All posts by Kobus van Wyk

Remote Learning step by step guide

Microsoft is offering this free guide, simple and easy to use, during a time that distance learning is the only way to assist learners.

This guide will help you to adapt school systems quickly to distance learning with resources from Microsoft Education. While there’s no equal to the physical classroom and in-person connections between educators and students, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and other app experiences like Flipgrid can enable online connections and key learning outcomes when the physical classroom isn’t an option.

No matter where you start from …

With great excitement, Lectorsa and M3line launched the EyeBrainGym during the past few weeks in Limpopo, Freestate, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KZN.

Thomas Marshall, director of M3line, shared “Eye-Brain-Gym, our solution is a customised Eye-Brain training course with an individualised specific Game Plan to suit your schedule and or needs. It offers a selection of dynamic games and reading actions culminating in cognitive skills sessions to enhance the executive function in the brain and the interaction in the brain to move information faster to the pre-frontal cortex. Our exercises will improve your comprehension and bring you to a new level of competence when dealing with visual information.”

M3line, in collaboration with Lectorsa, have developed EyeBrainGym based on ten years’ data with more than 100,000 case studies in LAB-on-line. Lectorsa have seen great results in developing visual processing, reading and comprehension for their users. There was great excitement at the launch of EyeBrainGym. The hope is that this product can build on many other significant efforts to MAXimise the #ReadingRevolution South Africa so desperately need.

According to the research, everyone can and should read more, see faster, think clearer and reason better.

“Our focus is to advance visual intelligence while addressing processing, reading and comprehension development from Grade R to Grade 12 learners in schools. We collaborate with universities to develop subject-specific materials for tertiary students and have high expectations a better future for all. We’ve seen an overall improvement of 6 years average for our users”, shared Minda Marshall Director of Lectorsa.

 The vision is to ensure connected students, to transform educational experiences and create engaged citizens. The directors explained that EyeBrainGym was developed in a way that games are used in specific sequence and intervals with researched weights and timeslots to achieve certain outcomes regarding visual processing and cognitive skills development. The aim is to develop a coherent mind, to achieve improved interaction with visual information through improved visual and cognitive skills.

The evening concluded with nominations for a school or organisation to be sponsored by guests to give students access to the new system. Congratulations, to Mbokota High School in Limpopo who won 30 EyeBrainGym subscriptions to the value of R114,000.00. The project will kick off at the rural school in Limpopo after the April holidays.

NOW, imagine a world of engaged and connected citizens, a world with infinite possibilities and endless opportunities. See passionate people with a solutions mindset, creating a better future for all. A world of prosperous, generous people. The world of EyeBrainGym! Join us in making this a reality for every student in our nation, for every worker, for every manager. Contact our office on office@lectorsa.com if you are interested in supporting a school to activate EyeBrainGym for their students.

Minimising class disruptions during coronavirus outbreak with e-learning solutions

How is Snapplify helping schools to minimise disruption?

As always, Snapplify remains focused on providing e-learning solutions that empower educators and enable students to achieve their best.

  • Access to much of Snapplify’s award-winning technology is available for free.
    Snapplify Engage is an award-winning e-learning platform and digital library solution. Any school can register for Engage for free and access tools that enable learning and reading to continue uninterrupted, from home.
  • Snapplify’s newly launched Teacher Benefits programme is being made available to all teachers in affected areas for free during this period via Snapplify Engage.
    Any teacher registered on the platform can access the Snapplify Teacher Benefits programme, which includes key educational resources that are either discounted or available for free.

In early 2020, The Answer Series (well-known for their quality resources and trusted for decades) joined the programme to offer their study guides to all South African teachers for FREE via Engage.

Snapplify is currently inviting other publishers of world-class educational materials to join their Teacher Benefits programme by making some or all of their content freely available to teachers over this period.

  • Teachers are able to bridge the gap by creating and sharing resources that their students can use for home study via Snapplify Engage.
    The Engage e-learning platform allows users to share teacher-created, multimedia resource materials with students. Teachers can film a science experiment, create a video lecture series, record an educational podcast and use audio files to read aloud to students – the opportunities are endless. Educators can also share written resources, like notes and worksheets, for students to access along with their prescribed e-textbooks and other supplementary resources from the digital library.
  • Snapplify has extended its online technical support to ensure that students and teachers have access to the support they need while transitioning to digital tools.
    To ensure that teachers and students have all the tech support they need during this time, Snapplify’s live chat support hours have been extended to 6 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. The Snapplify Knowledge Base is also packed with helpful, step-by-step articles to guide schools, students and parents as they use the platform.

Read more …

How do SA kids see Coronavirus in a TikTok and Instagram-based world?

And how can parents guide and support them? SA’s Digital Life Skills experts offer 7 key tips for parents.

As Covid-19 has exploded from a distant reality in South Africa to a global pandemic, with increasing local cases of the virus, we can count ourselves lucky to have almost instant access to information, education and updates on the status of disease. However, the sheer volume of information – fact based or hysteria-driven – can be overwhelming, even for adults. What does this information and the adults’ concern look like to our kids, and how are they consuming information on apps like TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat? 

SA’s leading digital life skills expert, Dean McCoubrey, whose company MySociaLife teaches an 8-module social media program in SA schools, explains that the skill of critical thinking – the ability to question what may be true or false, safe or dangerous, right or wrong – is a key life skill in an explosive world of self-publishing, fake news, and cyberbullying. Consider how much time some teens (and even pre-teens spend online), what is interpreted and then discussed at school, irrespective of whether it may be fake news. Early cases of the virus have seen online hate and memes on some apps towards those with the virus.

Critical thinking – an essential 21st Century skill

Children and teens need to be guided about how to choose what content they consume about the disease, in addition to ongoing engagement with the adults they trust. Schools and parents often overlook the source of their children’s news.

“We’ve got more access to information about Covid-19 thanks to the internet and social media than we’ve had for any other global epidemics such as SARSMERS and the various Ebola outbreaks, which is helping to manage and treat it,” McCoubrey says. 

“The challenge with social media is that it can magnify our herd mentality. And anyone and everyone can publish information which may not be true or negative in a bid to get traction. In the middle of this are our children, who have yet to develop the ability to discern fake news from important facts, and can become overwhelmed or anxious if they are exposed to the wrong information.” 

There are a number of steps that parents can take to reassure children, discuss the implications of the disease, and equip them to self-manage their access to information. These include

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Dean McCoubrey presenting

Snapplify acquires Onnie Media/Teacha!

Edtech company Snapplify has acquired Onnie Media / Teacha! – an educator media hub for South African teachers. The acquisition further diversifies the Snapplify Group’s fast-growing educational portfolio and highlights the edtech company’s already established position as a serious contender in the global e-learning market.

Onnie Media / Teacha! is South Africa’s largest independent online teacher community. A media hub, resource marketplace, and careers portal – the company specialises in empowering, inspiring, and uplifting South African teachers.

Snapplify is at the forefront of edtech innovations in Africa, where their marketplace for digital education content, related educational services, and devices is used by thousands of schools across the continent. This acquisition bolsters Snapplify’s goals to continue to develop an offering that is compelling and valuable for teachers. Recently, Snapplify announced the launch of its Teacher Benefits programme, which consolidates their wide-ranging value-adds for teachers: from promotional offers and discounts on prescribed and supplementary materials, to expanded access to teacher-created resources. 

‘We believe that successful digital education in classrooms requires more than a simple switch from physical to digital textbooks,’ said Snapplify CEO, Wesley Lynch. ‘Expanding our offering to include teacher support tools is crucially important to us, and we’re pleased to have Teacha! join the Snapplify Group to further this mission.’

Email hello@snapplify.com to chat about your specific needs and how we can work together.

ADESSA MEMBERS EXHIBIT AT SCHOOLSCAPE EVENT

Owing to the strategic partnership between ADESSA and SchoolAdvisor, our members were invited to exhibit at the Schoolscape event on Friday, 6 March 2020 in Durbanville. It was a great opportunity to meet with teachers and education department officials, showcasing the latest technologies.

Gaylin Underwood of Eduboard, a valued member of ADESSA, exhibited at the event.

Use cell phones to expand the walls of your classroom

Lessons are typically conducted in classrooms.  Some teachers take their learners on field trips or find other innovative ways of teaching outside of the classroom, but this happens only on occasion.  In most cases it is not practical to have a lesson outside the classroom.  The downside of a lesson constrained by the four walls of the classroom is that when the learners leave the room, the lesson is over.

Cell phones can be used to let the lesson continue outside of the classroom.  Activities and content can be given for leaners to engage with after they leave the classroom.  This means that the classroom is now expanded to the homes of learners, or even to the transport that the learners will use travelling between their homes and school.  When learners cannot be taken on field trips, or when they need be educated about other parts of the globe, a cell phone can be used to give them a glimpse into those aspects.

When learners cannot come to school owing to sickness, or when civil unrest prevents them from moving around freely, we can use their cell phones to put the classroom in their homes.

Using cell phones outside of the classroom can enhance any lesson, but it would be particularly useful when a school has a strict no cell phone policy, or where the use of cell phones is prohibited in the classroom.  Despite the restrictions, teachers can still expand the walls of their classroom by letting the learners use their devices for learning outside of the classroom.

It is safer internet day today

Safer Internet Day empowers youth to make smarter online decisions.

Celebrated annually, Safer Internet Day takes place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 and South Africa’s leading online safety Program in schools, MySociaLife, has partnered with the world’s global Safer Internet Day organisation to highlight bullying, harmful conduct, illegal online activity, and help give young people the tools they need to empower themselves online in South Africa.

There is a vast number of adults & children exploring social media apps, and yet very few young learners have been given any formal education and training.

With more than 22 millions South Africans on Facebook, 8 million on Instagram and 5 million now on teen hype-app, TikTok, there is a vast number of adults and children exploring social media apps, and yet very few young learners have been given any formal education and training,” says Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, a South African in-school ‘Digital Life Skills Program’ teaching digital life skills program for schools.

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