Open Learning Academy Believers in Philippolis

70% of Good Work Foundation staff at Philippolis Digital Learning Campus (PDLC) were once students of Mrs Annamarie Vermeulen in her grade three class in Bergmanshoogte Primary School. Mrs Vermeulen has been teaching grade threes for the last 23 years and according to her it has been “a beautiful experience to watch children enjoy learning.”

The local school started to outsource digital learning to PDLC in June 2014. The Open Learning Academy uses computer gamification to improve mathematics, conservation and English literacy. “It is just the most unexplainable feeling that I get when I see the faces of the kids with learning challenges finally get something right on those tablets,” she says.

Mrs Vermeulen has never experienced such stillness of 40 children in her classroom like she does now since the beginning of the Open Learning programme. The Open Learning Academy is the first digitally based education programme in Philippolis, and if Hazyview Digital Learning Campus is anything to go by, then we look forward to a 30% improvement in mathematics and English.

The PDLC facilitators have been helping Mrs Vermeulen during the two hours of Open Learning at Bergmanshoogte Primary School, engaging the children on education based apps that focus on getting kids excited about learning again.

Mrs Vermeulen says: “The best thing about being a teacher is not watching the top student excel in everything there is in the classroom, it is having the opportunity to learn together with those learners who struggle, who brighten up when they finally get something right. When that happens on the digital side, even I get very excited about my own achievements. PDLC has really given teachers a challenge that requires them to engage beyond the traditional classrooms methods of teaching every day. The Open learning programme is the kind of positive change that South Africa needs if it is to secure a bright and digital future for its youngsters.”

“It is just the most unexplainable feeling that I get when I see the faces of the kids with learning challenges finally get something right on those tablets,”

“It is just the most unexplainable feeling that I get when I see the faces of the kids with learning challenges finally get something right on those tablets,”

Mrs Vermeulen heard about Open Learning from her daughter Lulani Vermeulen (right )who is the Free-state Project coordinator.

Mrs Vermeulen heard about Open Learning from her daughter Lulani Vermeulen (right )who is the Free-state Project coordinator.

PDLC is helping teachers to get "children excited about learning again" through  education based apps.

PDLC is helping teachers  get “children excited about learning again” through education based apps.

Written and compiled by Accolade Ubisi. Photographed by GWF Media Academy.

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