If you take a casual stroll down the corridors of Brescia House girls' school you will see open laptops and interactive whiteboards in almost every classroom.
You are also likely to see pupils whose teachers are absent, working quietly in front of their computers.
This is not the picture of schooling that we are used to in
"If you came to our school three years ago, I would have had to have made a special effort to make sure that someone was using the computers on the day of your visit," says the school's information and communications technology (ICT) co-ordinator
Crighton explains that she explored a number of different hardware and software options to find something that would be easy for teachers to use without taking away teaching time. She sought a solution that would be appropriate for the age of the pupils while still familiarising them with the technology they will encounter in the workplace.
"The computer lab was a one-size-fits-all approach and we did not want a one-size-fits-all solution," she elaborates. "What we are striving to do is anywhere, anytime learning."
In the past, some teachers made use of
If invited, for example, parents can see what their children are up to on the platform, and a teacher can share the contents of a class discussion on the school blog.
Erica Makings, who teaches natural and life sciences at
She admits that at first it was intimidating to teach at a school with so much technology. Makings recalls her first day when she "walked into a class where every learner had a laptop. I didn't know how to turn on the interactive whiteboard. I lost documents".
Undeterred by her lack of advanced computer skills, Makings went on to implement the AlwaysOn-Learning Solution successfully.
To overcome this challenge, pupils can save documents in SkyDrive so that they can view them and make changes offline, synching their changes the next time they are online.
Crighton says pupils are creative about accessing free public connectivity and have been known to access the AlwaysOn-Learning portal and their SkyDrives from gyms and fast food restaurants that provide free internet access.
"In previous years if you left your books at school over a weekend and had a test on Monday, there was little that could be done," she says.
"Now learners have many ways to make a plan to get online and access their learning materials. Having access to notes and some textbooks in digital form not only reduces the weight of school bags but learners who want to look over their work at home or on holiday can access their learning materials without having their school bags with them. This truly makes for anywhere, anytime learning."
For more information on AlwaysOn-Learning Solution, visit www.dac.co.za.
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