Category Archives: Member Info

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

 

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

ARE YOUR CHILDREN PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE?

How do we prepare our children for a future that is changing at an almost unreasonable pace? Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) says:

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

A seasoned educator recently said that, after twenty-five years of teaching she realized that we need to rethink our methods of teaching. One of her Grade 12 students wrote: “Today teachers teach us what they know instead of teaching us what we want and need to know.”  This confirms that we cannot continue to use the same teaching methods or interact with information in the same way we did twenty years ago.  The challenge of the future is not so much that there will not be jobs available but rather that our children will not be equipped with the specific skills to face the day-to-day challenges that the available jobs will require.

There has never been a more crucial time to re-wire learners’ minds through developing their visual processing and cognitive skills. We need to equip them with the right set of skills in order to succeed in this globally and digitally interconnected world.  This act of upskilling will be crucial to retain or attain employment over the next few years.

The silver lining is that while millions of jobs might be lost to new technology, it will also create many new jobs, some of which we can’t even imagine today.

Lectorsa, a leading research and development company, realized more than thirty years ago that a change in education is going to be inevitable. For this reason, they developed an on-line solution (LAB-on-line) to help prepare our future generation for this moment and the challenges involved.  The vision at Lectorsa is to change the face of education, so that the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution, would not be seen as problems, but rather as opportunities.

(This is an extract of an article written by Minda Marshall, co-director of Lectorsa.)

The Digital Education Group – innovative e-solutions for all

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

Understanding the constant need for change and the demands placed on clients, a wide range of e-Solutions are offered.

The group contains a wealth of skills, experience and expertise with a portfolio of e-Solutions to meet your requirements.  The range of solutions work either independently from each other or when combined unlock unique enhancements through innovation and technology.

The Core Competencies of the group are

  • Providing e-Solutions and Products
  • Immediate cost reduction and increased productivity
  • Human Capital management and development tools

Let the Digital Education Group be your peferred partner in e-Solutions and products.

Lowering pass rate: fuelling the fire

Lectorsa, an ADESSA member, asked if lowering the requirements to pass in school, as recently considered by the Department of Basic Education, is truly the answer or are we only fuelling the fire?

Co-Director of Lectorsa, Minda Marshall explained:

Today we live in a technology and media-suffused environment with access to an abundance of information and our expectations for students (also in the workplace) have increased dramatically, but our methods of interacting with information have not. Students are already challenged and need improved development of skills and strategies to survive and excel in the environments they will have to function in.  Lowering the standard is not the answer we are looking for.

Owing to the explosion of data a GAP (the information/application GAP) was formed between the student and the curriculum placing learners, students and our workforce under a lot of strain resulting in poor academics and a decrease in work readiness.

We need to bridge this GAP by re-wiring learners minds through developing their Cognitive and Visual Processing Skills and by equipping them with the right ‘tools’ so that they can succeed in this globally and digitally interconnected world. At Lectorsa we have developed an on-line Mind Activation Solution – LAB-on-line, after more than 30 years of research and development, that does exactly that. By training and increasing eye-brain performance we produce healthier and stronger minds in our users.

LAB helps users to improve and develop skills pertaining to critical thinking, problem-solving, questioning, research, creativity, reading and written communication, to name only a few. This prepares them for a world where change is constant and learning never stops.

Life-long learning is the only way to sustain proficient learning in the world we live in today. Never before has it been more important to activate student minds, train and develop accurate ways to facilitate the process of reading and improve comprehension through cognitive development.

I stand by my view that the answer does not lie in lowering the pass rate, but in re-imagining our methods of teaching.

Smarter classrooms … from wePresent

Using collaborative workspaces is not a new concept in education, but the introduction of a variety of PCs, smart phones, and tablets makes it hard to let everybody participate.

Forward-thinking institutions are looking for classroom technology solutions that easily adapt to the BYOD culture and give students a better source for unified communication and collaboration. wePresent models are designed to facilitate both instructors and students with easy to use features that allow for more meaningful interaction during education.

Compatible with ChromeCast, AirPlay, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. wePresent allows students to participate in classroom discussions from their own device, interactively present and collaborate.

wePresent offers the following for your Smart Classroom:

  • Up to 64 users can connect and be in que to present
  • Quad-Screen projection of up to 4 users simultaneously
  • Allows wireless 1080p HD presentations
  • Works with ANY device (PC, Mac, iOS, Android)
  • ChromeCast and AirPlay compatible
  • Conference control gives the teacher full control
  • Audience WebSlides allowing users to save back to their device
  • Adheres to strict security standards
  • Doubles as a wireless access point
  • Integrates with SMARTboards and touchscreens
  • Eliminates the needs for additional equipment
  • Display 1 presentation to 4 displays in different rooms on the same network

With an abundance of IT network settings, wePresent easily adapts to a school’s rigorous security environment. There’s a built-in wireless access point that can be enabled, as well as additional security features such as a 4-digit randomly-generated access code, enterprise-level encryption and an onboard gatekeeper option.

Smarter Classrooms … an affordable, feature-rich classroom technology solution compatible with any device.

Stimulus Maksima joins ADESSA

ADESSA welcomes on board yet another new member, Stimulus Maksima.  When asked what the company is all about, Lotta Engelbrecht, the executive director, said:

We assist our clients, ranging from toddlers to adults, in obtaining their desired reading literacy and numeracy levels.

 “Our computer-aided learning systems are based on auto-remedial principles and monitor progress on a realtime basis.

“A variety of schools, private centers, parents assisting their children at home, as well as students and adults wanting to improve their reading skills, use our philosophy, services and products with great success.”

ADESSA WELCOMES CYLO AS A MEMBER

One of the latest companies to join ADESSA is Cylo.

“At Cylo, we have brought together decades of knowledge from around the digital world to create our powerful digital platform, Allexis,” says Enzo Vailati, the CEO of the company.

Allexis Education is much more than a Learning Management System (LMS), it is an innovative and holistic platform created to aid schools in becoming completely paperless. Everything a teacher or learner requires for their education is available to them in a smart and mobile tablet, with a plethora of interactive apps to choose from.  Allexis Education is fully customisable for each school or University, both aesthetically and in regard to the applications that they wish to use. For example, you may wish to utilise the full ecosystem of applications or you may like to utilise our eReader and Library which is rich in both educational and trade content. The Allexis library has an extensive repertoire of titles from several major publishers including Penguin, NB Publishers, Shuter and Shooter, Oxford University Press and Via Afrika. In addition to this, the Allexis library also contains a large catalogue of music, music videos and audio books.