Archive for the ‘IT In Education’ Category

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Times are moving and people are constantly looking for comparative advantage whether it’s at work or in business ventures, and technological advancements seem the perfect tool. The need to be the best, prompts individuals to seek international degrees and the ones which are offered by the best universities in the world yet at affordable rates.

In our days most prestigious universities offer international degrees thorough distance learning, utilization of computers and internet are vital in making such learning possible. Most universities which offer such programs utilize internet based systems which facilitate the smooth running of lessons, Sakai is one of the many learning systems which is used by more than 350 educational institutions including Oxford University and MIT.

Distance learning has also emerged as a necessity at school levels. There have been considerate improvements in the grades attained by learners who have access to television, radio or social networks like Mxit which is adopted by Study Mate. It uses these tools to offer help to learners at the comfort of their homes, help in education is just a switch away whether television, Mxit or radio.

Technological advancements are constantly breaking boundaries between attainable and unattainable. They have made it possible for almost anyone with any sort of disabilities to receive the education that is offered to the students with no disabilities. Screen magnification software is used by people with visual impairments to access information on computer screens. FM system is a wireless, portable, battery-operated device that uses radio transmission to send auditory signals that can be used by blind students which eliminate the disturbance encountered when using a hearing aid.

Geographic locations or disability circumstances are no longer an obstacle in attaining the best education.

Author: Bongo Fezile Mahlahla

Editor: Shaquille Buys

http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/98/83120.html

http://www2.edc.org/ncip/library/vi/toc.htm

http://www.ntid.rit.edu/

Date accessed 29 April 2013

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Technological adoption in South Africa is said to be in the late majority category. The fact of the matter is that we are a developing country and an economic power house for Africa, the time for us as a country to really look into investing in IT technologies particularly in our public educational system has come.

The debate of introducing helpful, more effective IT technologies in classrooms such as IPADs, is one which really caught my full attention, I mean for our public schools this could drastically reduce the gap we have between private and public education. Private education is in fact world class educational system which unfortunately is offered to a minority (the rich), so what about the majority? What about the less fortunate who are caught in the mix of corrupt and negligent government officials that only represent their own selfish ideologies and are careless about the quality of our public education? I am saying this due to the Limpopo textbook saga, where school kids were left in desperation, wondering who would save them when their own government failed in providing a simple basic service of delivering textbooks on time. This matter would have been avoided if technologies such as Tablets and IPADs were part and parcel of education taught in classrooms.

To elaborate this further, Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tested an interactive, digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook for Apple’s iPad in California’s Riverside Unified School District and the results given were that “students who used the iPad version scored 20 percent higher on standardized tests versus students who learned with traditional textbooks.”

It’s clear that digital technologies are fast replacing worn out textbooks, kids are keen in learning with digital versions. This will make them more motivated, attentive, and importantly digitally literate.

Author: Siyabulela Klaas

Edited: Nomfundo Gambushe

References:

courses.education.illinois.edu/edpsy317/sp03/…/hursh-tabletpc.html

edudemic.com/2012/12/25-ways-to-usetablets-in-the-classroom/

michaelrice.weebly.com/tablets-in-education.html

E-learning

Posted: April 30, 2013 in IT In Education

IT in education

In the same way that tablets and smartphones have taken over from personal computers, IT in education or e-learning is starting to take over old paper methods and in-class chalkboard learning. In my opinion e-learning is the breakthrough South Africa needs to redress the imbalances of the past.

The courseware in e-learning is designed with a specific audience in mind and in doing this, language (course specific jargon), literacy and numeracy gaps are avoided thus more efficient learning. Work can be covered in a shorter space of time due to the options of doing assessments online after allocated “class time” and marks can be recorded timeously and accurately and reduce administrative work by 40%. The e-learning systems can also function as a management tool where information can be easily accessible and be used to make decisions in the institution.

E-learning can be seen as widening the divide because the ones who can’t afford these technologies are left to use older, less progressive technologies. Greater knowledge and expertise is therefore attained by those with access who will manage to grasp concepts taught much faster and clarify what they already know. As shown by a study; 22 out of 66 repeaters of a course are more likely to have passed had they had access to a computer outside the university where they could have reaped the full benefits of e-learning.

If e-learning were to be extended to all learning institutions the outcome would be positively tremendous and in the long run improve our economy and growth as a nation. This would accelerate workplace learning and skills development and thus induce greater ability to learn and productivity which in turn can grow our economy.

Ultimately if enough effort and consideration is put in implementing e-learning our country can grow economically and our people can grow in knowledge, skill and experience. So all in all IT in education is a great investment in our future as a nation and can aid in finally closing the digital divide in South Africa and hopefully equalize the standard of living of our people.

Author: Nomfundo Gambushe
Edited by: Siyabulela Klaas
References:
http://www.humancapitalreview.org/content/default.articleID
http://www.news24.com/technology/news/e-learning-grows-in-sa-2013010
http://www.idc-online.com/elearning/country/southafrica
http://www.sas.com/offices/africa/southafrica/servicetraining
http://www.slideshare.net