iSchoolAfrica is an education initiative developed by Apple’s local Value Added Distributor, Core Group, which reaches under-resourced rural and township schools across South Africa. The overall objective of the initiative is to empower teachers and students by providing them with access to the world’s most advanced educational technology and classroom practices.
The iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme combines mobile iPad labs with training, support, integration, monitoring and evaluation to address key challenges faced by our teachers and students to create a sustainable impact on education. To enable the rollout of iPads into schools, iSchoolAfrica works in partnership with programme sponsors from both government and the private sector.
The Peermont School Support Programme (PSSP) is an iSchoolAfrica sponsor of Gugulesizwe Primary School in Daveyton. iSchoolAfrica was selected by PSSP as it provided a solution that not only offered “best of breed” technology, but also a unique, supportive infrastructure that ensured systematic and sustainable impact on the students and teachers.
The iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme was introduced to Gugulesizwe Primary School in 2011 and has had a remarkable impact. Improvements have been observed in academic results, attendance and engagement. Additionally, iPad has allowed the school access to a host of world-leading educational content and resources that were not available to them previously.
In the Classroom
With the PSSP sponsorship, iSchoolAfrica have introduced mobile iPad labs, which are easily wheeled from classroom to classroom and integrated into different subjects. This means that a grade 3 class could use the lab for Maths and a grade 6 class could use it for English. The iPad labs are managed by a booking system and there is a timetable that details the classes and times iPads are being utilised.
Gugulesizwe Primary School use iPads as concept re-enforcement tools. For example, the app Keynote is used regularly by teachers to create engaging presentations that demonstrate and explain concepts to students. Teachers also identify apps which reinforce what has been presented or taught and students are given the opportunity to use these apps.
Additionally, students are expected to create their own engaging content to further enforce curriculum based concepts. Apps like Popmath are used by the grade 3 students to improve their addition and subtraction skills and grade 6 & 7 students use Bookcreator to write and compile books that have rich content like images, videos and audio.