iPad's to overcome Final Exam Failures
August 2013 the opportuntiy arose for World Vision Switzerland to collaborate in an excting new eLearning venture with Urs Gröhbiel und Christoph Pimmer from the University of Applied Science Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). We received an invitation by World Vision Zimbabwe to support the Mpumelelo highschool enrolling over 600 pupils with modern elearning tools. Roland Diethelm had assigned 20 iPads and an Apple Time Capsule to the highschool project in Nkayi, Northern Matabelelland. Our goal was to overcome the learning deficiencies of this remote school in Zimbabwe. The failure rate at A-Level exams were beyond 95% reflecting the lack of appropriate teaching methodology and resources. As exams were issued in English the frist stumbling block was proper understanding of the english text. We concentrated on a collection of digital tools to enhance English language skills, teaching skills, Math and Science subjects. In the course of 5 years into the program a noticable difference of over 25% pass rate was a positive start of the program.
Throughout the project regualr student exchange with a teachers seminary in Lucerne, (PH Lucerne) enhanced the situation on the ground step by step. The countries infrastructure further deteriorated over time so that power supply has become very unreliable and internet connectivity a rare occasion. The school was funded with a satellite dish and wiLearn did organise a mobile generator to warrant a smooth running during workhshops and teacher training sessions. A solar system for ICT in school is in the planning stages.
The highschool today supervises over 200 Android tablets, 2 Rachel servers in a wireless learning lab including mobile classroom projectors and a solar power backup unit.
Teacher have regular meetings to discuss blended learning processes and developing the server based library aligning it to the curriculum.
- 3 Satelite schools The Mpumleelo teacher group is now coordinating regualr training sessions for 3 satelite secondary schools in the district of Nkayi. So the moLLi system is promted and used in different schools and serves as a trial to see how the mobile offline learning lab can be scaled up.
- Master Thesis: Hannah Walker - Teacher prefessional development in Rural Zimbabwe. Supervisor was Sarah Hennessey from OER4Schools, Hughes Hall College. More here ...
- Vongai the Superhost living in Mpumelelo for 2 weeks is simple and always an adventure. Vongai is a fantastic host and makes life really confomrtable despite the few amenities ... hot water from the 3 stone fireplace every morning - what a treat.