Rationale and Purpose
The introduction of technology into classrooms around the world has not been without controversy as educators, principals and education specialists debate concerns around pedagogies and appropriate devices. In a context like South Africa where infrastructure and technological support is not widely available to all, questions around access, affordability, adequate school-based support and teacher development pose very real challenges to the dream of having all learners connected to worldwide web.
The national ICTs in Education Community of Practice brings together technology solution companies, service providers, school leaders, educators and innovators working in the country to provide usable and sustainable technologies that aid and support teaching and learning. In the Western Cape Community of Practice, various organizations working in school- based contexts meet to allow for better understanding of each other’s programmes, share working practice and experiences, and map out ways to see where resources and efforts can best be co-ordinated for a deeper impact on the system.
Seeking to gain better understandings of each other’s work and the challenges common to all, this community is dedicated to creating and streamlining strategies and approaches that are real, sustainable and appropriate for a range of school contexts. In this way direct and measurable impacts on learning and teaching in the classroom can be ensured.
Partners in this community include Edunova, Mxit Reach, Rethink education and a host of other industry leaders. Provided with the platform to share and talk openly about what they do and how they are doing it, the trust amongst what used to be competing interventions has now seen multiple coordinators and collaboration stories rising up. With the introduction of EduCollaborate, an online NGO collaboration portal that BRIDGE developed in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department, many similar organisations working in the same areas and schools can now find each other. This online platform poses exciting opportunities for many working in ICTs and schools.
Link to the BRIDGE Knowledge Hub for meeting highlights, presentations, tools and documented working practice from this Community.
The Western Cape ICTs in Education Community of Practice was established in 2012. The Community of Practice often offers a space for various companies, organisations and products to be showcased so members can not only grow their knowledge about what strategies and tools are out there, but also interrogate the impacts different interventions.
If you are interested in joining the Community in the Western Cape and collaborating on ICTs in education, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The BRIDGE ICT session went well this year, and I feel it's taken a positive turn with more focus on education, and technology being used as a tool for educational strategies.