Vodacom and the Eastern Cape Department of Education in South Africa, have launched ‘Virtual Teacher’, a platform that allows teachers to deliver lessons to multiple remote classes. The move follows Vodacom’s Programme for Mobile Devices introduced in the province earlier this year to promote the use of digital technology in Eastern Cape schools.
Virtual Teacher enables teachers or lecturers to deliver lessons through a range of smart devices, learners can join classes from anywhere and at any time. For the first time in South Africa, the technology can be accessed from any personal device.
The platform is supported by portable hardware which delivers high-quality visuals and sound. It can also accommodate unlimited viewer numbers. The technology enables live interaction with the remote audience through a texting Q & A facility for written responses during the lesson.
Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer at Vodacom Business, says: “Vodacom is working with the Eastern Cape Department of Education to address some of the challenges facing our education system, particularly in rural and underperforming schools. This is all about bringing innovative technology to those who need it most in order to improve learning outcomes for all education segments in our country. The future of the South African education system is digital and we must embrace the opportunities this offers to leapfrog infrastructural backlogs and legacy issues in our schools.”
The Virtual Teacher platform to provide extra classes to students at selected districts to help increase the Matric pass rate in the province. Lessons will be delivered remotely by some of the country’s best teachers, with an emphasis on Mathematics, Science and Accounting. Students from various locations will be transported to teaching sites in the Eastern Cape.
The Virtual Teacher platform encompasses a camera, microphone and streaming unit which can be streamed from any device. Lessons can be pre-recorded if needed and recorded content can also be downloaded to any device. The platform is easy to use and can be linked to a school website.