Specialist training has enabled Vision AfriKa facilitators to get to grips with technology in the classroom in order to enhance their students’ learning experience. The training sessions were provided by Team4Tech, an NGO that brings together volunteers from technology companies with accredited not-for-profit organisations, and Autodesk, which sells 3D design software. They were also supported by the Western Cape Department of Education. The event started on Saturday 8 August with a one-day workshop attended by 51 staff and learners from Vision AfriKa, Kayamandi’s Makupula High School and Clotesville High School. Autodesk volunteers showed everyone to use tools such as its 3D online design application Tinkercad and Tinkerplay, which is used to design models that can be created out of plastic using a 3D printer. They were also assisted by nine volunteers from the University of Stellenbosch.
In addition, the learners took photos in and around Kayamandi with a GoPro camera. These devices are specifically designed for use in extreme sports as they are compact, weather-proof, shock-proof and can be set on lots of different mountings including hats.
The Vision AfriKa and Makupula teachers then received additional training at the High School over the course of the following week. The focus was on sharing ways of using technology to enhance the classroom experience.
For instance, members of Team4Tech showed participants how to use applications ranging from Microsoft’s PowerPoint to Google Earth and Google Images.
At the end of the five-day course, participants were asked to present a lesson plan to the group based on the skills they had learned. Some made Powerpoint presentations with embedded videos, others compiled quizzes using Google Forms, while still others created interactive learning exercises.
Vision AfriKa was also given a gift of two Autodesk 3D MakerBot Replicator 5 Gen printers not only to support its educational work, but also to be used by the wider community.
The day ended with a closing ceremony in which members of the school choir sang their thanks to the volunteers for all of their help and support.