All posts by Kobus van Wyk

WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS: PRACTICAL TIPS TO IMPROVE LEARNER DISCIPLINE

This is an interactive workshop about developing strategies to manage learner behaviour. It focusses on positive attitudes and the development of supportive relationships with learners to create a disciplined learning environment. By attending this workshop, you will learn what positive discipline is and the techniques to implement it.

Date: 21 August 2021

Time: 09:00 – 11:00

SACE PD Points: 5

Cost R200

For more information and to register, click HERE.

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Screen accurately for covid symptoms

Only 6.7% of the South African population has received Covid 19 vaccinations, up to date. With the latest political disruptions in the country, the vaccination rollout program has been severely impacted and this in turn will affect the health and wellbeing of every person in this country. Protect your employees and loved ones by accurately screening for COVID-19 symptoms and invest in the Instant Vitals mobile app.  This easy-to-use mobile app uses a unique mix of signal processing and AI technology to measure critical vital signs with medical-grade accuracy. 

Find out more by clicking HERE.

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World Youth Skills Day: Unemployment driving unrest in South Africa

Is there a way we can reverse youth unemployment in this country? 

In the midst of South Africa’s deep unrest, 15th July is World Youth Skills Day. Tragically, the country’s youth unemployment rate reached a new record of 32.6%, the highest since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008, totalling 7.242 million people out of work. Employment lies at the centre of many socio-economic ills, given its capacity to fill time, provide purpose, generate income and drive greater equality. But employment can only be driven by skills training.  

Africa is burdened with an additional challenge: many struggle with literacy, due to the poor delivery of basic education. So, where might hope and inspiration be found in the next decade?

In our pockets.

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Smart device costs continue to come down, and new manufacturers are bringing in devices at lower costs, as well as data prices slowly dropping, meaning increasing access as we move through this decade, and more opportunity to upskill via online learning on a phone, with a growing resource of training platforms which offers free training programs like Coursera, Udemy, Udacity and Khan Academy.

But, explains Dean McCoubrey, Founder of MySociaLife, South Africa’s leading digital education and media literacy program, “There are many promises various governments have made about their promise of leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), but how many understand the foundational digital skills required? You can’t just jump into robotics or coding, you need to understand what it is to be a digital citizen to embrace the free resources of the internet. Without it, you are driving a vehicle without a licence, or a map. How do you explore and grow safely?”

McCoubrey explains that the foundation is required in the same way previous generations were taught at length to hold a pencil and use those words they create more wisely. By contrast, increasingly, the internet is seeing spikes of misinformation and cyberbullying.

“With the basics in place of media literacy – understanding media, its power and influences, and fake news – as well as digital literacy such as privacy, cybersecurity and handling technology carefully, we can shift gear into exploration and expansion. We can find avenues of income. MySociaLife shows teens where they can learn photography for free, for example, and then show them where to sell their photos or videos,” adds McCoubrey.

Teens and pre-teens use the apps and devices so intuitively, and it’s a huge advantage. Some children are poor in school but brilliant online, which means there could be an alternative for young South Africans that could transcend the lack of quality basic education.

“We stand at a doorway to vault over other African countries, but we need guidance to know which keys will open it and prepare GenerationZ for a 4IR future. We need to focus on basic digital education as well before it’s too late and we miss a glaring opportunity.”

Looking at TikTok and other social media and gaming platforms, popular culture has youth fascinated and motivated, with approximately 60% of its 1bn users globally found in the GenZ age range. We already sing, dance, shoot videos and photos, why not build on this, and start to use these skills? What if we taught them how to do it safely, intelligently and with purpose. Minecraft For Education, for example, is a way to game and code at the same time, learning a new “language”.

MySociaLife approaches the challenge by not only teaching kids foundational digital skills but also their teachers and parents on how to direct youth to opportunities and realise potential, while at the same time ensuring online safety too – “two sides of the same coin.” A South African EdTech training platform, it allows schools to simply log in and learn using eight hours of video training for learners aged 8 to 18 including subjects such as online safety, privacy, cybersecurity, digital footprint, bullying and intimidation, fake news, and ways to build skills and generate income online.

The World Economic Forum listed its top 10 skills for “The Future of Work in 2025” and these included technology monitoring, use and control, and also technology design and programming, critical thinking, social influence, reasoning and stress tolerance. “We teach many of these skills to kids in schools and they respond with such energy and enthusiasm. It’s something that ignites them.”

“On World Youth Skills Day, this is a call to the government to understand both the challenges and the opportunities of media and digital literacy – and to accept how much they need to quickly grasp with regard to evolving popular culture, pre-teen and teen usage of devices simply because of the generational divide and technology divide. It could deliver a huge shift in employment, direction and momentum over time. We are completely missing this right now,” says McCoubrey.

“Even kids that are literate and have unlimited access are not fully utilising their devices and media platforms to their full potential. The outcome of digital citizenship is a more aware and responsible society because it reduces the negativity and polarity online, increases people’s ability to choose their next action, embracing the net for what it can offer – to share, to inform, to educate, to deliver income, to support, and much more. It’s apparent we would greatly benefit from this right now,” he concludes.

ACCURATE COVID-19 SCREENING

Did you know? 

That a higher heart rate and/or lower oxygen saturation levels are more common than fevers in COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. According to a recent study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Instant Vitals mobile app measures 3 critical vital signs (Heart rate, Respiratory Rate, Oxygen Saturation) with medical-grade accuracy.

Find out more by clicking HERE.

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Macmillan Teacher Campus boosts teachers’ morale with a series of free webinars

At Macmillan Teacher Campus, we are passionate about teachers and we understand the difficult task they are faced with during this pandemic. As you know, South Africa has been in different stages of lockdown since March 2020 and while this has significantly changed the way teachers interact with their learners, many teachers feel demotivated and a little lost.

Macmillan Teacher Campus decided to boost morale a little bit by hosting a series of free webinars. These webinars are aimed at providing a much-needed morale boost, and at the same time, providing tips to enhance teaching during this crazy and unpredictable time.

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Our first webinar was held on 27 May. We decided to kick off with “How to develop a personal vision”. It was attended by almost 400 teachers and visitors from our neighbouring countries. The feedback was phenomenal and the webinar was well received.

Our second webinar was held on 24 June, and gave some insights on how teachers can give good feedback to their learners.

Macmillan Teacher Campus have scheduled a free webinar once a month up until November and we are confident that each one will be well attended.

UPCOMING WEBINARS:

How to be an effective mentor and responsive mentee

Date: 29 July 2021 – To register, click HERE.

Technological, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Date: 26 August 2021 – To register, click HERE.

How to be an inclusive educator

Date: 22 September 2021

To register, click HERE,

How to develop a growth mindset

Date: 28 October 2021

To register, click HERE.

How to develop a positive learning environment

Date: 4 November 2021

To Register, click HERE.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: mtc@macmillaneducation.co.za

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