Township school teacher wins tablet tech award

2013-12-05 09:25
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A teacher from a township school has beaten teachers at affluent schools to win an annual award for expanding tablets in education.

Lindiwe Mawela from Gugulesizwe Primary School in Daveyton won the iTeacher award, sponsored by Apple distributor Core Group.

She was able to demonstrate how the use of the iPad was key in moving children from communicating in their mother tongue to English.

"I am so excited to receive the iTeacher award, especially with so many entries from private schools. iPads have not only
changed the way I teach, but also the way our students learn," said Mawela.

Gugulesizwe Primary is a non-fee paying school and Mawela was in competition with teachers from finalist schools that included Parklands College, Dainfern College, Redhill Prep School.

Education value

The school received iPads two years ago and Mawela said that the impact had been notice in the impoverished community.

"All the parents in the neighbourhood want their children to come to our school to use iPad. We aren't just another township school anymore; we are the school that everybody wants to come to."

Technology such as tablets has proved its value in assisting with education as the devices are able to illustrate concepts with rich media. Many teachers find that children learn better with visual stimuli and the interaction that the devices provide.

Gugulesizwe Primary has an average of 45 children per class and the iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme was introduced to the school in 2011.

The programme is sponsored by Core Group which seeks to expand the use of digital technology in education and 450 teachers have so far been included on the programme.

A Gartner survey found that that tablet owners primarily used the devices as entertainment tools.

"Of the different types of activity, people spend by far the most time on entertainment, and people often use several devices at once, so it seems we are turning into a society of multitasking, multi-screen users," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Entertainment made up 50% of tablet activity, followed by communication at 26%. Activities related to production such as creating content and web browsing only made up 15% and 9% respectively.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    apple  |  gartner  |  ipad  |  mobile

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