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What is a game changer?

A game changer is an event, idea or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current way of doing or thinking about something (Oxford Dictionary).

The Western Cape Government (WCG) has identified seven interventions, or game changers, that are most likely to improve opportunities and address some of the greatest challenges facing the citizens of the Western Cape. They are:

  • Skills development
  • Energy security
  • High-speed broadband
  • eLearning
  • After-school activities
  • Better living models
  • Alcohol harm reduction

Why eLearning?

eLearning has tremendous potential for enhancing teaching and learning. The digital revolution is already affecting every aspect of life, including education.

The WCG and the WCED are committed to working with schools and partners of all kinds to realise this potential.

Digital technology has improved access to quality learning materials as well as resources for ongoing teacher development.

Digital technology has the potential of improving every aspect of schooling, from teaching and learning to assessment, school management and parent support.

A key benefit of eLearning will be reducing the gap between poor and well-resourced schools, by improving access to the best education resources and support.

What’s the plan?

Our overall objective is to enhance teaching and learning using digital technology, focusing in particular on mathematics and languages.

The WCG is providing high-speed broadband connectivity to almost every school in the province via a wide area network (WAN), and alternative connectivity to schools that cannot connect to the fibre-optic grid.

The WCED is providing local area networks (LANS) in schools, and wifi connectivity for almost every site.

The department is providing technology progressively in schools, from equipping smart classrooms to refreshing computer laboratories, providing devices, teacher training and support.

The WCED is providing access to digital teaching and learning materials via an ePortal and will work with schools and content developers to populate the portal progressively with CAPS-aligned, digital resources.

The WCED is working with schools and partners to lay foundation for eLearning in the province over the three-year period, 2016 to 2019.

How can schools contribute and participate?

The WCED is aware that some schools are already providing leadership in eLearning, while others have the potential of doing so. All schools will benefit from the programme.

For these reasons, the department has identified three types of schools for support, with varying roles and responsibilities. They are:

Universal schools: Teachers and learners will have access to digital resources via the WAN, computer laboratories and wi-fi access points.

Enhanced schools: These schools will have more resources to introduce, develop and experiment with eLearning concepts

Model schools: These schools will provide leadership by demonstrating best practice in diverse contexts. They will help the department to build a culture of eLearning in all schools.

How is the WCED driving the plan?

The WCED has established six streams to drive the eLearning initiative across the province. They are:

eCulture, to encourage and support the adoption of eLearning as part of everyday teaching and learning practice

eInfrastructure, to ensure that schools have the connectivity needed for eLearning

eTechnology, to ensure that schools have the technology needed in classrooms for eLearning

eTeachers, to ensure that teachers have the training and support needed for eLearning

eContent, to ensure access to digital resources needed to enhance teaching and learning, and to encourage the development of these resources

eAdministration, to facilitate school administration using digital technology