What do we do? We produce an online weekly curriculum mapped to the South African syllabus. Learners complete two hours of Maths lessons online doing quiz-based activities that are auto-marked. Twice a term, learners complete standardised, benchmarked online assessments that allow their progress to be tracked. Real-time learning analytics of these assessments are compiled for teachers, school management, and education officials, customised to present only data that is relevant to each group. The final strand is Maths@Home, which provides an after-school environment. This allows parents/guardians or community based groups to provide that vital layer of additional support.
Another focus for 2017 is embedding the continual use of data as a tool for tracking, evaluation and supporting learner progress at all levels of the education system. It’s one thing to have continuous & real-time data on your class/school/district. It’s a totally different thing to know what to do with that data and how to use it to guide what you do in the classroom or how you manage your school/district.
Schools in post-apartheid South Africa operate in very different contexts and face very different challenges – often within one district. One size most definitely does NOT fit all! The final goal remains the same but the path of support has to be tailored. We have been working alongside schools and district management to embed data-informed decision-making in their organisational culture. In one district we are already working with just over 50% of their primary schools. This approach is working in both township schools and leafy suburbs. The specificity and range of data allows the District to prioritize and target their support. The district can deal with educational issues as they are identified throughout the year in all of their schools.
In the six months since the 2016 Awards we have increased the number of schools supported by us by 31%. We are now supporting just over 70,000 learners from 151 schools and 15 after-schools centres. One of the small, rural multi grade schools is featured on the video.
As you can see from the video, the combination of EdTech, learning analytics and ongoing ‘warmware’ (people) development works! We are now expanding the reach of this methodology to other school districts. There are so many more children to reach. Onwards and upwards indeed…