We have reached another target in our journey to not just embed technology in education and enhance it, but to transform it. There are at least two great teams working together on this project: one handling the infrastructure and the other the pedagogical side. Although from the very start this project has always been described as an educational initiative and not a technological one, and we make sure that it is the pedagogy that drives the technology and not the other way round, we cannot reach our teaching and learning goals without a solid infrastructure.
The teacher training that started in September of last year, just after the pilot study, ran in parallel with the upgrade of the infrastructure: connectivity, wifi and the like. We are now in the second phase of the teacher training. There are 26 specialised teachers who are training around 500 educators, teachers and Learning support assistants, who will be teaching a Year 4 class in a couple of days time. Today was the second day of their training on the Workbook LearnPad. Which means that we have distributed the first 500 tablets to the teachers last Friday.
I would like to emphasise that the most important element for the success of this project is not the hardware but the “headware”. The most important element is the teacher who will in turn use her creativity to engage the learners.
The learners will be given the tablet during December which will give teachers some time to familiarise themselves with the tablet. In the mean time during October and November we will be engaging with parents and the learners to discuss with them how to make the best use of the tablet in their home and talk to the children on how to take care of the tablet amongst other things.
Teacher training is of paramount importance and we will continue to support and help them during the coming years. I hope that the tablet will ignite their passion for teaching and with our help and support they will enjoy rather than endure the use of technology in their teaching.