EduTech Africa 2019 took place at the Sandton Convention Centre last week over two days, with a host of education and technology-focused companies descending on the venue to showcase solutions aimed at assisting students and teachers digitised and ready for the impending era of 4IR which has been touting by local government heavily this year.
The exhibition floor, which played host to numerous stands, also revealed a number of tools, platforms, services and applications aimed at disrupting the local education space.
Having perused all of them, we’ve highlighted five in particular that caught our eye.
The first solution comes via RS Components with its Design Spark online platform. The solution has been around for a few years now, but interest in it locally still needs to pick up, especially given the free tools that it has on offer, and support it makes available to learners and teachers alike.
Those wanting to get into 3D printing projects and CAD work will certainly be interested in looking into Design Spark, especially its DS Electrical and DS Mechanical resources, which allows users to create designs and manufacture prototypes respectively.
With RS Components aiming to get more students and institutions involved with Design Spark in coming months and years, it should prove interesting to see how the platform’s popularity picks up as a result.
Coding was a major theme on the first day of EduTech Africa 2019, with a number companies showcasing initiatives in that regard. One that caught our eye was Code Jika, which is a company that specialises in teaching vocational coding classes for children at the primary and high school level.
Code Jika explained to us that its model has been focused on public schools in rural areas for the most part, but has more recently been reaching out to private ones. Added to this is a uniquely curated curriculum which of course has a focus on coding, but also on business and entrepreneurial skills.
Cide Jika currently has a handful of phases in its curriculum, and plans to have the complete range of coding phases up and running by the year’s end. For students who have an interest in coding, but cannot access it as their school, it’s worthwhile looking into.
Hands On Tech
One of the stands at EduTech Africa 2019 that garnered a lot of attention was Hands On Tech, which was showcasing its LEGO Education offerings at the event. Naturally the interactivity of the coding and robotics-focused sets are a big draw, with Hands On Tech serving up three different options aimed at levels of experience.
There’s the WeDo 2.0 range which features smart hubs and a handful of sensors. Next is the highly anticipated SPIKE Prime sets designed for STEM-related skills development. This particular range is slated to arrive next year, although Hands On Tech does not have an official date at the moment for 2020.
Rounding up the trio of options is the Mindstorms range, which is a bit more robotics leaning than the other ranges, as well as combining many of the skills needed for the other two options.
This next solution is aimed squarely at teachers, and it’s the Oracle Academy, which has been in existence locally for a number of years now.
Like many of the solutions being shown at EduTech Africa 2019, the Oracle Academy is free for the most part, with different courses available via an online portal for teachers wanting to get into coding skills and training such as Java and SQL.
These courses take the form of workshops, a full curriculum and and a certificate exam, with those teachers wanting to get fully qualified in a particular skill needing to pay for it themselves.
Regardless the Oracle Academy is a specialised platform designed for teachers at the high school or tertiary institution level.
Snapplify operates as an educational portal, serving up electronic forms of literature for both textbooks and non-fiction alike. With government and NGOs announcing several plans to get notebooks and tablets in the hands of learners in recent years, these initiatives will require the necessary material in order to get them to work effectively.
That’s where Snapplify plays its part, with the company assisting in providing ebooks for up-to-date curricula.