The children of today are so immersed in technology that it makes complete sense to teach them digitally. However, are South African teachers fully equipped to teach students in way that makes sense to them?
At a national level, only 26% of teachers have the basic skills necessary to implement the correct digital teaching methods in the classroom. This is according to the department of education and is a little bit worrisome considering that digital learning is a national priority.
The prioritisation of digital learning in South Africa is long overdue. We need to equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and work-force to be ready for this digital world. However, this requires a teacher to be fully trained in how to implement and teach digitally.
For digital learning to become a reality, teachers need to integrate it into what they are already teaching. There is an uneven national distribution of teachers who can deliver this type of teaching. Most teachers that have the ability to teach this way are based in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Well trained teachers are crucial in truly implementing a digital learning system.
Part of the plan to use digital teaching in schools is to encourage students to use digital systems to produce homework and assignments as well as use digital platforms to research and learn.
The department has supplied 92% of schools with at least one computer and 49% of schools are reported to have access to the Internet. However, this doesn’t mean that e-learning is being fully implemented. The reality is that only a small amount of public schools can truly run e-learning platforms.
If teachers are trained effectively in using digital tools to educate students, the future looks bright.