KN UpSkilling for iPads by Deborah Schamrel Principal School of Merit, High School, Edenvale, South Africa

Five years ago the School of Merit High School introduced iPads as a compulsory tool for all learners; with the help of Knowledge Network and a compulsory hour per week added to the timetable.
While the students took to this new tool like the proverbial duck to water, teacher’s reservations seemed to grow, especially because the skills gap between the learner and that of the teacher was incrementally widening. Teachers were happy enough to use iPads for textbooks but the confidence of ‘knowing’ the apps well enough to use in the classroom was lacking.
Knowledge Network suggested upskilling in order to diminish this skills gap.
It was, for many teachers, daunting and a ‘hectic’ learning curve, yet, an exciting dynamic has been added to the ethos of learning and adapting to millennial demands: Communication with parents has improved across the school as teachers communicate concerns with parents immediately; Teachers have the confidence to try new things, albeit simply a youtube video or exploring Livecams or a subject-specific App; spending hours teaching and checking referencing has largely been eliminated.
More importantly, the creativity button is on, with fantastic ideas being actioned in the classroom.
This, would not have been achieved without the confidence being instilled by the upskilling courses.
Familiarity has made all the difference. However, the most valuable aspect is the realisation that we have to do things differently in our changing world and now the teachers are willing to give it a go- no small thanks to Knowledge Network.

Deborah Schamrel
School of Merit, High School, Edenvale, South Africa

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