Aligning pedagogy and technology to create engaging and child-centric education support.
According to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, “… the transformation of our education system into a 21st century learning environment that provides our learners with the skills they need to succeed in today’s information age economy, is long overdue…”
The adoption of digital learning systems into the school environment requires teachers who are suitably trained to deliver the digital content of these new learning techniques.
One such company that is making its mark in the digital learning environment and delivering on this requirement is Extramarks Education SA. Featured as a Platinum Sponsor at this year’s Digital Education Show Africa 2016, taking place at Sandton Convention Centre on 18 – 19 October, this new-age digital learning solutions company provides the best of pedagogy and technology to create an engaging and child-centric teaching-learning environment both in the classroom and at home.
Extramarks offers 360o education support to learners and teachers from Grade R right through to Grade 12, making use of specially-formulated CAPS-aligned digital learning solutions. These solutions can be used in the school for day-to-day classroom teaching, while learners can access the content at home after school hours in a self-learning mode.
Mr. Tanay Kulshreshtha, Country Head of Extramarks Education for South Africa, explains how important it is for South African schools to embrace the digital learning environment.
“Learners are at a distinct disadvantage to compete on the global platform if they are not exposed to technology in the classroom, particularly during their formative years. Once they are on the back foot, it becomes increasingly more difficult to stay abreast of their peers.
“Our digital learning solutions are professionally developed – and continually updated – by an in-house team of qualified educators, who are subject matter experts with vast experience in pedagogy and content development. These solutions do not require connectivity, and can be delivered through the Internet and hand-held devices, to empower teachers and learners both within the classroom and at home,” he explains.
Acknowledging the importance of introducing technology into the classroom environment from a young age is what is prompting South African schools, both primary and secondary, to install the digital solutions offered by Extramarks. Transforming the traditional classroom into a technology-driven, ‘smart learn’ space creates a stimulating and interactive learning environment for both teachers and learners alike.
The solutions, provided by Extramarks Education SA, make use of professionally-developed, multimedia learning content aligned to the CAPS curriculum. These involve learner-centric pedagogy to make learning engaging and more personalised within the classroom environment, and include interactive learning tools such as Smart Learn Modules, animation and Virtual Lab.
The offline solution offered by Extramarks is the most structured and interactive of its kind currently available in the marketplace. It covers English, Life Science, Physical Science, Natural Science and Mathematics for learners from Grade R to Grade 12, and is structured into multimedia-rich ‘Learn’, ‘Practice’ and ‘Test’ modules. This solution is especially powerful in a school environment that has no internet connectivity, or a science lab or library.
To date, the 360o solution from Extramarks has been successfully rolled-out in over 7 500 schools across India, South Africa, the UAE and Kuwait, and has been adopted by more than 9,1 million learners.
Through its in-school and after-school solutions, Extramarks’ vision is to create an ‘experiential’ learning environment, as contained in its pioneering technology. These include:
· the Smart Learn Class and CAPS-aligned multimedia content;
· a Classroom Tablet Solution for collaborative learning using devices and wireless technology;
· an Assessment Centre platform to facilitate and automate assessment activities for the school, teachers and learners alike;
· the School Management System platform to automate and standardise the management of daily school activities; and,
· the Smart Study Pack / Tablet / App that enables continuity of learning from classroom to home and provides learners with anytime, anywhere access to quality learning resources.
“To further enhance our offering to the South African consumer, Extramarks recently announced a collaboration with Telkom to offer our digital learning resources via our tablet, to select Telkom customers at no extra charge. This offer is proving very popular as parents recognise the power of digital learning for their children.
The bespoke Extramarks’ Classroom Tablets and Smart Study Pack, Tablet and App enable learners to have anytime-anywhere access to the CAPS-approved curriculum, by offering all the digital learning and support material for the specified grade. As access to technology increases, these technology-enabled platforms will play a greater role both within the classroom and at home.
“As we rollout our Extramarks’ digital learning solutions across the country, we are providing an engaging and experiential learning environment that both enhances the classroom teaching space and challenges learners beyond the structured classroom,” concludes Kulshreshtha.