Johannesburg, 31 October 2018 — iStore South Africa and Think Ahead last week presented the annual Excellence in Education Awards 2018, which celebrate South African schools using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning. For the first time in 2018, the awards introduced a new category – The Coding Challenge – which gave students the freedom to share their original app or website with the world.
Michelle Lissoos, Managing Director at Think Ahead who presented the awards, commented, ”With the global emphasis on coding being introduced as a skill to prepare our youth to thrive in a world driven by technology, this new category rewards educators and students embracing the challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Winners of the Grade 4 – 7 category: The Ridge School with a water calculator website, which introduces an interactive table to manage water usage. Watch the video here.
Winners of the Grade 8 – 12 category: Nigel Secondary School with an app used by security guards and students at schools. The ICE Watch (“In Case of Emergency”) watch is worn by students and security guards, and by the press of a button the security guard will be alerted if a child is in danger when walking to or from school. The team consisted of 4 girls as part of a programme partnership between the British Council and iSchoolAfrica to teach 110 girls to code – with the final challenge – creating code to solve a problem in their communities. Watch the video here.
Ms Lissoos said, “Research has found that 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t exist yet. And, thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, by 2020, it is predicted that around 83 million jobs globally won’t have skilled people to fulfil them. It is a world powered by technology and inspired by innovation but lacking in the fuel – skills – to maintain them. We believe the answer lies in education and providing students with access to information so they can develop the skills they need to evaluate and apply knowledge in ways that meet the demands of the fast-paced world.”
She continues, “In this world driven by technology, one of the key skills our children need to learn is to code. Learning to code will help our children understand the world they live in. They may not all become software engineers, but they will always use software. We all need to understand how computers work. We all use the Internet, mobile phones, computers and software in our daily lives. Understanding is power and in today’s world driven by technology, understanding the basics of code is as essential as Maths or learning how to write. It’s today’s critical language.”