Category Archives: News

SA Company Launches A World First: AI-Based Risk Screening Mobile App – KEY FOR COVID-19

The Instant Vitals app converts a mobile phone into a key vital signs medical device that could save lives when screening for Covid-19 symptoms. The AI screening and risk management app safeguards people through detection of health risks by measuring key vital sign indicators.

South African company, UC-Wireless (Pty) Ltd, has launched Instant Vitals, the world’s first smart mobile-based app that provides advanced healthcare risk wellness and Covid-19 screening for business staff, clients and personal users. The app screens the main recognised symptoms and measures vital signs, which are key early indicators for health risk especially Covid-19, including oxygen saturation, heart rate and respiratory rate, using the mobile phone’s camera and Artificial Intelligence (AI) incorporated into the app, turning mobile devices into an easy-to-use clinical tool exhibiting an acceptable standard of medical device accuracy.

The presentation of Covid-19 in respect of the various signs and symptoms from several reviews, studies and reports, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), state that temperature measurement alone is ineffective in detecting a possible Covid-19 infection. Asymptomatic patients don’t reveal symptoms and aren’t aware of an infection. There’s proof that the critical early warning signs of Covid-19, include a reduction in oxygen saturation (below 95%), and/or a high resting heart rate (above 100 beats per minute), or an increase in respiratory rate (above 20 breaths per minute) in a resting person.

For more information, visit https://instant-vitals.com/

Quentin Daffarn – CEO of UC-Wireless

The Social Dilemma – are your students puppets to social media?

Netflix smash hit movie on the influence of social media is one of the most talked about this year.

With 4.5bn online – and approximately 4bn of them on mobile devices – social media is now as commonplace as eating lunch. It is not an exaggeration to say that most people spend more time on social media than they do eating or bathing, or even talking in person to other human beings. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – and COVID-19 – have dramatically accelerated the adoption of technologies and smart devices, but are we ploughing into the future as the untested guinea pigs of these technologies, in a race to compete or to be accepted socially?

Netflix’s new smash hit documentary, The Social Dilemma, poses this question on the impact of these digital platforms, using the voices of a number of former senior-executives-turned-whistleblowers who reveal the true motivations of some of the most powerful companies on earth. 

The movie illustrates that society finds itself as the product in ‘the attention economy‘ – where time on screen means competitive advantage to giants like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google (FAANG). The longer we stay on a single platform, the more data they collect, the more customized the ads are which can be served to you based upon your digital choices and preferences, and the higher the company value. 

The debate is whether we are all just “lab rats” in an egotistical race to market dominance, or as Tristan Harris from the Centre for Humane Technologies puts it, “The race to the bottom of the brain stem”. Which social platform can gain significant edge to amass the most data and retain marketshare, eyeballs and influence?

That last word – influence – is, of course, the concern. Adults feel that they have the critical thinking skills to discern when they are being manipulated and ‘sold’ a dummy. For this reason, many may be entertained by the movie, even shocked, but little in their concrete daily patterns of behavior may change. 

Getting this message into Generation Z, however, can shape the way they consume content, and give them the opportunity to get up to speed with the reality of social manipulation, at a critical formative junction. 

And many adults can establish an objective view of what social media really is – tech companies competing in the attention economy.That doesn’t mean they stop using it, it means they see it for what it is. MySociaLife, the leading digital life skills program in South African schools proposes, “We need to help kids to move from safer to smarter so they can explore and excel.”

Dean McCoubrey, Founder of MySociaLife, says, “I have been following many of these speakers and other professors in the movie for the last few years – I communicate with a few of them in the US via LinkedIn and email, and some are often happy to help our education program here in South Africa. They were a significant reason why I decided to move from being a media agency agency owner myself, to teach kids in schools about media literacy, online safety and their use of devices and social platforms.”

Parents work hard to build a values system in the home, and schools seek to do similar. Parents want, and society desperately needs, our kids to have an informed and balanced world view, compassion, empathy, and the skills of critical thinking. While the internet exposes us to more, and educates us, an algorithm can swim upstream against these values, feeding us more and more information to keep us glued to our screens. When you add in the science of how the brain works and the dopamine that gets delivered to the pleasure centre in the brain – when you get a like or succeed in a mission on a game – you can understand why devices are stuck into our palms, bags and back pockets. Before long we can believe what we are being fed, rather than contemplate it or challenge it. Virtual hamsters on a wheel. 

MySociaLife deeply believes critical thinking, and the 8 digital soft skills that they teach in schools, will be the superpower combination to accompany technical ability, for Generation Z. The problem is that schools need more understanding of the complexity of life online and how to straddle the line of popular culture and important life skills while inspiring their students to embrace technology safely and intelligently. 

“Right now, there aren’t enough educators that can understand this massive landscape of digital identity, reputation management, privacy, security, sexuality online, critical thinking, mental health, compassion – and empathy and how this looks in an online context. That’s what makes our program successful. Students find it relatable and they give us credit for it, saying that it impacts the way the view this digital world they operate in,” he concludes. For interviews, please contact Mediaweb on info@mediaweb.co.za or call 0214193144

Free resources from ITSI

ITSI, as part of the Optimi Classroom Group, would like to make sure that you are supported and able to continue learning wherever you are during these uncertain times.  ITSI has made the following resources and learning tools available for free to support schools, educators, learners and parents of South Africa. 

Happy learning! We are here for you. 

DIGITAL LESSONS

Studying from home can be tough. ITSI is making its Digital Lessons available for FREE until the end of May to help make sure you don’t fall behind. These lessons provide a variety of top-quality videos, images, animations and simulations in an attractive and engaging way. Download them here.

CAPS-ALIGNED E-BOOKS

Don’t miss out on ITSI’s exciting educational e-book offers which have been made available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with some of South Africa’s top educational publishers. Get free access to CAPS-aligned e-books today with the free e-reader, miEbooks. View all the offers here.

PAST EXAM PAPERS – FREE ACCESS

Prep for your exams with past examination papers. Click here for free access to over 700 examination papers from the DBE to help you study and prepare for the exams.

Remote Learning step by step guide

Microsoft is offering this free guide, simple and easy to use, during a time that distance learning is the only way to assist learners.

This guide will help you to adapt school systems quickly to distance learning with resources from Microsoft Education. While there’s no equal to the physical classroom and in-person connections between educators and students, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and other app experiences like Flipgrid can enable online connections and key learning outcomes when the physical classroom isn’t an option.

It is safer internet day today

Safer Internet Day empowers youth to make smarter online decisions.

Celebrated annually, Safer Internet Day takes place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 and South Africa’s leading online safety Program in schools, MySociaLife, has partnered with the world’s global Safer Internet Day organisation to highlight bullying, harmful conduct, illegal online activity, and help give young people the tools they need to empower themselves online in South Africa.

There is a vast number of adults & children exploring social media apps, and yet very few young learners have been given any formal education and training.

With more than 22 millions South Africans on Facebook, 8 million on Instagram and 5 million now on teen hype-app, TikTok, there is a vast number of adults and children exploring social media apps, and yet very few young learners have been given any formal education and training,” says Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, a South African in-school ‘Digital Life Skills Program’ teaching digital life skills program for schools.

READ MORE …

ADESSA welcomes ITHUTHUKO (CPTD-ONLINE)

We welcome Ithuthuko (CPTD-Online), the latest company that has joined the ranks of ADESSA members.

Ithuthuko hosts an online platform, CPTD-online, where participants can complete their continuous professional development. This platform is the result of collaboration between passionate individuals who experienced the challenges associated with earning CPTD points.  Participants can complete their continuous professional development in the most convenient way. The intention of the course content is to equip teachers to deal with issues they encounter daily as part of teaching. All points contribute to SACE level 3.

CPTD-online is an excellent place for teachers to earn CPTD points:

  • Convenience:  Teachers can gain access through their phones, laptops and tablets, anywhere and anytime.
  • All courses are relevant: Facilitators and course authors are experts in their fields and the course content originates from experience.
  • SACE compliant: All reporting to SACE is done on a regular basis.
  • Affordable:  A subscription model applies, whereby participants pay a once-off subsidised fee of R650 per year (R450 till March 2020). This allows them access to all the courses on the platform.
  • Sound administration processes in place: A tax invoice is available on request. Our company is Level 4 BEE.

For more information, see  https://cptd-online.co.za/

BESA INTERVIEW

To create business opportunities for our members, ADESSA is forming partnerships with other organizations that could open doors for them. One such organization is BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association). To start the conversation, a brief interview was conducted with me to make BESA members aware of what ADESSA is doing. In time I hope that our association would reap mutual benefits.

Everything you need for e-learning this year

For many schools, Snapplify’s simple solutions have made the adoption of digital education easy. Not only have educators seen just how easy procurement and delivery of e-textbooks can be in the digital age, but they’ve discovered how digital tools can transform their classrooms.

Snapplify makes e-textbook procurement easy!

Easy-peasy ebook access

While the procurement of physical textbooks can be a lengthy and complicated, purchasing e-textbooks via Snapplify is quick and easy.

Snapplify’s diverse catalogue of high-quality, curriculum-aligned, diverse content from trusted educational publishers – both local and international – means that schools don’t need to deal with multiple providers, nor do they need to worry about titles going out of stock, becoming out of date, or taking time to arrive. Instead, Snapplify is what Colin Zinyeredzi – Resource Centre Manager at Parklands College South Africa – calls a ‘one-stop shop for educational and leisure reading material’. With Snapplify’s prescribed lists, schools can purchase on behalf of students and staff, or direct parents to purchase exactly what they need from the Snapplify Engage e-learning platform, via credit card or EFT. Quality devices are also readily available directly from Snapplify.

Each year, students can be issued with the latest e-textbooks without paper waste or returns of older books. Institutions can also monitor e-textbook usage through Snapplify Insights, and use this valuable data to inform future budgeting decisions and content choices. Colin Zinyeredzi has found this feature particularly useful, saying, ‘The system automatically manages the circulation of resources and even more importantly – it keeps a record of important statistics,’ while his colleague,  Martin Levitt, ICT support technician at the same school echoes this, sharing: ‘[Snapplify] has made management much easier in getting the correct content to the learners and educators. Engage is an excellent tool that we use to keep track of our users and the titles they have.’

Several schools using Snapplify have noted how beneficial it is for students to have all their ebooks and e-textbooks in one place. Grant Lewis, ICT integrator at Crawford College La Lucia has spoken about how their ‘learners are loving their ebooks and the Snapplify Reader experience’, going on to say that ‘Snapplify has played a huge part in helping us transform our school into a more effective learning environment.’ Teacher Chanica Gibhard from Oakley House, a remedial school in Cape Town, shares how the reader app has specifically helped her students: ‘It can help every child differently. The technology just makes it a lot easier to target those needs. It brings everything together into one device.”

Read more …

Snapplify launches free version of e-learning platform: Engage

Limited access to digital tools due to cost restrictions, a lack of technical know-how, and device integration restrictions have been consistent problems for educational institutions in emerging markets.To tackle this problem head on and to give schools the opportunity to explore digital learning at no cost, Snapplify has released a free version of their Engage e-learning platform – known as Basic Engage.

Schools can register online and investigate the applications of the platform for themselves, inviting staff, educators and students to have a look around, too. The platform is fully customisable to suit individual institutions’ needs. Administrators are able to manage user access, and educators can share teacher-created, multimedia resources with their students using the Resources and Groups functions. Librarians can curate a robust, 24-hour access digital library that promotes reading and learning with thousands of free ebooks and study resources to choose from, such as past exam papers, children’s books, sheet music, plays, biographies and more. All ebooks and resources are accessed through the Snapplify Reader app that has broad device integration, and allows for offline use.

To date, Snapplify has worked with over 1000 schools across Africa who now have access to world-class tools they need to collaborate, innovate and thrive. Snapplify has been recognised internationally for their innovations, winning two prestigious awards at the 2019 Reimagine Education Conference in San Francisco and receiving recognition in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report twice in a row. Register for Basic Engage today, or email hello@snapplify.com to chat about your specific needs and how we can work together.

For more information, please contact Marie-Louise Rouget from Snapplify on mlrouget@snapplify.com or +27(0)21 975 7192.

LECTORSA WILL BE AT THE CAPE WINELANDS CONFERENCE/EXPO

Lectorsa is another one of ADESSA’s esteemed members who will be at the Cape Winelands Education District elearning event next month.

They will showcase a tool that empowers students to master skills like extracting the main idea when reading, increasing vocabulary, arranging information in logical sequence, internalizing facts, analysing subject knowledge, forming a basis for argument and the interpretation of new knowledge.