Image: ICT teacher Mr. Emmanuel Mwale introducing other members of staff to the use of Aptus and Notesmaster Platform
Participants from twenty Open Innovative Schools (OIS) undergo training in the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) both online and offline using an APTUS Gadget. The training was conducted by the Ministry of General Education in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). It was facilitated by two Consultants, namely Mr Dean Dundas from Notesmaster and Ms Wilhelmina Louw from Namibian College of Open Learning. The 20 Centre Managers and 20 Communications Information Technology teachers underwent a week-long training in Lusaka, Zambia.
This idea of Open Innovative Schooling has aroused a lot of interest among the teaching and instructional staff especially the use of the global learning platform – Notesmaster. This has enhanced teacher’s preparedness in their teaching as the Ministry of General Education/ Open Educational Resources (MoGE/OER) provides readily available resources that are freely accessible on the Notesmaster Learning Management System (LMS). Above all, the developed MoGE/OER on Notesmaster platform are in the public domain, that is; they can be revisited, reused, repurposed, remixed and redistributed. A teacher can adapt and adopt the material to suit one’s teaching requirements.
This training has been rolled out to all to all skills and academic staff at Kabwe School for Continuing Education (SCE). Teachers and Instructors alike were also given an opportunity to learn about the concept of Open Innovative Schooling (OIS).
Kabwe School for Continuing Education through Technology Assisted Learning will take their District to the next level through the use of OER in an effort to implement the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) pillar six (6) which emphasizes on “leaving no one behind”. The OERs have contributed to a growing body of shared and valuable educational resources for both teachers and learners. The use of technology in teaching has now been appreciated. Some of our teachers have now become proponents of technology-enabled learning after having the feel of Notesmaster LMS.
In addition to the MOGE/OER on Notesmaster platform the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has also procured the APTUS developed by) has also been appreciated as it provides a repository of quality educational resources similar to those found on the Notesmaster platform. The fact that the Aptus needs no internet connectivity has been seen as the ideal alternative to the online Notesmaster as long as it is constantly uploaded with more resources. The Aptus has virtually eliminated the challenges that come with internet connectivity compounded by the high cost of bundles in this part of the world.
Undoubtedly, the concept of open schooling and the use of technology in learning will increase access to quality education which will be beneficial to the out-of-school learners and also those who are in regular schooling.
Article contributed by Mr Elias Mbotwa Chanda, Open Innovative Schooling (OIS) – Centre Manager, Kabwe School for Continuing Education