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Telematic Schools Project

Project Overview

Telematics is the blending of information and telecommunications technologies to convey information over large networks. Learners, irrespective of their locality, are able to interact with teachers in fully interactive virtual learning spaces.

The Telematic Schools Project is a joint initiative between the Western Cape Education Department and Stellenbosch University to implement education through technology. The project provides lessons via satellite and live-streaming to Grade 10 - 12 learners. The main idea behind the project is aimed at providing learners with the best quality teaching which speaks to the vision of the WCED: quality teaching to every learner in every classroom in every school.  The broadcasts do not replace teaching which happens daily in all classrooms; it supports everyday teaching by revising and consolidating what teachers have already taught. It therefore by no means replaces teachers.

When did this program start?
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) entered into a partnership with the University of Stellenbosch in 2009 to help learners in disadvantaged communities to use the Telematics infrastructure at the university.  The goal of the project is not to replace teachers, but to provide additional support in explaining difficult concepts in 15 key subjects.  It has since expanded to include all learners in the Western Cape and across South Africa, who have access to the Internet.
How does it work?
Lessons are designed and prepared for broadcast and streaming during the week between 15:00 and 17:00. Selected teachers broadcast lessons to selected schools via satellite and stream lessons using web-based technologies to all schools nationwide. During the broadcasts, there is live interaction between the teachers and learners via a web interface and mobile technology. Additional support is also given in the form of subject workbooks and memorandums. The Telematic Schools website is a one-stop-shop for all resources, live streams, and the library of past broadcasts.
Who provides the lessons?
Experienced teachers, subject advisors and senior curriculum specialists present their lessons, planned by WCED Senior Curriculum planners. The presenters teach from the studio on the Stellenbosch University campus and it is broadcasted from there, via satellite and Internet broadband. Teachers are welcome to contact the Senior Curriculum Planners should they want to offer their services as presenters.
How do learners and schools participate in the project?
Learners participate in their telematic classes or by streaming by posing questions in real-time by WhatsApp, email, Facebook messenger and communication apps. Presenters pose questions and receive immediate responses from learners. Learners and teachers also have access to all the past broadcasts, with the video clips available on the Telematic Schools Website.
Where do learners get learning materials?
All the learning materials, such as workbooks, Memos and PowerPoint Presentations, are available on the Telematic Schools Website.  Learners can download resources for the lessons from the zero-rated website. Learners can register by completing the registration form on the website.
What subjects and grades are covered by this programme?
The Telematic Schools Project covers English (HL and FAL), Afrikaans (HT), Accounting, Economics, Business Studies, Geography, History, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Sciences, Technical Math and Technical Science. Content is available for Grade 10 to 12 with the focus being on supporting grade 12 learners.
When are lessons broadcasted?
Live lessons are broadcasted between 15:00 – 17:00 on weekdays. Additional lessons are broadcast on the website schools.sun.ac.za and Facebook. The termly broadcast schedule can be found on the Telematic Schools website as well as the WCED ePortal.
Where can I get hold of recordings?

Recordings can be downloaded from the Telematic Schools website, or ordered on DVDs from EduMedia.

How do schools connect?

Schools can connect by installing the equipment at their schools or by watching lessons via the internet. Learners can also watch directly on the website or on Facebook.

Installed satellite equipment works well for very rural schools or schools without a stable broadband internet connection.  Some schools with installed equipment, also steam the lessons, as it allows the school to use multiple classrooms to accommodate a large number of learners attending.

With the streaming options, learners can either attend the broadcast at school or from their homes.  They can watch the broadcasts from anywhere they can connect to the internet.

Where do schools get their login details?

Learners and teachers can apply for their own login individual login information by completing this online form. Schools are welcome to email the Telematics team for support and login assistance.

Who do schools contact when equipment is not working?
When experiencing technical difficulties please contact the Telematic Schools help desk. Call: (021) 808 9507 or 4129 or send an email to [email protected] or access the Telematic User Guide.

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