All about iSchool
What iSchool will do next
The iSchool project has been set up to bring e-Learning to Zambia. It will initially operate on a research basis – running fully operational e-Learning, but in a restricted number of schools – selected to represent the countrywide population – in urban, high-density, rural and deep rural locations – including both government and community schools.
It will discover everything that is needed for eLearning to work well in Africa and what challenges will be faced.
In order to ensure that all students country-wide will get the same high level of teaching, the total learning environment will be available via the iSchool website
Thus if a teacher selects the term, week, and grade which they are about to teach then they will be given a week plan, which they can print off for use, outlining all the work to be covered that week, using iSchool.
If they then select a particular lesson that week they will be taken to the learning object and will be offered a lesson plan. This can be printed off (or used online if printing is not available) to provide full details of the interactive environment in which the e-Learning is embedded.
The teacher (where present) will begin the lesson and set the students working on the relevant e-Learning object. All online learning is fully interactive, adaptive, and multi-media. Each module consists of learning, testing, repeated learning (where necessary and using a different path), and then activities to be conducted both on and offline, encouraging project-based self-study. It is thus self-adaptive to the student's learning ability:
All material is built around the Zambian curriculum, using local English usage (and with some material translated into vernacular) and examples, local voice-over, and with full contextualisation.
Development of new local e-Learning content
Most of the e-Learning will be newly created, in order to best fit curriculum and context, and will cover all grades from 1 to 12. Some of the early grade material will be built around specially-written local stories. Each lesson begins by indicating its learning objectives and the curriculum details covered. Material is developed under the guidance of an e-Learning specialist and is constructed by specially-trained Zambian teachers.
See some sample screen-shots below, and online examples by clicking here Such comprehensive material will be created to cover the entire curriculum.
Adaptation of e-Learning material from elsewhere
Two major sources of material will be taken and adapted to fit with the iSchool TLE, to save developing all modules locally.
|The first is Intel’s ‘Skoool.com’ material delivered under its Education programme. This interactive online material covers maths and science education, particularly at secondary level. Under an MoU with Intel elements of this material will be matched to the Zambian curriculum and then contextualised as necessary. It will be made available via its own interface at www.skoool.co.zm and the learning objects will also be available via the iSchool TLE, which will wrap the teaching context and lesson plans around it. This will involve the use of local web and software developers, as well as educationalists.|
The second source will be ‘Open Educational Resources’ (OERs) which have been created by teachers elsewhere in the world and made publicly available through a creative commons licence. These will be selected and adapted for local use, and then republished to be available to others. This work is being undertaken in conjunction with a Cambridge University and University of Zambia research project, and will be continued into the production environment.
The iSchool ‘online resource centre’
The existing iSchool website, developed during Phase 1 of the project, contains over 10,000 links to interactive educational material from around the world which fits in with the Zambian curriculum. Whilst these have not been specially developed they are good resources for independent research and further learning, and the site will continue to be developed. They also provide access to all local educational radio content under the Taonga Market series, and material prepared for those who have left school but wish to keep studying. They will also include more local material as it becomes available