Thursday, 7 February 2013

Excited about ZA Books

ZA Books
ZA Books launched yesterday.
It is the eTextbook solution for South African education!

South African school pupils are able to download all their textbooks on an iPad, with much less cost to them, and a lot of flexibility with regards manipulation of taking notes, highlighting and search within a textbook.

It is possible to put this into each child's hand, even in rural South Africa where there already are solutions to power these devices by solar.

Taryn Hyam at iStore, Sandton

Taryn Hyam announced the launch of the ZA Books website, as well as how much inroads Apple has made already with regards education in South Africa. 
80 000 educational apps are available through the iTunes store. App guides were release last year to help parents and students with choosing the right apps. It is divided into the various grades, for primary and secondary school. 

180 schools in South Africa have already implemented iPads, of which 120 are private and government schools. 60 of these schools are iSchoolAfrica sponsored. There are a variety options available of how to implement the iPads: 1 to 1 programmes or mobile labs.

A nice video presentation of the schools that are already using iPads are available on the ZA Books home page: 

I love how teachers are responding: The children "brighten up!" (Ndlelenhle Primary School) or that "Nobody wants to miss an iPad class." It is "engaged learning!"

The observations that are forthcoming from the use of iPads: engagement, motivation, discipline, differentiation, reward and re-mediation are significantly higher!

It "allows the teachers to feel like rock stars!"

The global trends are the same, where the digital solution has become a simple choice!

The results are:
Increased interest in reading;
Cost saving;
Homework completion up;
Accessibly for special needs;
Personalised learning;
No more heavy backpacks!

Linda de Klerk
ZA Books
Linda de Klerk gave more clarification on ZA Books and how it is being implemented. 

ZA Books includes CAPS aligned titles, as well as normal reading titles. Teacher's manuals, handbooks and workbooks are available. 
It is already available in 6 languages, and 33 subjects are launched, with 600 titles available. More are being made available on a daily basis!
I checked: There are quite a number of Afrikaans books available already!

Schools can start registering at ZA Books to get a volume licence, and purchasing are done on the website. Individuals can also register.

The ZA Books app is available to download for free.

There is going to be two phases of implementation: Phase 1: school licensing; and Phase 2: individual purchasing.

The pricing is a minimum of 25% cheaper than the physical printed title!

ISchoolAfrica addresses schools in more rural environments by way of corporate sponsorships.
There are tailored solutions for each school.

I also enquired about how I can get my child's schools to adopt this type of learning. 
I was introduced  to Michelle Lissoos of Think Ahead Education Solutions. They help with talking to the principals, the selection of the right solutions for the school, the training of the teachers and implementation.

They have implemented these programmes into Afrikaans schools as well!

I am so excited about this! I will be the parent this year who will go and pester talk to the principals of my child's pre-primary and primary schools. If not this year, then the following year!

I will keep you updated, and on how easy this process is!

Do your children use iPads at school, and what are your thoughts about it?

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1 comment:

  1. My unborn children who does not even exist yet thinks that's a great idea.


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