Category Archives: Member Info

tHE September 2019 issue of ‘the mighty pen’ IS out

The latest issue (September 2019) issue of The Mighty Pen is now available for download.

As usual, it is packed with information, relevant to education. An overview of the activities of ADESSA is included in this issue. It is also good to see advertisements and articles about several ADESSA members, including Pearson, Edupac, Snapplify, Oxford University Press and Eduboard.

Snapplify raises $2 million to accelerate growth into new markets

CAPE TOWN, 25 September 2019

Leading global edtech company, Snapplify, has secured $2 million expansion capital from venture capital firm Knife Capital, and empowered African investment manager Hlayisani Capital’s Hlayisani Growth Fund. The funding will boost the company’s continued growth into new markets.

New partnerships with local and international investors take Snapplify to the next level.

‘We’ve been following Snapplify’s impressive growth journey since inception and it is a privilege to finally partner with the company and its stakeholders,’ says Andrea Bӧhmert, Co-Managing Partner at Knife Capital, adding: ‘Africa faces a wide range of social and economic challenges, from access to affordable tertiary education, to a skills shortage across a number of key industries. Though it would be over-optimistic to say that e-learning alone can solve these problems, the impact is clearly measurable. At Knife Capital we believe in investing in companies that solve real problems and in doing so generate meaningful returns to stakeholders and shareholders alike. Snapplify is such a company and we look forward to being part of the next growth phase.’ Bӧhmert will join Snapplify’s board of directors.

Read more …

Snapplify becomes an official Google for Education partner

Snapplify offeres schools world-class digital tools as official Google for education partner

With a long history of helping teachers and students to discover and learn digitally, pan-African edtech company Snapplify is now a Google for Education partner. For schools using both Snapplify and Google in the classroom, the new Google partnership means greater value, lighter administration, and the ability to build an adaptable digital education ecosystem that works for each particular institution. The development underlines great investment in the education industry by tech companies who are working together to create real change.

Snapplify’s award-winning digital education solutions give students a competitive edge both inside and outside the classroom by  removing obstacles, and improving access to ebooks and digital learning tools. Snapplify’s e-learning platform, Engage, provides schools of all sizes with the tools they need to digitally transform their classrooms and seamlessly integrate with other powerful, globally recognised education tools – like Google Classroom.

‘Snapplify is fully invested in working with schools and as a Google for Education partner we’re in an even better position to support our schools using world-class solutions. We look forward to offering seamless integration between Google and Snapplify’s e-learning products so that the benefits of digital education can be fully realised by more and more schools as they nurture the next generation of great thinkers,’ said Snapplify’s CEO Wesley Lynch.

See how schools like Oakley House School in Cape Town are using Snapplify and Google solutions in the classroom with this short video.

Email hello@snapplify.com to chat about how we can work together.

Zoom In interactive content now available through Snapplify

An exclusive partnership between leading local educational publisher, Oxford University Press South Africa, and global edtech company, Snapplify, has made the publisher’s interactive content series, Zoom In, easily available to thousands of learners. Both Snapplify and Oxford University Press are members of ADESSA and it is great to see strong partnerships between its members.

Covering the major South African subjects for Grades 10–12, in both English and Afrikaans, the Zoom In interactive products are designed to help learners tackle tough exam concepts, giving them the confidence to conquer all their exam questions. Interactive resources are integrated throughout, providing opportunities for self-assessment, as well as increased engagement, leading to deeper understanding of the subject matter.

For those signed up to Snapplify’s e-learning platform, Engage, free samples are downloadable, with all additional content available to check out via the digital library. The full series is also available to purchase by individual learners (through Engage or Snapplify’s online store), or in bulk via a school-wide licence.

‘Snapplify is committed to improving access to quality digital educational content, so we’re especially pleased to be distributing the Zoom In series, which really takes digital study to the next level. Using a range of interactive features, such as simulations, animations, games and activities with immediate feedback, videos, and more, Zoom In truly provides learners with the opportunity to get to grips with key concepts in the curriculum,’ said Snapplify’s Operations Director, Mark Seabrook.

The launch of the series comes at an exciting time, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that all public schools will adopt digital education over the next six years – a project in which Snapplify and other stakeholders have been actively involved.

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

The curriculum support that dictionaries provide

The following article has been contributed by Oxford University Press South Africa (a member of ADESSA).

We’ve come a long way since the first historical dictionary for general use, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), was published more than 90 years ago. Before that, dictionaries were often no more than word lists covering a certain subject and representing a limited pool of speakers, for instance speakers of British English in a specific academic field. As such, many early dictionaries were bilingual (two languages) and served the need to translate words from one language to another, for example when translating scientific texts from Latin to English.

The monolingual (one language) OED’s mission was to present a snapshot of the English language throughout history, and in fulfilling that mission it has accumulated more than 600 000 words used in many world Englishes (English as it is spoken in different geographical locations on the planet), going back 1000 years. It gives the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of each of these words and traces their history through some 3 million quotations.

The dictionaries of today are more than tools for checking meaning, spelling and pronunciation, however. They can be tailored to a specific market and for a specific role, for example school dictionaries that not only contain the basic vocabulary that learners need to know in order to understand what is said in the classroom and grasp the meaning of terms in their textbooks, but also provide critical curriculum support so that learners will succeed in their tests and exams.

Twenty-first century technology has played a crucial role in opening up possibilities for selecting the right vocabulary for the target market, such as schools. Dictionary-making software and the availability of corpora (collections of texts, for example school textbooks and literature) in electronic format have made it possible for educational publishers to include the words which the school curriculum determines that every learner should know.

Studies on the switch from Outcomes-based Education (OBE) as contained in the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) to the current Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) confirm that the shift has resulted in ‘a much more detailed level of specification of content’ (What’s in the CAPS package? – Umalusi). In other words, the new curriculum specifies the ‘exact scope and depth of the content that is to be taught and assessed’. This translates to learners knowing the terminology prescribed by the curriculum and understanding what each term means and how to apply it.

Take, for example, the natural sciences (physical sciences and life sciences) and the social sciences (geography and history). A good South African school dictionary should include curriculum words for physical sciences (such as equilibrium, stoichiometry, vector) and life sciences (such as biosphere, photosynthesis, taxonomy). It is also a no-brainer that subjects like geography and history would be more country-specific and that curriculum terms would reflect burning issues, for example spatial distribution, sustainable development and indigenous knowledge systems for geography and apartheid, civil resistance and nationalism for history.

Mathematics – a subject many learners find challenging – has a unique terminology and has even been described as ‘n separate ‘language’ that schoolkids need to learn. Imagine being asked to “write rational numbers as terminating or recurring decimals” (CAPS Mathematics, FET phase) but being clueless as to what that means. The South African curriculum specifies the terms each learner should be familiar with in order to advance to the next level, and a good school dictionary should support learners by providing the correct terminology and clear definitions and/or example sentences.

Science and maths are obvious examples, but the same is true for all subjects. Consider literature, for example. The South African curriculum specifies the basic vocabulary learners need to know in order to carry out a critical analysis of a literary text, including words such as consonance, enjambment and nemesis. This type of vocabulary is known as a metalanguage, which according to Lexico (powered by Oxford) means ‘a form of language or set of terms used for the description or analysis of another language’.

A dictionary supporting the school curriculum should also contain instruction words used in tests and exams. These include words such as evaluate, organise and extract. Learners may have studied hard and have all the knowledge a subject requires, but if they don’t understand what is asked of them, their marks may never reflect their abilities.

Moreover in South Africa, learners from non-English home-language backgrounds are expected to cross over to English as their Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) in Grade 4. This means that they have to read, speak and write English in all their subjects. International studies such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) have shown just how much of a challenge this has proved to be for the majority of South African learners, with our country ranking last in a list of 50 participants. However, help is available in the form of curriculum-savvy bilingual dictionaries that make code-switching (flipping from one language to another) a useful way of acquiring the necessary vocabulary fast.

Considering all the reasons above, choosing a dictionary offering the right kind of curriculum support may be one of the best things you can do to help your child succeed at school … and beyond!

The TRaining Room Online

Today we’re featuring The Training Room Online (TTRO), one of ADESSA’s members, who is doing great things in education.

TTRO is an organization of passionate and talented individuals who design and develop innovative learning solutions to upskill and empower people for the now and for the future. They believe in driving change through next generation learning by combining immersive technologies and learning methodologies to deliver relevant competencies that add value to your organization and your people.

The current chairperson of the ADESSA Executive Committee, Jeanine Briggs, is the TTRO representative.

THE DIGITAL EDUCATION GROUP – SPECIALISTS IN ONLINE LEARNING SOLUTIONS

The Digital Education Group, a member of ADESSA, comprises of a consortium of companies, business partners and suppliers which are focused on bringing e-Solutions to market.

These companies are specialists in online learning solutions through cutting edge technology and software development Leading provider of courses4all, focusing on equipping individuals entering into the working arena or enhancement of skills with end user computing courseware and automated testing.  Active Digital Education (ADE) is endorsed by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).


Your preferred partner in e-Solutions and products

Core Competencies

  • Consulting, Project and Change management specialists in eLearn and the blended learning approach
  • Learner Management Systems (consulting and the application thereof)
  • Sole provider of the eSkills4all solution
  • Sole provider of the access4all online examination tool
  • Framework (integration and reporting tool, integrates all systems into one for dynamic hands on reporting, workflows and process flows)
  • Delivering quality, affordable digital literacy programmes to the African market, using the latest technologies
  • Specialists in eLearn Solutions
  • Supplying end user computer skills to market
  • Customisation of LMS and eLearn content development through the blended learning approach and methodologies
  • End User Computing Skills customised for the South African Educator Market (NQF2 – 4)

Products

  • Courses4all
  • PM4ALL (Project Management)
  • EQ4ALL (Emotional Intelligence)
  • ESKILLS4ALL (End user computing Windows 2013/2016)
  • Access4all

Online/Offline exam administration and delivery system

For more information contact info@degsa.co.za or visit www.degsa.co.za

A MOVE TOWARDS INKJET PRINTING

At an event hosted by Tarsus in Cape Town, Epson presented its products suitable for education. A range of data projectors and interactive devices was presented.

An interesting fact was mentioned about a trend in printing. There seems to be a definite move from laser printing to inkjet printing. Less power is required, wastage is reduced and the cost is lower. It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on this development.

Joel Chetty – Business Account Manager (Education) of Epson

Digital education for everyone with Snapplify AND Google for Education

Oakley House is a special needs school in Cape Town using Snapplify and Google solutions to give their students the competitive edge inside and outside of the classroom. Snapplify has been chosen by thousands of schools as a trusted partner in digital education; the company is passionate about empowering educators, and nurturing students with relevant and accessible digital learning tools – from Google Classroom, to your classroom, with Snapplify. Register for FREE today at engage.snapplify.com/get-started.

Link to video on YouTube here.

A guest post from lectorsa

The following article is contributed by Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa, a member of ADESSA.

Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa

“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 success.

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 office@lectorsa.com 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.