The Digital Tree of Knowledge

As the plans for the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre (HDLC) started coming together in 2011, I had a vision that learners of all ages could gather under a tree to learn, as it has always been done in Africa.

But we didn’t want an ordinary tree.

We wanted “The Digital Tree of Knowledge” or “Terrabytus Digitata” as we refer to it.

We wanted a tree under which learners could gather to connect to the world using laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Anyone who has visited HDLC will know that the vision for Terrabytus Digitata is a reality. Everyday learners gather in a circle under the tree and from there they connect to each other and to the world.

Open-Space

Imagine a barn without a Tree! This photo shows the beginnings of the Tree – only a couple of weeks before the official opening of Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.

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Top right: Artist, Simon Bannister (right), working on the roots. Bottom right: A gathering of special people come together to water the roots and celebrate a symbolic planting. Left: The trunk takes shape.

Wi-Fi
Broadcasting a high-speed wireless connection to the internet, the sphere of the tree’s knowledge can be accessed by any person within reach of its branches. Access to all knowledge and wisdom the world has to offer.

Projection and sound
Concealed within the trunk of the tree, a full state of the art sound system brings music to the space. A projector can display video on to the closest wall for group gatherings and presentations that can be controlled via remote.

Memory fruits
Loaded with a terabyte of memory implanted into one of the roots of the tree, an individual can plug into the USB connection and access a selection of “fruits”. The subjects range widely – covering many facets of learning – and are intended to give an objective, collective connection to the good and evils of the world. Users can also “drop” information onto the trees built-in terabyte hard drive, making it a dynamic memory source.

Orgonite
By combining layers of organic and inorganic material into one solid form, a matrix is created that is said to help neutralise the electromagnetic radiation within the area. Local river quartz stones have been incorporated to raise the vibration of the Orgonite.

Tree2

Top and bottom right: The Tree is filled with a mixture of old computer hardware and “organite”. Left: As the platform took shape, so did Kate’s vision of children learning under a “digital” Tree.

Planting trees across Africa
When I walk into the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre and see learners gathered under the tree I am reminded of where we have come from and where we are going.

We have four Digital Learning Centres up and running already, and we’re intent on bringing “digital-era” literacy education and career-training to individuals (both school-aged learners and adults) who want to invest in their own futures.

Our dream is to plant “Digital Trees of Knowledge” across South Africa. To find out more about Good Work Foundation, watch our video. Simply click play on the video on our homepage.

Kate Groch
CEO, Good Work Foundation

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Left: Finishing touches as Terrabytus Digitata nears completion. Right: Today, more than 1000 children learn under the Digital Tree every week.

Team

The Good Work Foundation team underneath the Digital Tree of Knowledge.

Note on the artist

Good Work Foundation is lucky enough to have connected with some remarkable people over the years. One such person is land artist, Simon Bannister, who was commissioned to create Terrabytus Digitata as a symbol of African excellence in learning. Simon helped to shape the vision and then build this icon from the roots up.

“We wanted to create a meeting place connected with the virtual, creating an infinite branching of minds, wires and ideas, held strong by the roots of our humanity. Exploring the growth of the human mindscape and environment, may this work provide a boundless resource of learning and sharing for many years to come.” – Simon Max Bannister.

Thanks Simon, for sharing in our vision and being remarkable!

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