E-learning becoming popular in SA

2013-03-08 12:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Electronic learning, better known as e-learning, is growing in popularity in South Africa and it can especially be useful where a lack of resources is a major challenge for a number of reasons.

“E-learning is increasing in popularity in South Africa. To make it more popular high quality, interactive, engaging learner material needs to be developed,” Kirsty Chadwick, founder of The Training Room Online, which designs and develops innovative tailor-made elearning material for the corporate, industrial and private sectors, told News24.

“We are currently looking at different ways to design learner material. We do so through film, animation, learning games or learning mobile applications, depending on which is the best solution for the intended audience,” she added.

She said there are a lot of techniques that can be used to make the content really interactive and exciting.

“Electronic learning consists out of a number of methods and styles of learning that involve the use of a computer or smart device like a tablet computer or smartphone.

“It is also important to note that e-learning doesn’t necessarily need the latest and most expensive technology to work,” she said.

E-learning can take place with or without the aid of a teacher or trainer and doesn’t necessarily rely on the internet.

“An inexpensive DVD, for example, could hold a number of textbooks that could be viewed on a standard desktop computer. A smartphone, similarly, could also store digital textbooks that were cheaper and logistically easier to access than physical textbooks.”

According to Chadwick e-learning isn’t just a solution to logistics.

“It can take pressure off teachers, too, by allowing learners to self-study using specially designed courseware.
“E-learning on desktop computers, which are less expensive and more readily available to the majority of South Africans than tablets, can be as immersive and engaging as e-learning on smart devices. Through puzzles, games and self-evaluation, learners can take themselves through study material.”

Lack of education

Chadwick said there is however a serious lack of education around e-learning in SA.

“The vast majority of South African parents have never used a tablet computer – as such they have no comprehension of what e-learning in the classroom means for their children and their children’s education.

“More privileged South Africans, who are familiar with the most up-to-date technology, don’t necessarily know how it’s used in the classroom, either.”

She said educating parents is vital if they’re going to take an active role in their children’s education.

“E-learning could take place using tablet computers or desktop computers. Where schools already have desktop computers, using them would make sense financially.”

Chadwick said there are a number of ways that e-learning could work in a South African classroom.

“Tablet computers are currently being used to deliver textbooks to students as well as a way for teachers to deliver multimedia material like slides, videos and images that supplement lessons to students.


m-Learning, or mobile learning, which takes place via a mobile device instead of a personal computer, could be used for similar purposes, Chadwick said.

m-Learning initiatives are currently enjoying success in, among other countries, Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria.

“The reason why it is so popular is that the mobile phone is a device that a lot of people have access to and it will remain popular for a number of years to come as a tool that can be used from a learning perspective.” 

Chadwick said it is critical to look at how the content is designed for m-Learning because the screen size is smaller but the learning experience must still be there.

She said in order to make m-Learning popular in South Africa awareness needs to be spread that the tablet computer is not the only solution to e-learning.

She said the younger generation absolutely love learning through e-Learning and m-Learning as they have grown up with technology.

– Follow Chantelle on Twitter.
Read more on:    education  |  technology

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.