All posts by Kobus van Wyk

Children’s Mental Health Week 2020: 6 tips to help our youth navigate the digital world

One in every ten children between the ages of five and 17 suffers from a psychiatric disorder, with these illnesses likely to persist into adulthood, Children’s Mental Health Week from 3 to 9 February 2020 calls on parents and teachers to help children to identify the causes and manage these illnesses. However, many parents and teachers, even doctors and psychologists are feeling lost at sea by the technological divide.  

Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, a South African in-school Digital Life Skills Program teaching digital life skills program for schools, says that young South Africans are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues caused by the country’s complex socio-economic environment, but there are a number of reasons why mental health can be impacted by online activity and social media usage. As if the instability and risk in the country isn’t enough to manage in traditional media, it is amplified by social feeds and instant message – the always on nature of phones and virality of social networks places this exposure in the paths of teens and pre-teens through a diversity of devices – phones, tablets, computers, consoles. “Although smartphones are relatively recent developments, there is already research linking social media use in children to depression, and there are a number of ways smart devices and social media can affect children and adults,” McCoubrey says. “This includes obsessive overuse, disconnection from real-world relationships, anxiety about what we have seen or experienced online, self-esteem and body issues from over exposure and comparison…. READ MORE

The EduBoard Interactive Classroom Solution

EduBoard Interactive Whiteboard’s functionality and content form the key portal to digital content delivery and interactive engagement by both teacher and learner in an offline environment. This is the “juice” of digital content delivery, interaction and engagement and should be the starting point into entering the fourth industrial revolution.

From this point, all the other “environmental” parts, such as student devices with a classroom LAN, can be added. Internet access can be added at any time, but should not be necessary with a great interactive solution. EduBoard has put careful consideration into the build of their EduTouch LED Panel and is designed especially for education.

With more than 10 years in the education field, EduBoard has an interactive solution for every school’s needs.

Eduboard is a long-time valued member of ADESSA

WE Day Connect – 29 January 2020

Microsoft is proud to support WE Charity in delivering service learning curriculum to classrooms around the world. WE Day Connect invites students, educators and community groups from around the world to join the conversation on doing good.

Join Microsoft and @WEmovement for #WEdayConnect, an interactive global virtual celebration of social good! 🌎💙

Register today – here.

Learn more about the WE movement – here.

ADESSA welcomes ITHUTHUKO (CPTD-ONLINE)

We welcome Ithuthuko (CPTD-Online), the latest company that has joined the ranks of ADESSA members.

Ithuthuko hosts an online platform, CPTD-online, where participants can complete their continuous professional development. This platform is the result of collaboration between passionate individuals who experienced the challenges associated with earning CPTD points.  Participants can complete their continuous professional development in the most convenient way. The intention of the course content is to equip teachers to deal with issues they encounter daily as part of teaching. All points contribute to SACE level 3.

CPTD-online is an excellent place for teachers to earn CPTD points:

  • Convenience:  Teachers can gain access through their phones, laptops and tablets, anywhere and anytime.
  • All courses are relevant: Facilitators and course authors are experts in their fields and the course content originates from experience.
  • SACE compliant: All reporting to SACE is done on a regular basis.
  • Affordable:  A subscription model applies, whereby participants pay a once-off subsidised fee of R650 per year (R450 till March 2020). This allows them access to all the courses on the platform.
  • Sound administration processes in place: A tax invoice is available on request. Our company is Level 4 BEE.

For more information, see  https://cptd-online.co.za/

Snapplify launches Teacher Benefits programme for educators

Snapplify expands its offering to better support teachers using its e-learning platform

CAPE TOWN, 20 January 2020

Snapplify Engage has been internationally lauded as ‘one of the most innovative solutions in its space’. At the beginning of the last academic year, Snapplify opened up access to its award-winning e-learning platform to schools by launching a free version of the Snapplify Engage educational platform – thus making Snapplify’s world-class digital education tools accessible to schools across Africa, for the first time.

Now, with thousands of African schools registered on the platform, Snapplify is expanding their offering to better support teachers. Over the course of the first academic term, the edtech company is launching a new Teacher Benefits programme which consolidates their valuable teacher tools to empower and uplift educators.

Snapplify Teacher Benefits changes the way that teachers access and share educational resources, and includes wide promotional discounts and giveaways. Earlier this month, The Answer Series joined the programme to offer their study guides to all South African teachers for FREE, via the platform.

‘We know that teachers are on the front line when it comes to preparing the next generation for success. In their quest, educators feel enormous pressure to ensure that their students perform well. We are pleased to be supporting teachers and, in turn, their students, by increasing access to top-notch e-textbooks, teaching guides and more,’ said Snapplify CEO, Wesley Lynch.

Teacher Benefits is a feature of Engage – Snapplify’s award-winning e-learning and digital library solution. Once schools have signed up, for free, to Engage, registered teachers can log in to the platform and claim as many free and discounted ebooks as they need.

Thousands of schools have already joined the Snapplify Engage family. Register online for free today to get access to teacher benefits and other incredible educational tools.

Email hello@snapplify.com to chat about your specific needs.

Wesley Lynch – CEO of Snapplify

Technology disruption in the classroom

When we put technology in the hands of students, teachers fear the many possible ways in which this could disrupt their lessons. Winston Churchill said: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.” This is so true in general, and it also applies to the worry that technology will disrupt learning in the classroom.   However, one must think about the positive possibilities and then see how we can handle disruptions when they happen.

An immediate solution that presents itself is to have a no-device policy in schools.  Cell phones are banned, as well as other electronic devices, except maybe calculators.  But is that the best way to go about things?   In the past students were distracted by writing notes or letters and sending them along in the class.  Did teachers react by banning paper?  Of course not!  They found other ways to handle the situation.  The same should be true of technology.

CHOOSING A VIDEO FOR A LESSON

Choosing an appropriate video to use in a lesson is not always as simple as it may seem.  Whereas there are many websites and YouTube videos that have educational value, selecting the right one for the lesson is not easy.

One obstacle is time – time for the teacher to go through the plethora of available videos.  Many teachers find that it is too time consuming to view available videos to find the one that will fit in well with the lesson. 

Many videos were produced for television or for use in specific classroom situations in other parts of the world and may not be suitable for a lesson in a South African classroom.

But there are wonderful resources out there – superb videos that can blow life into lessons; if only one can find them!

It will be useful if a curated bank of videos is available so that teacher can go to a subject, grade, topic and lesson and find videos that are guaranteed to supplement a lesson.  ADESSA is proud to be working with the DBE to create a Digital Content Framework document, that will ultimately lead to the establishment of a repository of approved video material, as well as other digital content items.

Anti-Bullying – sa ranks high in global survey

South Africa showed the highest prevalence of cyberbullying in a recent report by Ipsos Global, based on research in 28 countries. The report showed that more than 80% of South Africans said they were aware of cyberbullying and almost three-quarters of South Africans believe that the anti-bullying measures that are in place are insufficient. A Vodafone survey from 2018 ranked South Africa fourth for teen cyberbullying out of 13 countries, and Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, a South African in-school Digital Life Skills Program teaching digital life skills program for schools, says that it’s likely even more prevalent, based on student feedback.

Read more

Contributed by MySociaLife

ADESSA welcomes its latest member: MySociaLife

The latest company to join the ranks of ADESSA members is MySociaLife. MySociaLife is a Program which trains Grade 4 to 11 learners to become safer and smarter online, in order to excel in the (4IR) future. They offer 10 modules in schools – critical thinking, digital identity, privacy, security, digital footprint, empathy, resilience, values, cyberbullying, and sexuality. They also train parents, teachers and Mental Health Professionals.

Dean, the CEO, presenting to a group of students

MySociaLife uses the World Economic Forum and DQ Institute pillars of digital citizenship, and also consults a Brains Trust of top doctors and consultants on the 10 topics and then get surveys from students who reveal what works and what doesn’t and what is happening in their lives.

We hope to share some of the insights from MySociaLife on this website in future.