You may have heard about iStore’s iPad Trade-in campaign. But have you ever wondered where your old iPads go to? Well, they couldn't go to anyone more deserving than our bright students of this country. For every 10 iPads traded in at iStore by customers, one gets donated to an iPad lab and this time, it was Sunnyside Primary’s turn.
Thanks to your kindness and trade-ins, we were able to donate our next iPad lab to the wonderful faculty and students of this Pretoria school. We got the opportunity to talk to Miss Nair, one of the class teachers, to ask her a few questions about how she believes this initiative will not only help her students thrive in the classroom, but also change their future and how we teach in classrooms for the better.
Q: What were the teachers reactions when they found out they had been selected for the iPad for Good campaign?
A: They were really excited and enthusiastic. Our teachers are always eager to explore new ways to develop our children’s abilities and find ways to motivate.
Q: How important is technology in education on a primary school level?
A: It is so important. We can’t only rely on pen and paper when teaching our students. Technology really helps get the message across, because it is a conceptual way of learning. Technology is a matter of experiential learning and children at this age are little sponges. They can’t wait to learn more and with technology there is so much for the teachers to utilise. Teachers can also utilise technology to find out things they themselves aren't aware of, to serve as the go-between in obtaining information.
Q: How will the use of iPad change the way you teach in the classroom?
A: iPad will change the way teachers teach in leaps and bounds. Assessment becomes so much easier. It is breathing new life into the classroom, as iPad changes the way our teachers are educating by including the children in the learning process, providing better feedback and resulting in better marks. Our children are performance has improved, because their understanding of the content has become a lot easier.
Q: How will iPad help particular subjects at school?
A: Natural Science is the best subject so far where we have seen iPad work well with the kids. Everything is abstract in Natural Science, but when you use an app on iPad, children can actually develop their knowledge on specific things and there is a lot of content that they may not understand when the lesson is taught traditionally. You can see the enjoyment in their faces when they are learning on an iPad. In the few weeks that we’ve introduced iPad to our classrooms, there is excitement, enthusiasm and a drive that makes the teachers want to use iPad. I am so proud of the faculty. They have embraced this new way of learning. The training that has been offered has also provided knowledge and skills for the teachers to excel in this campaign.
Q: What ZA Book are you using?
A: Currently, we are using the Platinum Range from Pearson. We are keen to use more ZA Books as most of our textbooks are available there.
Q: What apps are you and your kids enjoying and which ones would you suggest to other teachers?
A: Because we want to improve our reading levels, besides many games, we have really enjoyed using Puppet Pals. I’d recommend this app, because children then gain their confidence in reading, as the characters read for them.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the students of Sunnyside Primary?
A: In my teaching career, no matter which child it is, I want them to gain as much as they can from whatever they’re learning. The need to be able to write their music when they become artists. I really hope that, whatever they want to become, they can achieve it. The sky is the limit. And all the technology that they have access to, it is for their benefit, and I want them to grow up appreciating everything around them.
Q: As a teacher, what is the best part of your day?
A: As an english teacher, some of my lessons aren’t as exciting as I would like them to be. But that one moment when you can see that light has gone on inside of them and they’ve grasped what you’re teaching them, that is my moment. It’s like Christmas for me.
Q: Do you have a quote or a mantra
A: Every child is a blank canvas and we, as teachers have the possibility to be the paint. This campaign is providing us with the opportunity to help these kids reach their dreams.
The students of Sunnyside Primary are truly lucky to have such an inspirational and motivating teacher like Miss Nair. With the help of her, the rest of the faculty and the iPad Lab, we have no doubt that these students have a an excellent future ahead of them.