Google and Opennetworks Bring the Classroom of the Future to South Africa

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Google for Education, in collaboration with Opennetworks, the Snapplify Foundation and MKB Consulting, is set to bring the top eight educational trends to teachers in South Africa and across the continent. Online training sessions will cover everything from digital responsibility and computational thinking, to augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom, and will run from the 18th March to the 29th July.

“COVID-19 has resulted in widespread school closures and an increased emphasis on distance learning and technology integration, inside and outside of the classroom,” says Shelanna Sturgess, Head of Special Projects, Opennetworks. “What’s more, it is essential that students are equipped with the skill sets needed to thrive in a knowledge-based economy.” 

According to Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head of Brand and Reputation at Google Africa, training and development is a critical factor in teachers effectively adopting new technologies. “As such, the Google for Education team has identified eight emerging trends and themes in K-12 education – including student-led learning and life skills and workforce preparation – which will be required to evolve the current curriculum in Africa, and adequately prepare students for jobs of the future.”

The series will comprise 10 webinars, hosted via Google Digital Skills for Africa’s YouTube Channel, which will include live demonstrations of teaching and learning resources as well as Google for Education technology. Teachers will have access to learning activities, on-demand training and open office check-in sessions. Open office hours will foster mentorship and community, helping to build capacity across the continent.

Educators have free access to the following sessions (all will be held at 3pm GMT+2/CAT):

  • Digital Responsibility – 18th March
  • Life Skills and Workforce Preparation – 1 April 
  • Computational Learning – 15 April  
  • Student-Led Learning Part 1 – 29 April 
  • Student-Led Learning Part 2 – 13 May
  • Collaborative Classrooms – 27 May
  • Connecting Guardians & Schools – 10 June 
  • Innovating Pedagogy Part 1 – 24 June 
  • Innovating Pedagogy Part 2 – 8 July 
  • Emerging Technologies – 22 July

“We are committed to working with sector stakeholders across Africa to ensure equitable access to education. Google for Education has extensive products that support and enhance teaching and learning, from Google Classroom learning management capabilities, to immersive learning environments with virtual reality (VR),” adds Mojolaoluwa. “We will continue to focus on developing core skills through various training offerings, curriculum repositories and free access to cloud tools such as Google Workspace for Education.


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