All posts by Kobus van Wyk

What to expect at EduWeek Africa 2018

ADESSA is proud to be a strategic partner of EduWeek Africa 2018, and it gives us pleasure to post the following message on their behalf:

Engage – Inspire – Advance

We are expecting a bigger audience this year with an estimate of 5 500 attendees to show up for this 2-day event. Not only will you be able to recognise your target audience through our lanyards colour branding, you’ll also have the opportunity to have a group of selected target audience brought to your stand for an activation session. For more details on this please contact our talented sales team.

Registrations officially opened last week, here are some current visitor statistics and insights :

  • 53% of registrants are from Private institutions
  • 72% hold direct purchasing authority or influence
  • Sector interest is as follows: Early Childhood Development (45%), Basic Education (63%), TVET & Higher Education (51% and Inclusive Education (56%).
This is what you can expect this year at EDUWEEK.

Networking with industry leaders is an important function of EduWeek. Meet and greet companies from your selected client list, which can be sent to our marketing team and we’ll invite them for you. Not only do you gain market research but also a higher conversion rate through face to face meetings.

EduWeek is the perfect platform for forming new partnerships and growing your business through new clients and increasing your ROI through F2F meetings.

For more information on stands which are still available and branding opportunities: click here

F1 in Schools STEM Challenge Reinforces Status as Official Education Initiative

The global educational initiative, F1 in Schools STEM Challenge, has unveiled a new logo for F1 in Schools UK National Finals held at Silverstone Race Circuit last week. Incorporating the new Formula 1 logo launched last year, F1 in Schools’ new look visually reinforces the challenge’s status as Formula 1’s official education initiative.

The logo will be used by the F1 in Schools programmes 45 countries with a phased introduction around the world through 2018.

Bez Sangari, CEO of Sangari Education, explained: “The contest, which supports curriculum learning, reflects F1 in Schools commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and a desire to recruit the next generation of engineers to design and develop future electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.” The contest is managed and run in South Africa by Sangari Education.

“What makes the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge different is that it entails a comprehensive and inclusive learning approach. Learners engage with subjects that improve literacy, numeracy, sport and sports science, design and technology, art and design, textiles knowledge, STEM learning, computing, and business and enterprise,” added Mr Sangari.

Ellie Norman, director of Marketing & Communications, Formula 1, said, “We’re delighted to continue working so closely with F1 in Schools as we break down barriers and engage the next generation in STEM and the opportunities within Formula 1. With the rebranding of Formula 1 and its new identity it was only fitting to extend it into this education programme that is reaching a global youth audience.”

The F1 in Schools STEM Challenge has forged ever-closer links with Formula 1 over its 19-year history. In 2005 Bernie Ecclestone gave his support to F1 in Schools by granting the Challenge a world-wide protected trademark and a new logo in 2005. Since this time, F1 in Schools has provided the sport with a platform for promotion to the younger generation, taking the sport right into the classroom, educating and inspiring a passion for Formula 1 with one of the most important audiences.

The new Official F1 in Schools product range is spearheaded by the Official F1 in Schools Race Track that brings together an ergonomic design with a lightweight track, high-tech digital display Start/Finish gates, with Wifi data transmission, and an integrated cable management system.

The competition challenges students to create their own Formula 1 team which is commissioned to design and manufacture a miniature Formula 1 car starting with the F1 in Schools model block and CAD software, with the car being powered by a compressed air cylinder. Each team of between three and six students creates a pit display and showcases their work in developing their race car.

The cars race on a 20-metre track, with the cars covering the distance in around one second.   The students compete at regional, national and international level, with the national winners having the potential bonus of travelling internationally. The World Finals have been held in a variety of countries including Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and the USA where the events are held in conjunction with the F1 Grand Prix being held in that country. The World Finals brings together the best students to compete for the coveted World Champions trophy and valuable university scholarships and bursaries.

The Mighty Pen – February 2018 edition

The Februay 2018 edition of The Mighty Pen is available for download here.

You can choose to view or download (5mb) the magazine, which is in the form of a fully interactive PDF.

Principals can click on any email, website or social media link in the magazine to go directly to the school supplier.

To contact the editor, Janos Bozsik, email: editor@themightypen.co.za or themightypen@vodamail.co.za 

Adequate Reading Skills Defined

Every learner needs adequate reading skills to master the subject content of the relevant school year (in other words the school grade) they are in.

Stimulus Maksima! define adequate reading skills as the competency that somebody has to read and understand material graded for his or her specific age or school grade at a prescribed speed.

Reading comprehension and speed at a specific grade does not only strongly correlate with, but actually determines, the learner’s academic achievement.   Learners failing to keep up with the reading skills required for their specific grade often show signs of the following:

  • Low confidence and self-esteem, often expressed in destructive and undisciplined behaviour.
  • Lost of interest in school work resulting in underperformance.
  • Trying to find ways to compensate for their inadequate reading skills.
  • Emotional problems, resulting in socialising problems.
  • Losing hope to pass a school year, finishing their school career and joining a tertiary institution.
  • Losing hope of being employed after school.
  • Losing hope to fulfill their specific passion in life and many more.

An improvement in reading skills can address and rectify the cause of most of the above-mentioned symptoms often within a very short period.

Once learners have experienced the benefits and advantages of achieving adequate reading skills and their required reading age, they usually continue to thrive academically at school and university or professionally in their chosen careers.

The Mighty Pen – ADESSA’s Media Partner

ADESSA has partnered with The Mighty Pen as its media partner.  This partnership will provide us with greater media exposure.   We will inform you regularly about new magazine issues, which will help you to stay in touch with developements in education.  These issues can be viewed online.

The lastest issue (January 2018) can be viewed by clicking here.  Below is an image of the front page, giving you some idea of what you can expect.

To contact the editor, Janos Bozsik, email: editor@themightypen.co.za or themightypen@vodamail.co.za 

 

 

 

2018: The Year for Education par Excellence

The following opinion piece was contibuted by Minda Marshall, co-director and co-owner of Lectorsa, a leading research and development company (based in Mokopane, Limpopo) that supplies solutions internationally to the education and training market.

We are already full speed into 2018 and at Lectorsa we believe that this is the year of bigger, better, more.  2018 is going to be the year where we should see an important change in our education system.

Last year South Africa was presented with hard facts:  A staggering 78% of gr 4’s in the country cannot read for meaning and according to Dr. Nick Spaull, “the ‘real’ gr 12 pass rate for 2017 is around 57% meaning that 43% of the youth in SA still get no qualification whatsoever”.

It is also important to realise that quality education is currently a big challenge, not only in SA but also globally.

At Lectorsa we are up to that challenge. The World Economic Forum recently predicted that robots could replace 800 million jobs by 2030. These facts and predictions can bring us to a rather gloomy view of the future, however, I strongly believe that we should be very excited about the sweeping changes that are ahead of us.

Jack Ma (business magnate, investor, and philanthropist) recently indicated at the recent WEF Conference that as humans we should not try to compete with machines, to clarify, even Usain Bolt won’t be able to outrun a speed train. The changes ahead of us should inspire us to find invigorating new ways of living beneficial and fulfilled lives in the future – and as educators, we should prepare our students for these exciting times.

After attending EduTech Africa in October 2017, I was inspired to see thousands of educators from across the country pursuing the latest in teaching strategies, cutting-edge technology and solutions so that they can shape an educational environment that will be more relevant in the 21st-century and beyond.

This has just proven once again that there are many people that share our passion for improved cutting-edge education – educators who have a heart for children and who want to stay abreast of times.  They want to empower the next generation to look ahead with confidence, knowing they are competent to excel in the workplace.

We were in the midst of drafting our 2017 report when the news of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) results broke and made numerous headlines: ‘78% of grade 4 pupils can’t read for meaning.’  “This suggests that the majority of learners cannot read well enough to succeed in subjects across the curriculum in Gr 4 and higher grades,” Prof Sarah Howie, National Research Coordinator (NRC) for PIRLS 2016 South Africa, stated.

We are already busy changing this by bridging this gap and we have the results to prove it: In 2017 alone, we had more than a 1000 gr 4’s from schools across SA enrolled in our on-line solution, LAB-on-line. Their Cognitive Development Factor (measured in % comprehension) improved by 17% and their Visual Processing Factor (measured in words per minute) increased from 83 to 185 words per minute. Their Action-Interpret and Understand skill levels (combined VPF and CDF multiplied leads to an AIU Factor) improved with five years.  This means that when these

Gr 4’s did the placement test, their skill level was below the expected Grade 1 level, but after completing LAB-on-line, their skill level had increased with 5 years – a year above the expected level.

I believe that these results are a powerful testimony to what can be achieved through accurate intervention and development.

Thomas Marshall, Co-Director of Lectorsa, recently said, “There will never be a more powerful and opportune time than NOW.” 2018 truly is the year of bigger, better – MORE!

Let us create a synergy in 2018 and build a bright future NOW through effective education

REFERENCES

[i] http://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/164/ZP_Files/pirls-literacy-2016-hl-report-3.zp136320.pdf

[ii] https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/opinion-and-analysis/2018-01-13-the-real-matric-rate-and-the-real-site-of-failure-in-education/

[iii] https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6344575666863824896

 

A new product from Eduspec

Eduspec, part of Education Specialist Software (Pty) Ltd, is a company that develop tailored software for educational institutions.

In recent times the financial pressure on parents and families have significantly increased resulting in less expendable income thus increasing the financial burden on schools and the increase of exemption applications. Recent studies indicated that in some instances exemption applications have increased to in excess of 25% of fee paying families.

This burden has proven to be a massive drain on the resources due to the costly and lengthy manual processes involved when dealing with applications.

Eduspec has taken up the challenge of adding efficiency to the process. By adding automation and structure the process and worklad have been simplified and greatly. Eduspec keeps complete record of the application, documentation and communication to and with parents or families.

The process of Exemption consists of only 4 steps:

                                                         Apply

                                                        Process

                                                        Approve

                                                        Finalise

Partner schools have reported an enormous reduction in the time spent on processing applications and finalisation thereof, as well as the time taken to produce the final application results for the department.

The Exemption system started as a goodwill project for the Jan de Klerk high school. The program proved to be a big time saver and as it developed, so did interest in the program from other schools.

Eduspec was finally re-written into a suitable system that can support multiple schools with an interface to various school management and financial systems.

Micker Pro now launched

Following on from the recent article featuring the versatile and easy to use 5W Micker 3-in-1 portable microphone, amplifier and speaker product, comes the new Micker Pro.  This more powerful 10W hand-held device has some surprising functionality, including:

– Charging cradle: Place the Micker on cradle charger & start recharging battery
– 3x levels of volume control
– Echo function
– Buzzer function
– Aux audio input

Says Matthew Lord, MD of Let Me Play, a school level sport & subject training organisation:

Being able to communicate with groups in a variety of situations is key for us and the lightweight Micker & Micker Pro devices make this a breeze.  No longer do we need to spend hours shouting to be heard or having to use cumbersome megaphones.  Great products!

Available from:
Information Technology (Cape) & selected dealers.
Tel: 021-4480650
E-mail: gavin@info-tech.co.za

Why it’s so important to make time for reading

Based on the experience of Stimulus Maksima! over the past twenty years, less than 5% of learners in many top South African schools can currently read relevant graded material on the required comprehension and speed levels for their respective age and grade.

This leads one to wonder: how they were able to make it into the qualified job market?

Illiteracy lowers the quality of life and hampers economic growth.This is not only a South African problem. According to figures published in 2015 by the Department of Education in America, 775 million people around the world cannot read. In many countries, more value is placed on the education of boys, leading to a disproportionately high number of females remaining illiterate into adulthood.

Apart from the economic and quality of life benefits, research has shown that reading reduces stress levels, improves memory function and leads to better quality of sleep. Some of the other benefits of reading include: learning new skills; changing perspectives; and enhancing awareness about different subjects.

The younger one starts learning to read, the sooner the benefits can be obtained.  The battle against inadequate reading skills and illiteracy will intensify in the years to come as people increasingly tend to spend less time reading and more time watching television. The only way to counter it is for schools, tertiary institutions and companies to have a specific focus and measuring system in place that empowers their learners, students and employees to overcome the negative and catastrophic impacts of inadequate reading skills and illiteracy.

Stimulus Maksima! offers tools and solutions that can help toddlers to adults to improve their English and Afrikaans reading and learning skills.

From obstacles to opportunities – making the adoption of digital education easy

 

Snapplify’s Shaun Marshall urges schools to see how easy it can be to embrace digital learning, saying the following:

The development of digital technology has been of enormous importance to the education environment. It opens possibilities for teachers and students, transforming the classroom in a multitude of ways.  Yet, despite its benefits, digital education is not always eagerly embraced by schools and educators. The reasons for this can present as real challenges, but I believe that they are not insurmountable.

Shaun Marshall

At Snapplify we work hard alongside institutions and educators to create solutions that serve education best, regardless of infrastructural challenges. We’ve addressed this challenge with the Snappbox, our award-winning hardware distribution solution for digital educational content. The Snappbox is an effective way to include the core elements of e-learning in unconnected classrooms. In rural Cofimbama in the Eastern Cape, we used the Snappbox to preload over 2000 school tablets with the Snapplify ebook Reader app and over 300 ebooks from leading publishers. These tablets are being shared among 4000 students in 11 schools. Using the Snappbox has saved institutions like this one over R600 000 in bandwidth costs, and approximately 4000 hours (166 days) in download time – meaning more time for teaching.

A common challenge many schools face when bringing digital education into their classrooms is resistance or reluctance from educators. This most often comes from a lack of confidence.  Teachers sometimes feel intimidated – not only by the technology itself, but by their students, who are au fait with this technology.

With this skills gap in many schools, it becomes important to ensure that educators have the training and support that they need to incorporate technology into their pedagogy. In fact, this is so integral to the success of digital education that we’ve incorporated teacher training into our initial rollout for schools signing up with Snapplify, with the option of further training during the year, depending on an individual school’s requirements. Snapplify is committed to supporting our schools and an essential part of this is supporting educators.

Ultimately, the move to embrace digital education is not as daunting as some initially believe it to be. Whatever the ICT setup and skills level, you can make digital education a reality in your school by choosing the correct digital education partner.

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

We believe that digital learning is the future. Keep up to date with what we’re doing in education by signing up to our mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bPlsaL