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March 2021.

With the help of e-technology, schools in the Namakwa District are embracing 21st century e-learning, in support of the District Department of Education’s strategy to roll-out digital technology in local high schools. Hence, chalk boards are making way for electronic Smart Boards, bringing improved skills to teachers and enhancing the educational environments for improved learning, especially in STEM subjects, including Mathematics, Physics and Science.

Responding to a call from the Department of Education Namakwa District, Kangnas Wind Farm has funded this project, as part of its socio economic development programme, which also includes Wi-Fi installation. Six high schools in the Nama-Khoi area have already received the technology and the relevant teachers have been trained.

“In addition to installing this digital classroom technology, teachers have been supported with training on how to use these interactive whiteboards, to ensure maximum value, and in addition to the white boards, we will continue to provide Wi-Fi access at the six high schools that benefitted from this initiative,” said Cheryl Persensie, Economic Development Manager at Kangnas Wind Farm.

This classroom technology has been found to be particularly helpful for teaching high school STEM subjects as it is interactive and can project images by connecting to a computer. It allows the teachers to show subjects in a way that learners can more easily understand as the technology is more engaging. The boards are touch screens, so fingers can be used to move things around on it and they come with different coloured pens to write with on the board.

“This Smartboard is extremely helpful and brings our lessons right into the 21st century, and considering that these are the kids of the 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution) we cannot only rely on the old chalk-and-talk methods of teaching anymore. This whiteboard could not have arrived at a better time,” Marischa Stevens, Teacher at SA Van Wyk High School.

The benefits are numerous, including: Students that learn with their hands can touch the board and work out the problem themselves; Students do better when they are fully engaged, and hands-on learning is the best way to do it. Because it’s a touchscreen, multiple students can use the board at once. This means they can work together to solve the problem while building relationships with one another; and being connected to a computer, it allows teachers to use the internet to enhance their lessons. Which means the students have access to online resources.