Focus Computers Based Learning

Computer Based Learning

This programme provides access to computer-assisted learning in rural schools of disadvantaged communities.

Currently there are 5 computer labs of 40 computers per lab placed in 2 High Schools and 2 Primary Schools providing access to 2000 learners using the labs on an average of 3 periods a week.

The programme was launched in January 2015, by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms GNM Pandor

Mobile Computer Lab

The computer units are ruggedized, low energy consuming, theft-resistant units. They consist of ultra-small form factor PCs that consume little energy and generate little heath. Thus they don’t need fans – the part that often breaks down in computers, especially in dusty rural areas. They have a 500 GB hard drive, three USB ports, and a jack for headphones, that can be connected directly or via wireless to a local area network, and can run on Windows or Ubuntu.

Diagram of Mpilonhle Mobile Computer Labs

The computer units have low-energy consumption LED screens, a keyboard, mouse, and headphones necessary for individualized learning.

Covid 19 Adjustment Plans

 Mpilonhle is planning to adjust the computer labs with screens as per picture below to allow social distancing during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Curriculum

The curriculum is provided through an off-line server on which programmes can be uploaded. The core of the curriculum used for this project is the educational freeware of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) uploaded on the server through an interface called Kolibri.

Currently during the Covid-19 pandemic, the computers are used for learners to catch up with academic materials provided by the Department of Education

Coaches

 The computer labs are run by two coaches that facilitate lab usage and maintenance. They are local graduates from the target schools and gain important skills in the use of computers and facilitating the computer programme. These are important skills that they will be able to use in their careers as they move forward.

Mobile Computer Classrooms

Most schools lack adequate space for hosting computer labs. Construction of permanent classrooms requires a long approval process from DBE and the Department of Public Works. Temporary classrooms made from containers can be just as functional and can be built more quickly and at lower cost. They can be moved to other schools if required.
The classroom has the option for solar paneling power and an air circulation system and insulation designed to keep it cool. They are assembled on site.

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