Category Archives: Member offers

CLEVERBOTS TEACH KIDS TO CODE

Wonder Workshop’s CleverBots teach kids to code while playing and having fun. With free apps available for iOS and Android devices and Chrome. Wonder Workshop offers a unique educational platform providing fun to girls and boys from age 6+.

Cue

A witty, entertaining robot with four hero avatars & enhanced AI that takes personality, interactive communication, and programming to a new level. Designed for kids 11yr +

Dash

Dash is smart enough to respond to voices and sounds and Dash can dance and sing, which makes for a fun and interactive learning experience for kids. Designed for kids 6yr +

Dot

Small but mighty, Dot is Dash’s companion, and quite a brainy little robot on its own. Dot comes with several built-in games, such as Magic Dot Ball, Dot of Music, and Light Sword. Using our free apps, Wonder and Blockly, students can create more than 100 games. Plus, with its IR-sensors, Dot can sense and even control Dash! Designed for kids 6yr +

For further information, contact Edit Microsystems.

A non-threatening way for learners with ASD to practice their communication and social skills

Milo the robot is designed to be interesting and approachable for learners with ASD. He can walk, talk and even model human facial expressions. Milo never gets frustrated or tired. He consistently delivers lessons in a way that learners with ASD respond to. This recurring positive experience creates an environment in which learners can learn and thrive. Robots4Autism helps learners improve their social and behavioral skills and gain the confidence they need to succeed academically and socially.

Milo – the robot.

For further information, contact Edit Microsystems, the distributors of Milo: 021 433-2520 | elviera@editmicro.co.za 

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!

WIFI CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM

With WiFi connectivity in the classroom becoming the norm to avoid cabling issues, the question of which WiFi device to use arises.

As a security against theft of WiFi dongles, projector manufacturers have traditionally built-in their chosen technology leaving users to deal with the limitations and operational differences from one brand to the next. InFocus has changed all this with the introduction of a projector range (standard zoom lens and short-throw models) that offers their customers the ability to install their connectivity device of choice – and to do this, hidden securely within the USB, HDMI & 5v-powered TechStation built into the projector.

The concept is simple yet enables institutions to mould the projector connectivity to whatever suits their application – from Miracast to Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Android, SimpleShare and other devices.  One can even install an Intel Computer Stick with wireless keyboard & mouse to take interactive projection to another level of usability.

Add to this its whisper quiet operational level and brilliant colour technology and it is little wonder the range is gaining such traction.

For a product overview please click on this video link: https://www.infocus.com/videos?tP-_TfTgxA8

Further details including our authorised dealers, please contact:
Gavin Smith
021-448 0650

gavin@info-tech.co.za

www.info-tech.co.za

BETTERMARKS – MATHS MADE EASY

This is yet another product from Macmillan to be seen at the Cape Winelands Education District elearning conference/expo on Saturday, 9 March 2019, in Worcester.

Having a lot of problems is, well, a problem. When it comes to Maths however, teachers will tell you that you can never have too many problems as practice makes perfect. Unfortunately, learners are often not motivated to practice Maths, as often they feel they will never grasp the concepts, or they don’t know where their knowledge gaps are. This leads to Maths teachers having to spend time on intervention strategies, or for parents to pay for expensive extra lessons which don’t necessarily provide the required direction –  sometimes all learners do is solve problem after problem with the hope that they will eventually ‘get it’.

Enter Bettermarks®, a sharp online platform for Maths that employs very sophisticated technology in order for learners to access personalised learning. Bettermarks® takes adaptive learning to the next level – it is a truly personalised platform which is complimented by how easy it is to use by both teacher and learner.

What makes Bettermarks® stand out is that learners get real time feedback at every stage, it gives specific feedback, and even gives the option to access the textbook if necessary. This turns mistakes into learning opportunities as it allows for errors in thinking to be diagnosed immediately, and then remedied, before a crucial test or exam.

There are thousands of questions and the adaptive technology checks the thousands of competencies needed across the curriculum to flag any knowledge gaps, and then provides learners with further exercises to practice and master topics. Real time feedback and self-monitoring helps motivate learners and gives them confidence.

Teachers can access learners’ results and progress via reports and then apply hands-on intervention if necessary – or assign further exercises via the platform. The platform will keep recommending exercises to learners to fill knowledge gaps until the teacher is assured the problem has been solved, and the teacher can then close the gap on the platform’s back-end.

Teachers can use Bettermarks® in many different ways to help them monitor learner progress and difficulties, and to assist them in their progress. Features include the option of building worksheets from the question banks and distributing them to all learners – or individual learners – depending on the need. The questions can also be formulated into a test (which prevents tips and textbook access and is password protected). The platform marks all worksheets and tests automatically which saves the teacher a significant amount of time.

One of the outstanding features is that Bettermarks® is developed to test learners’ skills in answering a Maths problem – not just multiple choice. Depending on the question, learners may have to divide blocks into fractions, draw graphs, or indicate points on a number line, amongst many other practical applications.

The teacher dashboard gives a teacher a one screen overview of learners’ progress, and it also conveniently highlights areas in which all learners are struggling, thereby making whole class intervention strategies clear.

This easy-to-use platform is a class act and a true asset to the classroom. Learners pay only R150 per calendar year subscription and teacher access is free with every class set purchased. Request a demo today by emailing za.digitalsupport@macmillaneducation.co.za or calling 011 731 3359.

GREAT DIGITAL TOOLS FOR EDUCATION

Information Technology (Cape) is the importer and distributor of the award-winning InFocus Projectors and Mondopad meeting and education collaboration products in South Africa and will be showcasing the following classroom technologies during the Cape Winelands Education District conference/expo in Worcester on 9 March 2019:


InFocus IN114xa projector
– XGA (1024 x 768) resolution
– High 26000:1 contrast ratio
– VGA & 2x HDMI inputs
– 3800 ANSI lumens
InFocus IN134 & IN136ST
– XGA (1024 x 768) resolution
– Standard zoom & short-throw lenses
– High 28500:1 contrast ratio
– VGA & 3x HDMI inputs
– Unique TechStation to conceal
  & power wifi devices
– 4000 ANSI lumens


InFocus Mondopad sample model
Demonstrating:
55”- 86” Mondopad Core/ Launch & Ultra:
– Interactive 4K touch display
– Android, Whiteboard, Browser
  & casting
Model dependent:
– Up to i7 Windows 10PC
– Office 2016
– 4k camera,
– Mondopad Collaboration Software Suite

Micker Pro
– 3-in-1 Microphone-amp-speaker
– Hand-held & portable
– Classroom group and outdoor use

… and more!

Looking forward to seeing you at the event.

KLIEK – Digitale Afrikaanse Taalkursus vir Generasie-Z

Waanneer jy die Kaapse Wynland Onderwys Distrik se e-leer konferensie op 9 Maart 2019 bywoon, maak gerus ‘n draai by die kamer van Macmillan, waar jy meer van Kliek kan leer.

KLIEK is ’n splinternuwe gemengdeleer leermiddel nou beskikbaar vir gebruik in die Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele taal klaskamer. Die opwindende kursus is ontwerp om ’n liefde vir Afrikaans by leerders aan te wakker.

Afrikaans word op ’n nuwe en vars manier aangebied deur digitale leerwerk, aktiwiteite en toetse – alles ondersteun deur ’n oorvleulende werkboek.

KLIEK stel die onderwyser in staat om die klaskamer te omskep in ’n lewendige, gemengde leerarea. Die onderwyser besluit wanneer en hoe om die tegnologie binne en buite die klaskamer te gebruik.

Die kursus bied die volgende kenmerke en voordele vir leerders en onderwysers:

• Alle onderwerpe in die werkboek word ondersteun en aangevul met interaktiewe oefeninge, speletjies, animasie en toetse.

• Terugvoering op verkeerde antwoorde verskyn onmiddellik en leerders leer uit hulle foute.

• Leerders word beloon met toekennings vir deelname en goeie vordering. Hierdie benadering maak voorsiening vir ‘n generasie wat dadelik resultate en terugvoering wil hê.

• Hierdie program maak ook voorsiening vir selfgedrewe leer- en probleemoplossing. Die leerder kan dus moeilike konsepte op hy/sy eie tyd bemeester.

• Tegnologie is tweede natuur by Generasie-Z en wakker hulle entoesiasme aan, en daarom kan dit tot voordeel van die leerder, asook Afrikaans as skoolvak aangewend word.

Elke verbruiker registreer vir ’n twee jaar toegang tot die platform.


Vir meer inligting, kontak Macmillan Education:

Tel: 011 731 3300
Epos: customerservices@macmillaneducation.co.za
Webwerf: www.macmillan.co.za