2015 matrics, please give our tablets back: Education MEC

reactor_sa

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Feb 6, 2009
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Hahahaha, and they didn't see this coming?
I'm just surprised they had any left long before.
 

Bern

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This illustrates the gap between politicians and people on the ground with more common sense. Tablets were and for a long time will be a serious problem as they have a lot of value for resale and for non school related stuff, have short battery life, are easily damaged and are more vulnerable as targets for malicious code.

Really they should have been looking at eReaders, sure you don't the fancy video side of things, but the resale market will be limited on a ereader that only allows educational material on it. It also ensures students don't have issues with having to charge the thing all the time (a simple solar panel on the back would easily allow them not to require cables ever) and access to all the required and additional school material.
 

Emjay

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Jun 18, 2005
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Will have to disagree with this statement, the issue lies in implementation and management, not worth.

I am involved in many e-learning initiatives in SA, and let me say, equal education is paramount. E-learning is exceptionally strong in the world and is the future. Hell, you probably typing your responses here on a tablet or smartphone. Having knowledge in these devices for your future is indeed a need, not a luxury.

Anyway, my 2cents
Giving students access to these devices is premature. I have been involved in many educational projects and specialise in technology infrastructure and roll-out. There are a number of issues around eLearning:

  • Connectivity costs to these devices - do you have any idea how much Wifi connectivity costs to implement at a school? The capital layout is beyond affordable, even for former model C schools. Now, throw in some SMARTboards/similar type technology, and the costs are beyond astronomical.
  • Security of the devices and personal security of the students.
  • Educator training - teachers are extremely resistant to tablets. The minority embrace technology, but that is only after extensive training and coaching. Teachers need to change their teaching methods. They need to implement massive change in a classroom environment to ensure maximum benefit. This kind of training is intensive and expensive.
  • Content - The GDE want some very fancy stuff. They want teachers to have constant communication with parents, want collaboration between schools, elimination of text books, submission of homework electronically, etc. All technologically doable things. Building a scalable solution to house and manage the curriculum content is expensive, and very few providers understand the technical requirements behind it. Not even the GDE have a proper grasp on their requirements. Top that off, the costs of an ebook are almost the same as a printed book.

I have done the maths, and it is scary. If you think that Gauteng Online was a lot of money, this type of expenditure is a fraction of what was spent. The scariest fact: of all the money spent on Gauteng Online, barely any of it is working today. It is impossible to understand what benefit it had.

Before we implement very complex and costly solutions, we should focus on getting basics done right first: text books, classroom furniture, school infrastructure, teacher performance and accountability.

This illustrates the gap between politicians and people on the ground with more common sense. Tablets were and for a long time will be a serious problem as they have a lot of value for resale and for non school related stuff, have short battery life, are easily damaged and are more vulnerable as targets for malicious code.

Really they should have been looking at eReaders, sure you don't the fancy video side of things, but the resale market will be limited on a ereader that only allows educational material on it. It also ensures students don't have issues with having to charge the thing all the time (a simple solar panel on the back would easily allow them not to require cables ever) and access to all the required and additional school material.
eReaders =/= eLearning. eLearning is interactive and content rich. Think edX type content.
 
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Mila

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Nov 11, 2008
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Whahahaha!!

They are so funny. They couldn't get kids to give back books What makes them think they will get tablets back!! whahahahaha!!
 

LazyLion

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Well, obviously the tablets didn't improve the pass rate at all, so perhaps they are not needed for future generations.
 

Kgabogk

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Aug 12, 2008
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Let's see if the appeal works, maybe it can be used to also recover thousands of textbooks that learners never returned,
 

Thor

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I would like to know the names of these schools... The broken tablet ones....
 

roLLz

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Apr 14, 2011
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Ag who wants last year's Tablet in any case, buy them cheap and in bulk hand them out like candy.
Better yet assemble them in SA, enterprise development project for government.
Sold at cost to government, added markup in stores for the rest of us to sustain the business.
Lekke tax revenue as well for government expand to phones, small laptops and 2in1's
Create employment etc etc.

Oh wait sorry this is South Africa not China, won't work the tablets will never be delivered, the tender will line pockets and if anything is produced it will cost 10x more than to just import the tablet. Oh don't forget all workers will be on strike for half the year.
+1
 

Bern

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@ MaryJane

I agree eReaders are not full eLearning, but the trick is to make realistic targets. An eReader makes sure every student as all possible textbook type learning material and can include audio which is a great way to help students across different language groups. eReaders can also use widespread cellular networks (EDGE access) economically to distribute content - assignments etc can be sent this way if everything is set up for it.
 

garp

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Aug 2, 2004
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They are mistaken in taking the view that they are re-usable assets that can be "handed down". They should rather have planned to give high school students their own tablet permanently (due to the rate of obsolescence and their finite life), and it could be an aid to them in their job hunt after leaving school. If they seriously regarded tablets for students as once off purchases of permanent assets that they could perpetually re-use they made a serious planning mistake.
 
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