this.
Lectorsa has designed and developed a progressive on-line solution
called LAB-on-line, that specifically targets and develops visual processing
skills, together with reading and cognitive skills. We use the science of
neural-wiring and combine it with the physics of muscle training through the
processes of the reading action. When these essential skills are developed and
refined, academic outcomes are improved, learners’ self-esteem is boosted and
they are equipped with life-long learning skills.
It is said that there is a profound connection between reading,
understanding the world and being able to change it. If we want the next
generation to not only succeed, but to build a better South Africa, we need to
step in now and equip them with the right skill set.
If we can address this
critical problem, we can not only minimize the impact of the triple challenge
of poverty, unemployment and inequality that our country faces, but we can help
each child to realise his/her true potential.
Join us in our campaign, #YesICan, to improve literacy across the
country. South Africa’s children deserve no less. Contact our office firstname.lastname@example.org
to stand a chance to participate in the #YesICanLiteracyCampaign and receive a
free 10-week reading development program to implement at your school before the
end of the year.
ADESSA is proud to have been part of a highly successful elearning event, hosted by the Cape Winelands Education District of the Western Cape Education Department at the new Somerset High school in Worcester.
Nineteen ADESSA members exhibited their products and services; each one was given a classroom in which to display, demonstrate and present a variety of technology tools for education. About 200 principals, teachers and education department officials stayed till late to visit all the exhibits.
The SG of the Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, warmly thanked ADESSA and the exhibitors for the valuable contribution they are making to education in general and for contributing to the success of the elearning event.
WiFi connectivity in the classroom becoming the norm to avoid cabling issues,
the question of which WiFi device to use arises.
As a security against theft of WiFi dongles, projector manufacturers have traditionally built-in their chosen technology leaving users to deal with the limitations and operational differences from one brand to the next. InFocus has changed all this with the introduction of a projector range (standard zoom lens and short-throw models) that offers their customers the ability to install their connectivity device of choice – and to do this, hidden securely within the USB, HDMI & 5v-powered TechStation built into the projector.
The concept is simple yet enables institutions to mould the projector connectivity to whatever suits their application – from Miracast to Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Android, SimpleShare and other devices. One can even install an Intel Computer Stick with wireless keyboard & mouse to take interactive projection to another level of usability.
to this its whisper quiet operational level and brilliant colour technology and
it is little wonder the range is gaining such traction.
This is yet another product from Macmillan to be seen at the Cape Winelands Education District elearning conference/expo on Saturday, 9 March 2019, in Worcester.
Having a lot of problems is, well, a problem. When it
comes to Maths however, teachers will tell you that you can never have too many
problems as practice makes perfect. Unfortunately, learners are often not
motivated to practice Maths, as often they feel they will never grasp the
concepts, or they don’t know where their knowledge gaps are. This leads to Maths
teachers having to spend time on intervention strategies, or for parents to pay
for expensive extra lessons which don’t necessarily provide the required
direction – sometimes all learners do is
solve problem after problem with the hope that they will eventually ‘get it’.
Enter Bettermarks®, a sharp online platform for Maths that employs very sophisticated technology in order for learners to access personalised learning. Bettermarks® takes adaptive learning to the next level – it is a truly personalised platform which is complimented by how easy it is to use by both teacher and learner.
What makes Bettermarks® stand out is that learners get
real time feedback at every stage, it gives specific feedback, and even gives the
option to access the textbook if necessary. This turns mistakes into learning
opportunities as it allows for errors in thinking to be diagnosed immediately,
and then remedied, before a crucial test or exam.
There are thousands of questions and the adaptive
technology checks the thousands of competencies needed across the curriculum to
flag any knowledge gaps, and then provides learners with further exercises to
practice and master topics. Real time feedback and self-monitoring helps
motivate learners and gives them confidence.
Teachers can access learners’ results and progress via reports and then apply hands-on intervention if necessary – or assign further exercises via the platform. The platform will keep recommending exercises to learners to fill knowledge gaps until the teacher is assured the problem has been solved, and the teacher can then close the gap on the platform’s back-end.
Teachers can use Bettermarks® in many different ways
to help them monitor learner progress and difficulties, and to assist them in
their progress. Features include the option of building worksheets from the question
banks and distributing them to all learners – or individual learners –
depending on the need. The questions can also be formulated into a test (which
prevents tips and textbook access and is password protected). The platform
marks all worksheets and tests automatically which saves the teacher a
significant amount of time.
One of the outstanding features is that Bettermarks® is
developed to test learners’ skills in answering a Maths problem – not just
multiple choice. Depending on the question, learners may have to divide blocks
into fractions, draw graphs, or indicate points on a number line, amongst many
other practical applications.
The teacher dashboard gives a teacher a one screen
overview of learners’ progress, and it also conveniently highlights areas in
which all learners are struggling, thereby making whole class intervention
This easy-to-use platform is a class act and a true asset to the classroom. Learners pay only R150 per calendar year subscription and teacher access is free with every class set purchased. Request a demo today by emailing email@example.com or calling 011 731 3359.
The time is drawing close for the Cape Winelands Education District’s elearning conference expo in Worcester (9 March 2019). Make sure that you visit the classroom of the Digital Education Group to view their superb training material.
Information Technology (Cape) is the importer and distributor of the award-winning InFocus Projectors and Mondopad meeting and education collaboration products in South Africa and will be showcasing the following classroom technologies during the Cape Winelands Education District conference/expo in Worcester on 9 March 2019:
Waanneer jy die Kaapse Wynland Onderwys Distrik se e-leer konferensie op 9 Maart 2019 bywoon, maak gerus ‘n draai by die kamer van Macmillan, waar jy meer van Kliek kan leer.
KLIEK is ’n splinternuwe gemengdeleer leermiddel nou
beskikbaar vir gebruik in die Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele taal klaskamer. Die
opwindende kursus is ontwerp om ’n liefde vir Afrikaans by leerders aan te
word op ’n nuwe en vars manier aangebied deur digitale leerwerk, aktiwiteite en
toetse – alles ondersteun deur ’n oorvleulende werkboek.
KLIEK stel die onderwyser in staat om die klaskamer
te omskep in ’n lewendige, gemengde leerarea. Die onderwyser besluit wanneer en
hoe om die tegnologie binne en buite die klaskamer te gebruik.
bied die volgende kenmerke en voordele vir leerders en onderwysers:
onderwerpe in die werkboek word ondersteun en aangevul met interaktiewe
oefeninge, speletjies, animasie en toetse.
op verkeerde antwoorde verskyn onmiddellik en leerders leer uit hulle foute.
word beloon met toekennings vir deelname en goeie vordering. Hierdie benadering
maak voorsiening vir ‘n generasie wat dadelik resultate en terugvoering wil hê.
program maak ook voorsiening vir selfgedrewe leer- en probleemoplossing. Die
leerder kan dus moeilike konsepte op hy/sy eie tyd bemeester.
is tweede natuur by Generasie-Z en wakker hulle entoesiasme aan, en daarom kan
dit tot voordeel van die leerder, asook Afrikaans as skoolvak aangewend word.
verbruiker registreer vir ’n twee jaar toegang tot die platform.