Some schools in Gauteng have started embracing digital classrooms this year, which is not only better for their education but also great for the environment. So what’s this Smart Schools Project all about?
The school year of 2015 started with some exciting improvements in Gauteng. Seven of the schools located in townships now have digital classrooms with a host of greater educational opportunities. These include access to workbooks and learning materials through information communications technology. Every student will get their own tablet which will have all their materials and class lessons on it, and this is sure to also make students feel motivated to work at school while being more organised.
In a World Economic Forum report, South Africa’s global e-readiness ranking fell from 47th in 2007 to 70th in 2013! This is what has motivated the country to focus on teaching more e-skills to the youth to improve education standards as well as school leavers’ opportunities in the market place.
The goal is to have the Smart Schools Project in operation in all Gauteng rural and township schools by the end of the 2017/2018 financial year. It is set to cost R17 billion.
There are many benefits to paperless classrooms in general:
- Textbooks that go out of date very quickly can easily be replaced with e-books that are less costly.
- Teachers also win: less paper means that all their work is located on a tablet.
- Having to teach students how to use technology is no longer necessary because technology forms part of the daily classroom.
Less paper also helps the environment, of course. According to Paperless Productivity a tree produces about 17 reams of paper but it takes up to 100 years to grow. It also sends 110 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air to turn one tree into paper. So, by no longer using paper, we’d not only be saving trees but also preventing carbon dioxide emissions.