Vodacom senior specialist for enterprise mobility, Mthimba Tshabalala, demonstrates how to use tabletsl to Grade 10 learners during the official handover of a fully equipped showcase e-classroom to Dr JL Dube Secondary School in Kwa-Mashu this week.

JOHANNESBURG - Vodacom and the Eastern Cape Department of Education have taken the digitalisation of education in the province a step further through the launch of the ‘Virtual Teacher’ platform in East London on Monday. 

This follows Vodacom’s Programme for Mobile Devices introduced in the province earlier this year to promote the use of digital technology in Eastern Cape schools. Virtual Teacher is a new interactive technology platform which allows an individual teacher or lecturer to deliver lessons in real-time to multiple remote classrooms or locations simultaneously. 

Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer at Vodacom Business, says: “Vodacom is working with the Eastern Cape Department of Education to address some of the challenges facing our education system, particularly in rural and underperforming schools.  “This is all about bringing innovative technology to those who need it most in order to improve learning outcomes for all education segments in our country. The future of the South African education system is digital and we must embrace the opportunities this offers to leapfrog infrastructural backlogs and legacy issues in our schools.”

The platform is supported through portable hardware which delivers high quality visuals and sound. It can also accommodate unlimited viewer numbers. The technology enables live interaction with the remote audience through a texting Q & A facility for written responses during the lesson. The Eastern Cape Department of Education will use the Virtual Teacher platform to provide extra classes to students at selected districts in the province. 

Lessons will be delivered remotely by some of the country’s best teachers, with an emphasis on Mathematics, Science and Accounting. Students from various locations will be transported to teaching sites in the Eastern Cape, including Mdantsane, Maluti, Lusikisiki and Mt Frere.  The Eastern Cape Department of Education’s Superintendent General, Themba Kojana, says: “The Eastern Cape Department of Education is promoting interactive virtual teaching and learning in the province, particularly in rural communities. 

“Technology such as the Virtual Teacher platform allows teachers to interact with remote learners to increase their understanding of school subject material, with a goal to improve learning outcomes in the province.”

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE