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Is Online Education Reliable?

Education has been disrupted. The COVID pandemic has accelerated a transition that’s required South African schools to give serious consideration to online learning solutions.

Education has been disrupted. The COVID pandemic has accelerated a transition that’s required South African schools to give serious consideration to online learning solutions. Many schools and more specifically, many dedicated teachers, have poured their hearts into adapting to doing school through applications such as Zoom and Teams. These teachers need to be applauded because it is demanding and not easy! 2020 – 2021 learners in South Africa are indebted to these hard-working teachers. Despite this, we are unfortunately beginning to see that model is not sustainable. Teacher burn out, learner fatigue and sliding results are alarm bells that need to be heard.

The good news is that technology does provide an innovative way forward and real solutions to the strained education environment. Research reveals that the pivot to the online environment requires more of a transformation than simply using meeting facilitation software.  We must “leap frog” over the process of simply delivering content to learners, to land in a place where learning and significant progress can be achieved in a sophisticated online environment that leverages advanced learner management systems (LMS),  learning materials and a pedagogy that is based on research and proven to work in the digital environment. In addition, training and professional development is crucial to equip teachers to operate in a transformed environment.

The great news is an efficient online learning solution can be implemented in a school or homeschool environment. One of the key success factors is ensuring that the curriculum (per subject, per grade) is divided into pre-loaded modules of study that are presented in an age-appropriate and user-friendly way. This enables learners to easily navigate content and media-rich support materials. Importantly, regular online assessments of smaller units of content ensure that deep learning is taking place. Assessments must be developed specifically for the online environment and leverage the advantages of technology. In addition, face-to-face teaching time through scheduled lessons which could take place physically at school or at home, as well as individual, one-on-one interventions add to the enhanced education environment and ensures that no learner is left behind.

It must be noted that a modern learner management system (LMS) provides for efficient and automated administrative support. Automated marking of quizzes and assessments, pre-loaded lesson plans, digitised learning materials, collaborative project structures, daily progress reports, automated and individualised feedback, and flexibility to build supplementary work into courses when learners require it are some of the innovative functions that free teachers to focus on individuals and ensure that each child is receiving the attention that they need to master content and progress through the learning journey.  Artificial intelligence used to track progress and analyse data over time means that the individual learner’s trajectory and potential can be understood, learning gaps can be identified and personalised interventions can be developed which give each individual opportunity to excel.

Technology is opening transformative possibilities for a new way of achieving excellent and future- orientated education. COMPREHEND AFRICA is a complete solution built on a world-class learner management system (LMS) used by reputable organisations, including National Geographic. A South African, CAPS-aligned programme is available as well as an international programme. In addition, content is wholesome and values-based ensuring that positive character traits are nurtured alongside the learning process. Christian schools and families can choose a Bible-based programme that provides a Christian education option. Schools, teachers, learners and parents who have embarked on the journey are enjoying the positive experience and report that the transition is easier than anticipated and that with good support, new routines and disciplines are quickly formed.

Schools or parents seeking an innovative solution are encouraged to contact Comprehend Africa, for a live or online demonstration – 087 820 4858, comprehendafrica@aeegroup.co.za

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ADMINISTRATORS' SEMINAR 2024 REGISTRATIONS OPEN

30 JULY 2024 - 2 August 2024

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