Teachers for Change makes a difference for our children

By Drum Digital
08 July 2014

When the Teachers for Change project started two years ago, the reaction was overwhelming. We were flooded with stories of teachers who inspire and change the lives of their learners.

Now, thanks to iPads from iSchoolAfrica and textbooks from Oxford University Press, last year’s winners in this special project are doing even better. Here are two success stories:

Better English grades with iPads

Elufefeni Primary School won their iPad lab in the first half of 2013 and have used it for Grades 4 to 7. “Our main focus subject is English,” Amanda Ntsumpa, principal at Vakanibantu Primary, says. Her school was the one to win the iPads but it merged with Elufefeni Primary soon after. “There’s been a  drastic improvement in their English results,” Ntumpa says. In fact, the programme feedback report showed a 16 per cent improvement in the English marks of those using the iPads. “The device is  everything in one,” she says. “It’s a computer, a video camera and a communication tool. Instead of doing an oral the traditional way, they get into groups and they write, direct and act out a short drama which they then watch as a class.”

Learning to speak with iPads

When Claude Moses (8), who suffers from autism, started school at the Elsen unit (Education for Learners with Special Educational Needs) of Formosa Primary School in Plettenberg Bay, he  communicated through sounds and gestures. But then his teacher, Leigh Dunn, was awarded the first iPad lab in last year’s Teachers for Change campaign. “We use an app called Talking Tom Cat and he was playing with this one day when he suddenly said ‘look here’. We were amazed,” says Dunn. Claude’s mother, Cecilia Moses, says the change is big. “Now he can say ‘bread,’ he can say his sisters’ names and also ‘Mammie’ and ‘Daddy’.” It’s also improved Claude’s ability to make friends, Dunn says. “Because he couldn’t express himself, his way of socialising used to be fighting. Now, he’s actually made some friends and he shows them things on his iPads – it’s completely new for him.” There are 15 learners in Dunn’s class, which means each child has his own iPad. “It gives them a feeling of belonging,” Dunn says. “And for children who can’t hold pens, it’s a way to learn to write and read.”

Need help with your iPad?

An iPad at home used to support homework and learning can truly transform your child’s education. To access amazing parent support resources, learn more or book a free parent workshop, visit www.iparent.co.za or click here for more about Teachers for Change.

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