Happy New Year from the Edit Microsystems team! As we move into the new year we see technology in South African education being used more and more. We have put together the top education and technology trends for the coming year and in no particular order they are:
The use of simulation technology will have a big impact on education in 2016. Using simulation technology in the classroom and in skills development workshops will give learners the unlimited ability to practice their trade or skill in a safe virtual environment, while saving time and costs in the classroom.
Collaboration through the use of e-learning portals where educators can share lessons and content with other educators all over the country promises to be a big trend in 2016. These e-learning portals will also become a place where learners can access support and learning materials.
Skills development continues to be a major priority in the fight against unemployment. A new system of basic education is planned for 2017, that will increase the emphasis on technical subjects, while 15 new technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges will be established this year. The urgent need for affordable skills development is likely to increase the demand for simulation technology as training providers seek to lower operating costs and increase training effectiveness.
At the end of 2015 a Ministerial Round-Table was held in Gauteng to discuss the challenges and future of inclusion in education. 2016 will bring more action and understanding towards inclusion because every person of every ability should be able to access assistive technology to enable them to reach their maximum potential.
Reading, writing, listening and speaking are the four skills that we teach to develop literacy. However, in the 21st century we need to develop an additional literacy- digital literacy. To set our learners up for success we need them to be able to understand and function in the digital age. Developing digital literacy in the classroom, for both teachers and learners will be a priority for schools across the country.
SACE (South African Council of Educators) has gradually been introducing a system of educators needing to accumulate professional development points and this system is set to expand this year. 2016 will see an interesting conversation develop about how we conduct professional development for educators.
High speed internet in the classroom
2016 promises to be a big year for high speed internet in the classroom. Several provinces, including the Western Cape and Gauteng, are ensuring that learners and schools have high speed internet at their disposal. Having this tool at educators and learners disposal will be invaluable, giving teachers access to free and paid educational resources and collaboration tools.
Technology enhanced South African sign language
South African sign language has, in the last few years, been incorporated into the curriculum as a home language. 2016 will see educators who teach using sign language making more use of technology in their classrooms from interactive whiteboards, to videos and literacy software.
Coding and robotics
A trend that has been around for a couple of years. Teaching learners to code is becoming more important as part of the digital literacy they will require in the 21st century. Additionally, the use of robots in education is becoming more widespread. Several countries are now using robots in the classroom as both educators and teaching assistants.
Read more about what teachers and thought leaders are saying about the top education and technology trends in 2016 :