As more and more South African schools opt to use technology in the classroom, it is vital for teachers to understand how to use it in order to teach their students effectively. If you are a teacher faced with the daunting task of teaching with technology for the first time, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The reality is that many schools introduce technology without providing adequate training for teachers.
We got in touch with some local South African teachers who have been using something called a ‘progressive learning programme’ from Knowledge Network. A progressive learning programme provides lessons for teachers to implement directly. You, as a teacher, get taught the lessons so that you can then teach the lesson to your learners.
We wanted to discover if this learning programme can show teachers who have never taught with technology how to implement technology correctly.
Feedback from South African teachers
We asked various teachers about their experience using this ‘progressive learning programme’ model. When we asked if a learning programme was essential, all teachers agreed that a structured programme was vital. The teachers who had never used technology before found it especially necessary and, from it, learned how to get the most out of using technology in their classrooms.
Charlotte Nortje from Athlone Park Primary School was one of these teachers and she said it helped her tremendously when she first started teaching computer literacy. It gave her the steps required to practically know how to introduce technology to her learners. What she was taught she could then teach to the learners.
Grant Gibson from Grey Junior School said it allowed him to follow a proven approach. Feedback from other teachers said the same sentiment. Rather than trying to work it out yourself, learn from others who have worked out an approach that makes it easy for you and that engages the learners.
What also stood out for Grant Gibson was that “it came with an easy-to-follow programme, proven methodology, training and support which all helps make for easy implementation.” This was also key for Johanné Botha from Bedford Country School who said: “You need an easy-to-use programme and Knowledge Network provides this with an easy-to-understand teacher’s guide.” With today’s busy curriculum, a teacher needs simple tools that can easily be implemented in the classroom.
What also stood out to the teachers is that you don’t need any fancy technology. The system will work easily with Microsoft’s offering and makes these programs really exciting for learners. It is good to note the system also works well with other software tools.
What’s more, the learners from these schools have been achieving outstanding results. Frances Vorwerg, for example, is a special needs school whose learners are, with additional time for learning, achieving the same results as non-special needs schools are achieving. And so, teachers are finding it essential for developing their learners’ life skills, creativity, logic, research skills, problem-solving and more.
As Willie Willemse from Frances Vorwerg School puts it: “It gives our learners a lot of confidence that they would not otherwise have. We have testimonials of several learners who got jobs at companies because of the progressive learning program. I can’t understand how it is that this program is not implemented in all the school across our country.”
Johanné Botha from Bedford Country School rightly says: “Today’s children are technologically orientated. They enjoy lessons which are presented with the use of technology. It is nice to show them online activities.” This engages them to deliver these outstanding results. Charlotte from Athlone Park Primary School says lessons need to be fun and the Knowledge Network’s system enhances lessons to be just that, fun.
We even received comments from two principals who were overjoyed to share what value a progressive learning programme added to their schools. They said that the educators feel more empowered after doing the course and the learners have become more active participants in the classroom but what really stood out to them is the impact on their learners:
“This is a fun and creative way to enhance our learner’s logical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. Educators that worked with technology apprehensively feel more empowered after doing the ILAMM (Integrated Learning and Mentoring Methodology) course. We realise that our learners cannot afford to be sent into society without the skills they learned from Knowledge Network’s progressive learning programme.”
– Levern Bower, principal at Walmer West Primary School
“Knowledge Network has opened a whole new window of opportunity in terms of exposure, learning in different media and careers. Kingsway now has confident young learners who are skilled, happy and so full of life. Teachers love that the children now have advanced computer knowledge and skills thanks to the programme. And, as a result, the learners become active participants in their lessons and are able to maximize their learning.”
– Kgethi Dlamini, principal at Kingsway Christian School
Get started with a progressive learning programme
All the schools we interviewed are currently using Knowledge Network’s progressive learning programme. They all agree that the programme is affordable, easy to implement, easy to follow and even helps make lessons fun! We even had schools randomly coming to us at a conference, telling us about how they love Knowledge Network. One teacher even wrote a 5-star review about them on SchoolAdvisor as she was talking to me at a conference!
If you are a teacher interested in learning how to effectively introduce and use technology in your own classroom, simply fill in your details below and Jil from Knowledge Network will connect with you to see if their system can remove the daunting task of teaching with technology. By filling in your details you are not committing to anything, it simply allows Jil to connect with you to see if the Knowledge Network system could make life easier for you as a teacher.