E-Learning and Technology at Vera

Since 2015 the national Department of Education is focusing on E-learning in schools by giving teachers and learners access to electronic devices and related technology. There are various definitions as to what E-learning is. Vera School follows the following approach to E-leaning in the classroom:

  • E-learning is intended to assist in tackling some of the problems in education such as access to quality education in disadvantaged communities and providing support for learners with special needs.  E-learning also provides learners with the skills to participate in our increasingly technology-based future.

 

At Vera School the main electronic devices used for educational purposes are Desktop computers, laptops, interactive whiteboards and their hardware (Mimio, eBeam, SMARTBoard), projectors, and iPad tablets. They assist our teachers in generating effective and creative lessons that can be made specific to the needs of the learners in each classroom.

These electronic devices are used to engage learners with ASD more actively in the learning process. This is because they primarily:

  • Support our learners strong preference for visual learning

  • Provide access to interactive learning supports that are engaging and often provide feedback to reinforce concepts demonstrated in lessons

  • Improve attention and focus for longer periods of time than traditional teaching methods

  • Can be used to motivate learners to participate in group activities

Electronic technology lessens the need to rely on books and other printed materials which may not be appropriate for many of the learners at Vera School who require different support. Learners who are able to access more traditional teaching tools and follow a CAPS aligned curriculum for certain skills, will have access to suitable materials through e-learning portals provided by the National and Western Cape Education Departments.

 

Computers and Interactive Whiteboards

Every classroom at Vera School is equipped with an internet connected desktop computer, a projector and interactive whiteboard (either Mimio, SMARTBoard or e-Beam).

An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a large interactive display in the form of a whiteboard, which is linked to a projector and computer in the classroom that has been loaded with related software and typically accessed wirelessly using a stylus pen. IWBs are often used in a variety of settings, including classrooms across all levels of education.

There are various software programs which can be used without requiring constant access to the internet and which provide specific support to children with special education needs. Most notably we are using the following programs that have in part been purchased by and donated to the school:

  • Mimio Notebook

  • Communicate by Choice and Communicate in Print (symbol with text support programs)

  • Clicker 7 software

 

Many interactive learning programs available online can be accessed and used to support the teaching of certain concepts and skills.

The benefits of the interactive whiteboard hardware together with the related software programs include:

  • Social skills and other behaviour related skills such as waiting, turn-taking, joint attention

  • Improved group focus and participation

  • Supports learning program (IEDP) delivery

 

iPad’s

In recent years Vera school was privileged to receive a donation of iPad’s from iSchoolAfrica as part of their drive to promote education technology resources in schools. Their aim is to empower teachers and learners by giving them access to advanced educational technology as part of the e-learning policy which includes the use of iPad’s for educational purposes. As of mid 2018 our iPad lab has grown to 35 iPads.

The portability of iPad’s allows ease of access to learners in all classes without the need for a dedicated electronic classroom. They assist our learners’ ability to access their learning programs as they provide:

  • Ease of teaching to engage learners

  • Easy access to a wider variety of stimulating resources

  • Motivation for learners as it can be used as a reward

 

At Vera School we currently have access to a variety of apps that support a range of educational and early development concepts. Most notably we are using apps to:

  • Reinforce and teach mathematic concepts and when used effectively with a teacher also supports language.

  • Support communication and language

  • Create and use Social Stories

  • Teach basic emotions

  • Practise role play

  • Motivate and reward 

  • Promote sensory wellness

 

There is a range of literature available on the use of iPad’s both supporting and denying the efficacy of their use in the classroom. Based on some of the evidence that suggest iPad’s are effective tools for teaching and monitoring progress, Vera School’s iPad policy aims to outline how iPad’s should be used in order to ensure best practise in our classrooms.

At the end of 2018 Vera School partnered with Edit Microsystems to pilot an educational robot in the classroom which is programed by the teacher using and which also uses iPad’s.

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Contact Us

Tel: 021 696 2844

Email: info@vera.co.za

Address

20 Anglesey Road, Rondebosch East, Western Cape, 7700