Category Archives: Member Info

EDIT MiCROSYSTEMS WILL EXHIBIT ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

Edit Microsystems will exhibit different assistive technologies and devices for learners during the elearning conference/expo in Worcester on 9 March 2019. A refreshable Braille device will be one of them.

People who are blind use Braille, a tactile writing and reading system.  Traditional Braille is written with embossed or raised dots on paper.  Today, technology enables blind persons to read computer screens and electronic devices using refreshable braille displays; electro-mechanical devices which translate on-screen text into braille characters.

Albert Ruel; an advisor to the Canadian council of the Blind; says “Braille frees your ears and your mouth in a meeting or lecture.  Braille also allows you to work faster, work independently and listen and read at the same time.”

According to the Canadian Institute for the Blind’s website, those who use braille are more likely to be employed than those who rely on voice synthesizers for those very reasons.

In January 2013, Edit Microsystems introduced the  e-Braille Project through which refreshable Braille devices, namely, the  BrailleNote Apex and BrailleNote Touch are being deployed in 22 South African schools for blind and partially-sighted learners in order to help improve literacy and increase the possibility of further education and employment.

Blind learners from the Athlone School for the Blind in Cape Town benefit from the e-Braille Project and have access to refreshable braille devices, while those with low vision benefit from using the Eye-Pal Solo text reading device and magnification devices.  With these technologies, students can access and edit digital content as well as write and answer assessment questions in braille, while silently typing on the touch screen or touch keyboard using TouchBraille technology.

As part of this project, Kyle Williams, a Junior e-Braille Project Manager at Edit Microsystems and former learner at Athlone school, offered training and support to the learners and teachers whilst stationed at the school three days a week for four years.

Listen/watch an 8 minute video where one story is read in three languages using 7 different techniques.  https://www.facebook.com/editmicrosystems/videos/2092393244333619/?t=3

TALKING STORIES TEACHER CHILDREN TO LOVE READING

Talking Stories is an innovative South African reading programme that reflects real life situations in South Africa, affirming the sense of identity and dignity of every young reader. This product will be showcased by Macmillan Education on 9 March 2019 at the Cape Winelands elearning conference/expo.

Talking Stories teaches children to love reading!

64 graded storybooks + Interactive activities + Worksheets + Free support

• Talking Stories can be used on a computer or interactive whiteboard, in the classroom, in the computer lab, on a tablet or on a cell phone.

• 64 graded storybooks for levels 1 to 3 across a variety of genres in English, isiXhosa, Afrikaans and isiZulu.

• Stories are graded for Beginner, Core, Intermediate and Advanced within each level.

• Authentic South African stories with colourful illustrations to stimulate learners’ interests.

Interactive activities

• Every story comes with three fun interactive activities that draw on the content of the story.

• The activities are aligned with the language curriculum.

• The activities are designed to give the struggling learner a sense of completion of a task, while at the same time providing extension for the most able learner.

• The activities feature ‘drag-and-drop’ answering and supported typing of the text.

• Animated feedback encourages learners, giving them a sense of achievement.

Worksheets

Printable worksheets related to each story are available for extra practice, homework, classroom activities or assessment.

Talking Stories is easy to use

• Child-friendly design with easy navigation.

• All instructions are sound-based.

• Children listen to a story while following it on the screen, and can listen to the same page again if necessary.

• In the lower level each word is highlighted as the child reads it.

• Children are able to listen to the story in their home language first, to build understanding, and then switch to the language of learning and teaching.

Licences

A Single User Licence consists of 64 graded storybooks for levels 1 to 3 in one language for one user.

A Network Licence consists of 64 graded storybooks for levels 1 to 3 in one language for an entire school.

For more information, contact Macmillan Education:

Tel: 011 731 3300

Email: customerservices@macmillaneducation.co.za

Website: www.macmillan.co.za

Success factors that guarantee reading improvement at schools

Stimulus Maksima will showcase their product to improve reading at the forthcoming Cape Winelands Education District conference/expo (9 March 2019). In the meantime they’ve contributed some food for thought about the success factors that will lead to reading improvement.

Every school can be successful in empowering every learner to obtain the adequate reading skills required to complete every school year, feeling confident, hopeful and inspired to fulfil their dreams and passion in life.

Based on our experience over the past twenty-three years, we identified effective change and project management as essential for the successful implementation of an effective reading strategy and reading improvement system at schools. Effective reading strategies require ownership and overall awareness involving all educators, school management and parents.

Together with overall awareness as well as passionate and motivated role players, sustainable success is guaranteed by the following technical aspects:

  1. A dedicated computer centre containing state of the art hardware and software.
  2. Dedicated school principals and educators with a passion for achieving success.
  3. A structured timetable ensuring that learners will get the necessary exposure required.
  4. A robust and user-friendly high technology Reading Improvement System that can supply accurate information when and in the format required.
Hard at work improving reading skills

TEACH360 will be at the CAPE WINELANDS ELEARNING EXPO

Teach360 will be exhibiting their products at the Cape Winelands Education District elearning conference/expo in March 2019. They will also be the sponsors of a bag for each attendee.

The Teach360 team has been in the education industry for many years. Their focus is on on developing comprehensive and efficient CAPS-aligned teacher resources in the form of Teacher Files that meet classroom and administrative needs and School Policies drafted based on legal and regulatory requirements. All their content is created by subject matter and curriculum experts.


BRAINPLAY Will Showcase educational aids at Cape Winelands Expo

Brainplaywill be at the Cape Winelands Education District conference/exp on 9 March 2019 and will display a variety of educational products. It may not be possible to show the entire range of over 4 000 products, but one of them that will be on display will be the Foundation Phase Maths Kit. The image below shows some of the items of this kit.

WhaT will be the education trends for 2019?

In the Acer for Education magazine of January 2019 some interesting predictions are made for the use of technology in education for the year ahead. Acer is a valued membe of ADESSA, and with their permission, the article is published below:

We may not be able to see the future, but we can make an educated guess on the EdTech trends for the coming year.

I, Robot

In 1951, Isaac Asimov imagined that in 2157, children would no longer go to school, but learn from machines that could teach them lessons and evaluate their homework: that day may be closer than he ever believed. Artificial intelligence is on the riseand the classroom is no stranger to this trend: the growing importance and capabilities of AI will change the learning experience for both students and teachers.

From AI teaching assistants to using data analysis to help pupils focus on the areas in which they are lacking, to the acknowledgement that computational thinking, coding and robotics are a fundamental part of the school curriculum and that coding should be considered a form of literacy, teachers have not been replaced by machines yet and probably will not be for a long time, but both educators and learners can expect to rely more on artificial intelligence in 2019.

The classroom of the future

The impact of EdTech on schools has changed, and will continue to change, the way classrooms look and feel. Interactive whiteboards, projectors, and mobile devices at every student’s disposal, whether assigned by the school or brought from home, are flanking and sometimes replacing the traditional blackboards and chalk we used to associate to the school experience, wi-fi connection in classrooms is more readily available, and EdTech is transforming even the design of the classroom itself, which may become an environment in which everyone is equal, with no ‘front’ from which the teacher can impart knowledge to be accepted without question, an interactive, adaptable ‘smart space’ in which information comes from multiple sources.

Beyond the screen

Using technology in the classroom is no longer limited to students staring at screens. One of the trends we can expect in 2019 is for technology to become even more pervasive and immersive and to take new and more diverse forms: the rise of wearable technology and the Internet of Things means that common objects in our lives, including the ones we use in class, will be augmented and acquire the capability to store and give information, making technology more and more integrated into our daily activities.

It comes as no surprise, then, that with the growing presence of technology in our day to day routines, one of the most hotly anticipated EdTech trends for 2019 is the cheaper and more widespread use of mixed reality, which allow students to interact with their surroundings in new ways and even simulate different environments they would never otherwise reach without stepping out of the classroom. VR sets and digital twins of real-world objects will grant them an immersive, hands-on experience without the difficulties and dangers of interacting with the physical counterparts of the places and things they are shown, and augmented reality will train them for a future in which technology is a part of the fabric of the world.

Learning revolves around students

The changes in students’ learning experience are not just physical: the advancement of EdTech goes beyond the addition of more devices to the classroom and affects education at a deeper level, bringing profound innovations to the way information is given and assimilated. The coming year will see a continuation of the trend of focusing on each individual student’s needsusing technology to provide a personalised path to learning in which content adapts to students and not vice versa: with the aid of EdTech, learning becomes a continuous, multimedia experience that spans many different forms, follows students home if they cannot be present, is interactive and engaging, particularly with the rising popularity of gamification, and most importantly, does not expect everyone to conform to the same educational model that may work well for some students and be damaging to others.

StudentsImproving students’ communication skills,for their future

The long arm of ADESSA Website

Gavin Smith of Information Technology (Cape) had a surprise e-mail from an AV distributor in Sweden recently.  The person concerned was considering importing the new Micker Pro handheld mic/amp/speaker device as featured on our website about a year ago. He had spotted the article and wanted some feedback on Gavin’s experiences both with the product and the manufacturer.

It’s good to know that the ADESSA website is receiving not only local but also international hits.