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South African Journal of Education

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A Teacher Tablet Toolkit to meet the challenges posed by 21st century rural teaching and learning environments

Adèle Botha, Marlien Herselman

Abstract


This article draws upon the experiences gained in participating in an Information and Communication Technology for Rural Education (ICT4RED) initiative, as part of a larger Technology for Rural Education project (TECH4RED) in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The aim of this paper is to describe the conceptualisation, design and application of an innovative teacher professional development course for rural teachers, enabling them to use tablets to support teaching and learning in their classrooms. The course, as outcome, is presented as a Teacher Tablet Toolkit, designed to meet the challenges inherent to the 21st century rural technology enhanced teaching and learning environment. The paper documents and motivates design decisions, derived from literature and adapted through three iterations of a Design Science Research Process, to be incorporated in the ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development Course. The resulting course aims to equip participating teachers with a toolkit consisting of technology hardware, pragmatic pedagogical and technology knowledge and skills, and practice based experience. The significance of game design elements such as simulation and fun, technology in need rather than in case, adequate scaffolding and a clear learning path with interim learning goals are noted.

Keywords: classroom practice; gamification; mobile learning; teacher professional development; technology integration; toolkit




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