In the next decade, 80% of all jobs will require skills in maths, science and technology. In order to keep up with changing times, South Africa needs to invest in methods to drastically improve its current ranking as one of the worst in the world for math and science education.
In response to this challenge, the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial governments are in talks to pilot the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) learning solutions in selected government schools. This new way of teaching and learning through Virtual Reality helps to close the gap between knowledge and understanding. Learners can experience the immersive VR world in which they can travel to New York to see the Statue of Liberty, take a virtual train ride to learn about the concept of relative motion or step inside a green leaf to see the production of oxygen through photosynthesis.
Initial results from the inclusion of this technology in South African classrooms has led to positive development in learner behaviour and attitude with 70% of learners indicating that the addition of VR to their syllabi would motivate them to take science and maths related subjects in the future. In addition, 98% stated that learning these subjects through VR has increased their confidence in their abilities.
“If you plot historic innovation on a timeline, the results are astounding. Innovation is happening more rapidly than ever before,” says Tanya Jackman, Event Director of EduWeek Africa. “This has led to a massive shift in education practices worldwide. Suddenly, with the use of technology, we are able to pick up learner’s problems long before any human intervention could; enabling educators to meet learners where they are and allowing them to learn at their own pace,” she adds.
“We as educators need to develop an attitude of ‘lifelong learning’ allowing us to constantly adapt and adopt innovations within our classrooms and teaching practices. It is imperative for us as a country to facilitate and support these developments as effectively as possible,” says Elijah Mhlanga, Chief Director for Communications at the Department of Basic Education.
On 15 and 16 June 2018, Spintelligent, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and other sponsors, is hosting EduWeek Africa at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg. Exhibitors and guest speakers will tackle issues and solutions surrounding ‘Education 4.0 for Industry 4.0’. Content will address education’s response to increased automation and data exchange in most industries and the creation of careers that do not yet exist. Visitors can expect hands-on-experience of education’s 170 latest innovations such as:
• Veative’s VR learning solution that enables learning through Virtual Reality;
• Edit Microsystems’ eSight glasses, which enables the visually impaired to see;
• OverDrive’s professionally narrated audio Read-Along Audio Books, which aid in learning to read;
• Retrain’s all-inclusive differentiated-learning-techniques assessment and training instrument that allows educators to tailor their teaching-style to suit their students, to name a few.
“Continued investment in educational technology will enable South Africa to become an economic global competitor and facilitate the bridging of gaps within our country, and between us and the rest of the world,” concludes Mhlanga.
For more information on EduWeek and for registration details, visit http://www.educationweek.co.za.