Flying Cows of Jozi in the news: ITWeb

On 23 March 2022 Flying Cows of Jozi and our work to up teachers’ digital skills were featured in ITWeb. Click here to read the original article senior ITWeb journalist Sibahle Malinga we also republish it below.

Flying Cows of Jozi ups teachers’ digital skills

Flying Cows of Jozi, a digital skills training organisation for educators, has collaborated with e-learning firm Siyavula to provide digital skills training for Gauteng mathematics and science teachers, who are new to the online Siyavula platform.

Siyavula is an online maths and physical sciences practice service for high school learners.

Founded by edtech veteran Josine Overdevest in 2017, Flying Cows of Jozi has coached and trained hundreds of educators to integrate new digital skills successfully and sustainably in their daily classroom practice. This is done through a combination of interactive webinars and/or school visits, one-on-one coaching sessions and via WhatsApp peer learning groups.

The self-proclaimed “21st century educator coaching” initiative employs recently graduated teachers who specialise in ICT in education, in addition to their various other majors that include the STEM subjects, English, isiZulu and business studies.

The Siyavula Foundation, in partnership with Unicef and the MTN Foundation, provides Grade Eight to 12 mathematics and Grade 10 to 12 physical sciences pupils in SA with free access to Siyavula’s adaptive maths and science practice software, online textbooks and exam preparation content online.

Flying Cows of Jozi has been an activation partner to Siyavula for over three years, focusing on upskilling educators in rural and underprivileged schools.

Overdevest told ITWeb that in its latest venture, Flying Cows of Jozi will from April help train Gauteng teachers from various schools around the province to use the Siyavula platform through daily webinars and school training sessions.

“Less than 40% of South Africa’s over 25 000 public schools have a functional computer centre. Broadband access isn’t available in large parts of the country, data costs are high and the majority of teachers are not skilled or confident enough to actively use digital tools in the classroom. This means millions of learners don’t learn the critical 21st century STEM and digital skills they need for a meaningful future,” explains Overdevest.

“The services that we offer are aimed at activating the investments that schools make in digital technologies and e-learning solutions, to ensure they get a return on their investments. Siyavula is one of several platforms we work with to help schools and educational institutions gain value from the technologies they have deployed, ensuring the e-learning tools are centred on a pedagogical teaching approach.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, South African pupils have become accustomed to the online learning space, as more edtech firms offer a variety of e-resources to suit their curriculum needs.

However, according to Overdevest, many of these digital platforms don’t reach their full potential because educators are not adequately trained to use them, forcing many school pupils to navigate their way around the tools and often setting them up for failure.

Flying Cows of Jozi has helped to coach educators of Impaq Online School and Oxford University Press school teachers, among others.

Last year, the organisation offered high school maths and science teachers in Greater Taung Local Municipality, in the North West, with support to integrate the Siyavula platform in their teaching lessons.

“Since then, the sub-district Greater Taung went from position 10 to position five for physical science matric results, with an overall pass rate for the subject increasing from 69.3% in 2020, to 80% in 2021,” concludes Overdevest.

– 23 March 2022 by Sibahle Malinga

 

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