PORT ELIZABETH – Innovative new technology is being harnessed to teach Mathematics and Science at high schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Isuzu Motors South Africa has partnered with Nelson Mandela University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) to provide innovative new teaching tools to three Port Elizabeth schools.
Isuzu’s Corporate Communications Manager Gishma Johnson said the latest GMMDC’s programme enables Maths and Science teachers to teach, revise and tutor learners through a new mobile teaching device, called Gamma Tutor, and curriculum-aligned TouchTutor® software that do not require any internet connection in class.
“Integrating technology into teaching is the way learning will take place in future. Maths and Science are critical subjects for graduates who seek employment in the automotive industry, and we are therefore proud to be associated with this pilot project of the GMMDC,’ said Johnson.
The three beneficiary schools, Paterson High School in Schauderville, Newell High School in New Brighton and Cilie High School in Sidwell. GMMDC Director Prof Werner Olivier said the teachers in the pilot schools have been exposed to the GMMDC Maths and Science support programmes in the past, which will provide for an expected seamless integration of the new technology.
“The programme will be used by the teachers to deliver and support the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Maths Grades 8-12 and Physical Sciences Grades 10-12. TouchTutor® also serves as a Maths and Science after-hours support platform, and a secondary free application on mobile devices will also be made available to the learners of the pilot schools,” said Olivier.
In addition to teacher training and support, each school will receive 10 Gamma Tutor devices – each with a wireless mouse, two data projectors, Maths content, PowerPoint lessons and learner guides to support the use of the TouchTutor® digital package.
TouchTutor® is part of a unique offline techno-blended teaching and learning model for Maths and Sciences education that have been developed under the leadership of Prof Olivier since 2010.
“The GMMDC developed the TouchTutor® application and related support models for teachers and learners over many years, first on DVDs and then in-house to android platforms. The technology is unique in a number of ways, but brings offline, structured and interactive learning through the techno-blended model,” said Olivier.
While all this learning takes place in the classroom, content video lessons and other simulations have been designed for after-hours learner practice, revision and support. A second free TouchTutor® Quiz application will be used via learners’ mobile phones for Maths curriculum support and mathematics competitions amongst learners in the three project schools.
In addition to supporting the TouchTutor® programme, Isuzu Motors South Africa previously donated 20 computers and 50 monitors for use in the GMMDC’s Mathematics and Physical Science engagement projects.
It is the mission of the GMMDC to develop and implement innovative techno-blended models to improve the quality of teaching and learning of Mathematics and Physical Sciences in secondary schools and at TVET Colleges.
Prof Werner Olivier, left, illustrates some of the content contained in the TouchTutor® package. With him are from left, Mr Zamuxolo Mapakati, principal at Newell High School, Mrs Rode de Doncker, Mathematics teacher at Paterson High School and Mr Newton Kennedy, principal at Cillie High School.