Apr 13, 2012
Digital media being deployed as a learning toolBack
Gauteng|Africa|Apple|ISchool Africa|Peermont|PROJECT|Africa|Equipment|Learning Tool|Leisure|Multimedia Tools|Online Channels|Laurice Taitz|Lerato Lehoko|Sarah Benjamin|Think Ahead|The 2010 FIFA World Cup
© Reuse this
The iSchoolAfrica initiative offers learners an opportunity to provide television content. At the start, it partnered with M-Net’s Magic is Channel and now Mzansi Magic is to broadcast this content. Since 2010, several other broadcast and online channels have also been distributing the content.
The project uses Apple Mac computer equipment and software and was started by Think Ahead, a specialist in integrating technology into the classroom. “It is about giving young South Africans a voice about issues that affect them and also equipping young people with a wide range of skills,” says iSchool Africa editorial manager Laurice Taitz.
The project is about exposing learners to using digital equipment, such as the Macbook, tripods, cameras and microphones, to form a youth press club at their schools to develop the skills to operate the equipment.
“The target learners for the press club range from grade 8 to grade 11, because the matric year is a busy year for learners but, recently, we started working with two primary schools. The training not only includes the focus on technical skills, such as camera work and editing, but also enables editorial and personal skills such as presentation, interviewing and structuring narratives.
“Through the press club, learners also get the opportunity to use the equipment to record events at their schools, as well as cover news events and create topical content on themes, such as human rights,” she says.
iSchool Africa partners include the Department of Rural Development, which sponsors equipment for schools located in rural areas; Vega School of Branding, which initially provided the training; and leisure group Peermont, which currently sponsors seven high schools – one in Germiston and six other Gauteng-based schools.
Peermont School Support Programme coordinator Sarah Benjamin says that Peermont, as funder of the programme, has a five-year plan to create centres of excellence in previously disadvantaged schools, focusing on leadership and management, academic interventions and extracurricula activities.
“This is our third year in this R40-million project and, for us, it is not about financial gain but about long-term social investment and providing learners with the opportunities to better themselves to be knowledgeable citizens in future. Further, we have installed 40-seater computer laboratories in each of the schools that we sponsor,” says Benjamin.
“Our focus with the initiative is to create a platform for skills development at school-going age in fields such as communication, editorial production, editing, research and interviewing skills. Our model for the project is school-based and, each quarter, we facilitate workshops that expose learners to different aspects of media production and to media personalities, while providing ongoing training and facilitation for the press club,” says Taitz.
Another aim is to expose the learners to the vast career opportunities in the media sector and, by experiencing first-hand how the industry operates, they will be able to make informed decisions after matric. Last year, the programme arranged for learners to do job shadowing at an advertising agency, a radio station and a magazine editorial office. To date, just over two years into the project, many of the learners who are part of the project are looking forward to furthering their studies to obtain qualifications related to the media industry, she adds.
Every year, new members join the team and this also creates a platform for skills transfer and knowledge sharing. iSchoolAfrica also hosts quarterly workshops to expose the youth to motivational talks by professional media personalities already successful in the industry.
“We have monthly themes for teams depending on what is happening nationally during that month – for example, in March, the theme for the schools video clips was Human Rights Day,” she adds.
To promote the level of competitiveness, there are yearly awards for best presenter and best videos, besides other categories.
To date, significant successes include the growth in confidence levels of learners as a result of the opportunity to cover significant national and community events.
Germiston High School grade 11 learner Luyavuma Bulunga says her confidence levels have grown since she joined the press team, while her classmate, Lerato Lehoko, says he is definitely pursuing a career in the media industry after matric.
There are sponsorship opportunities for corporates that want to sponsor a school. The sponsorship is valid for one year and, for an investment of around R117 000, the beneficiary school receives filming equipment, training facilitation and the opportunity to participate in the quarterly workshop.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Intellectual Property Law News
Pharmaceutical companies typically invest substantial amounts of money into research and development. Their research, however, is not only aimed at discovering new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Instead, some companies make small modifications to existing...
A controversial patent process known as ‘ever-greening’ is being carried out by many pharmaceutical brands, and is preventing medications from being made available as generics, affecting many South Africans who are struggling to keep up with the cost of medication....
It has been over six years since the government began developing the draft policy on intellectual property (IP) that has been the focus of major public controversy following the PharmaGate scandal, which involved a leaked pharmaceutical industry email by Knowledge...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...