College of Education

College of Education connects with aspirant educators

Unisa’s College of Education is in the process of improving the quality of managing teaching practice arrangements and extending student online access through ICT infrastructure and systems development.

The project entails extending online access and support to Unisa students, especially those living in rural and remote areas. This will be done by establishing 34 ICT access centres at the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) teacher centres in the various provinces. The project is undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education. The sites will have WiFi connectivity, laptops, cutting-edge videoconferencing facilities, and student assistants to facilitate access and support.

According to Gladwell Marebane, the project coordinator, the Teacher Centre Project is steaming ahead despite some challenges encountered in the process. “Nine sites have been completed so far, two in Gauteng, five in Mpumalanga, and two in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Installation tests and verifications are currently underway in KZN for additional fifteen sites in the province” said Marebane.

To advance Unisa’s aspiration to be a good open, distance, and e-learning (ODeL) institution, videoconferencing technology will give academics an opportunity to engage with students outside Unisa’s conventional regional centres. According to Prof Mago Mndawe, head of the Teaching Practice Office at Unisa, the teacher centres will enrich the lives of teacher educators by enabling them to have first-hand experience of how to integrate technology as part of learning and teaching in the classroom. “We are preparing teachers for the present and future teaching and learning environments who should be comfortable with technology and not only be knowledgeable about their subject matter, but be conversant technologically with eLearning methods,” concluded Mndawe.

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