EdTech Summit Africa Workshop In Mamelodi
EdTech Summit Africa had a workshop at the University of Pretoria in Mamelodi East on Saturday. EdTech Summit is an innovative technology conference shared with educators across Africa free of charge. They are focusing on teachers training and program development addressing education equity and social justice issues by working to implement creative and cutting edge technologies in schools and communities. The team also visited Mamelodi to share their skills, support teachers and learners with technology tools. During the workshop, they introduced the tools that teachers can use to improve their classrooms and education that they can not provide without the use of technology, looking at the history of this country that it has been disadvantaged and have not had opportunities to learn and teach things the way private schools do. This program is to help the teachers to help students to learn better online or by making use of technology. One of the team members, Gugulethu Radebe, believes that the education system in South Africa does not reflect where South Africa is in terms of the economy and staff that they, as teachers are doing globally, does not reflect the education system. They came to offer teachers a tool to create a bridge for the local school students to get the same opportunities as the private schools. They wanted the teachers to acquire the skill and pass it to their students and make education more exciting and engaging. It is believed that if the teachers learn that technique it will help improve the education system in their schools and helps the students to learn better. “Is our part to work with teachers and devices and free strategies that people will share all over the world but what needs to happen from the government and infrastructure like Telkom who can affect education far greater by making connectivity everywhere”, said Karen Kirsh Page, the founder. They started in 2013 and they are having workshops continental and not just in South Africa. Siobhan Thatcher said that education is a life long part of her life, she has been to school, went to University and went to the classroom and for her, education and technology is one and the thing. The teachers described technology as something logical to have in the classroom because it helps the learners to know what is currently happening (current affairs), expose them to things that they will not have exposed to and make them conscious of what is happening around the world. The teachers who have attended the workshop were from different schools across South Africa. Student teachers or interns were also part of the workshop. The conference was for free including transport and food. The workshop was mainly for teachers from under source schools or schools that can’t afford to pay for teachers to attend the conference and it was one of their reasons to be in Mamelodi. The workshop was not about how many people attended but the changes it would be made by those who have attended the workshop. The challenge that they came across in the education journey is that they reach a lot of teachers but is not all of them who understands what the program is about, although they have a vision of how things should look like not everyone sees it the same way. They believe is not teachers being negative towards the vision but they think that teachers might feel uncomfortable. Kevin Baloyi said that teachers should understand that they are dealing with different generations and therefore, they should not rely on the method they use to teach children 20 years ago. They should think for students as much as they think for themselves. At the end of the workshop, lucky teachers were announced and won prizes. This happened after they called their ticket numbers. The workshop started at 10 am and finished at 4 pm. More workshops are expected to be hosted in different areas around South Africa and globally.
By: Fortunate Machaba