DUT SET TO TRANSFORM LEARNING TO A NEW LEVEL
By: Tony Manyangadze
The Department of International Education and Partnerships Directory at the Durban University of Technology is currently hosting a Learning Innovation Seminar that started on the 8th up until the 11th of November.
This four day seminar sees lecturers, educators and students convening to discuss challenges they face, how they have found ways around some of the challenges and also to formulate ways to overcome some of the challenges they face.
“What we are hoping to achieve is to bring together educators, professionals and students in an environment where they can be inspired more by what they do not know, that will lead to them knowing new ways to deliver their mandates,” said Theophilus van Rensburg Lindzter, founder of M-ubuntu.
“We want to change the way that teachers teach, that they could come here and tell us about what they are doing, explaining to us about what it is that really keeps them awake, what they want to do and what are the things that they don’t know that they wish they knew,” he added.
Most of the challenges educators and learners are currently facing have been reduced in a big way as far as this seminar is concerned. An organisation called Sonlig founded by three Masters graduates, during the seminar, revealed a device that they are currently further developing and putting into use in their respective countries.
Ben Tomlison, Sonlig Co-Founder noted that it is very expensive in most countries in the world for people to surf the internet for information and as such that their information needs are not met. But the Raspberry Pie is designed to solve this problem. It is an online library containing information stored in a memory card by an educator that students can access freely from their phones using Wi-fi.
“The ability for a device like that to store information and distribute it much like the internet is supposed to do is very powerful now that we have a platform for information to be distributed without having to be connected to the rest of the world.”
“Students can now take control of their own learning. They don’t have to rely on an instructor or a lecturer or any physical presence which is a good thing for them because of their curiosity, they can be able to investigate their curiousness on their own taking their learning to the next level,” added Tomlison.
The Principal of Ramula Primary School, Ian Khumalo was one of the many delegates in attendance who was amazed by the invention of the Raspberry Pie. He is very keen on seeing such initiative even being implemented as early as primary level.
“I am fascinated by the project, in seeing all of the things that can be done, especially for the poverty stricken communities; the schools that don’t have enough facilities and internet access, to have such devices,”said Khumalo.
Also speaking at the seminar, Director of International Education and Partnerships, Dr Lavern Samuels, encouraged the attendees that it’s high time more solutions are put on the table to curb problems that confine a smooth flow of knowledge from the educators to the learners.
“We should be thinking about solving the problems and source solutions,” said Dr Samuels.