Posh SA schools insist on iPad

2012-01-26 14:40

Johannesburg - Elite private schools have told parents that their children will require iPads, according to a newspaper report on Thursday.

Kingsmead Girls' College sent a letter to parents informing them that iPad 2 tablets would be used for teaching Grades Six and Eight from July, the Times reported.

Saheti, in Bedfordview, and King David, in Linksfield, were also using the tablets.

Use of the high-tech gadgets - which cost R5 000 each - in elite schools was in stark contrast to many government schools where simple teaching support material was often hard to come by.

Education psychologist Melanie Hartgill said the move would increase the information divide between rich and poor schools.

Internet connectivity

"The rapid adoption of [information technology] infrastructure at private schools is widening the gap between the haves and have-nots."

One disadvantage of tablet teaching was that listening skills could be under developed.

IT expert Arthur Goldstuck said an advantage of the technology was that children with handwriting problems were able to keep up with the class through typing.

Director of electronic education for the education department, Phil Mnisi, said a white paper was produced for the introduction of internet connectivity to schools.

At present only 23% of schools had internet access.

Equal Education spokesperson Doram Isaacs said 3 600 schools did not even have electricity, and it would be decades before South African schools caught up with present technology.

He said poor schools should still be experimenting with technology such as tablet education.

Unlimited data

The move toward using tablets has been echoed by a business college in SA that has provided its students with tablets designed for the course.

In January 2012, PC Training and Business College introduced a Telefunken Tablet PC as part of their students' improved learning experience at all of their campuses nationwide.

The college doesn't require that the students buy the tablet.

"This exciting and ground-breaking initiative will lead to the improvement of teaching and learning and learner success rates," said deputy minister of higher education and training, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize when shown the tablets.

Students will also have access to unlimited data on Wi-Fi connections at campuses with the tablets.

  • padayachee - 2012-01-26 15:49

    Darn I wish I had the opportunity to school with an iPad2 or any electronic gadget... If I was a parent of a child in one of those school's I'd definitely get the best for my child :D

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 15:58

    About time too.

  • Mike - 2012-01-26 16:12

    Fantastic opportunity to enhance learning and access to information!

  • BubblesdoubleO7 - 2012-01-26 16:12

    I like the idea, but does this not make our children more susceptible to being victims of crime? I mean kids are being severely beaten just for a R5 and a cellphone. I don't mean to put a damper on everyone's spirit, but this is a concern, well for me at least.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 16:37

      These kids don't catch taxis to school bubbles. Their parents drop them off, or the maid, the driver...

  • chris.piro2 - 2012-01-26 16:27

    This is one of the great ideas but i have a fear for our children been victim in our streets for the iPad's as we all know the rate of crime in South Africa

  • ed.rybicki - 2012-01-26 17:00

    I think this is a wonderful idea - and in tune with a lot of what is happening in the US and elsewhere, including in some top Universities. I have basically turned into a cyborg, with an externalized memory resident in my iPad. My calendar is available to me on two desktops AND a laptop AND the iPad AND on a Blackberry; my meeting notes from the iPad are immediately shared via the cloud through Gmail; I use Goodreader to store, read and share all documents related to meetings and seminars; I read novels and other books and newspapers via the Kindle app and iBooks - and now I have the developer software for apps as well as the iBookAuthor app for Mac, which lets you write your own. Seriously, folks, the future is here: and while it has an Apple logo on it, let's hope the hardware will become more diverse and and cheaper in the near future. Me, I'm waiting for the iPad 3...B-)

  • drakelivingstone - 2012-02-07 15:40

    Isnt that like saying... "You need to drive your child to school in an aston martin, this school has an image". What happened to all the other tablets that are 10 times better than an ipad 2??? Ok lets not forget what country we are living in! Is that really such a good idea? Lets not forget the world we are living in - Is that really such a good idea. I feel the cons out weigh the pros. Moving forward is good, dont run too fast and hurt yourself. GET YOUR KID AND E-READER OR A TABLET THAT DOES NOT SUPPORT WIFI OR 3G.

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