The Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer has offered teachers guidelines and programs to learn how to make use of online resources.
Schafer said on Sunday that South African’s needs to start embracing technology and adapt to new challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I am very aware of the public sentiment around online learning in South Africa. It is true that not all learners have access to online resources and equipment that can make distance learning possible. I have addressed this in previous parts of this series, and will continue to do so later this week”, said Schafer.
The schools in South Africa have been closed since March due to coronavirus and no learning and teaching has been taking place.
The country has now moved to Level 4 lockdown as of 1st of May.
This means that learners across the country will continue learning via online programs and teachers who have not familiarized themselves with the digital world have to do so.
“The world has already shifted into a digital landscape, and while we have certainly made great strides in educating our teachers in e-learning over the past five years, we need more teachers to embrace e-learning during these very unusual times, and beyond”, said Shafer.
On Sunday, the Western Cape education department published a document which seeks to assist principals and teachers on how to harness the use of technology while learners are still at home.
“There are multiple platforms and tools for online teaching and learning that could be used. Some are more complex than others, while others are already used by many in our daily lives, but just for other purposes,” said Schafer.
Therefore, the WCED has put together some simple guides to up-skill teachers in basic, yet valuable, digital activities.
· How to download videos from YouTube:
· How to set up Facebook for learning & teaching:
· How to use MS Teams for Education:
Online learning and teaching has been widely criticized in South Africa, with many highlighting that it means the less privileged will be left out as schooling resumes and they don’t have access to resources that have been offered to learners.
The Western Cape education department has also put together a number of programmes for teachers to take part in, for them to be more equipped for the digital world.
Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) has also developed a course on self-paced learning. The Remote Teaching and Learning FOR TEACHERS course covers five modules to cater for a variety of different needs and interests in online learning:
· Module 1: DIY Home Classroom
· Module 2: Teaching Strategies
· Module 3: Finding Digital Content
· Module 4: Creating Content
· Module 5: Sharing Platforms
This course can be accessed on both computer and mobile devices at https://wcedeteacher.wixsite.com/eteacher, or via the School Closure Pack on the WCED ePortal.
Several other smaller “quick and digestible” training snaps will also be prepared and made available e.g. training for teachers on broadcast presenting and how to record with video.