MobiSchool (currently in Phase 1 of its implementation) is a new app that makes it possible for all South African high school learners to access free CAPS-aligned audio-visual curriculum lessons, practice activities and tutor support on their cell phones.
In line with its objective to use innovative low-cost products to promote equal education for all – as well as to address poor matric results, high dropout rates, consistent underperformance in international standardised tests and teacher skills shortages – Vuselela Media, in partnership with EISH (Education Improvement & Study Help), launched MobiSchool at the beginning of 2014. It currently supports 132 000 learners and hopes reach out to more than 1,000 000 learners in 2015.
With mobile phones as a medium of content delivery becoming increasingly accessible and affordable to the majority of young South Africans, MobiSchool is poised to become a major contributor to a better education for all young South Africans. The intervention is designed to enable learners to work at their own pace, in their own time and space, to master all the key concepts and skills they need to succeed at high school.
CAPS content and support for six core subjects (Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Accounting, English FAL and Maths Literacy) for Grades 10-12 is currently available. Additional subjects and grades are in development.
MobiSchool: Sample Lesson
MobiSchool was trialed in a Soweto School and saw a massive 19% increase in marks in 1 week.
See a sample lesson “Newton's 2nd Law” customised for entry level cellphone screens.
The audio-visual lessons can be viewed online on all smart phones, tablets and computers. For learners without access to wifi, the content is also available on micro-SD cards.
The lessons, notes, subject-specific dictionaries, practice examples and tutor support are all also available for free on Mxit and Facebook (i.e. these elements are all accessible on even the most basic feature phones).
The audio-visual lessons are based on the CAPS curriculum and timetable now followed in most South African high schools. This means that in any given week, MobiSchool covers exactly the same content that learners are engaging with at school. MobiSchool is therefore the ideal study aid – learners use it to reinforce what they are being taught in school that week.
Each MobiSchool lesson includes practice activities and/or a self-test to ensure that learners have grasped all the core concepts and can apply them in a practical and examination context.
MobiSchool tutors are available on Mxit, Facebook and Twitter every weekday evening between 17h00 and 19h00 to discuss the answers to these questions and any additional queries learners may have.
Further support and publicity for MobiSchool is provided on ‘Geleza Nathi’, a daily educational show on SABC1 (05h00-06h00), as well as on ‘StudyM8 G’Nyas’, broadcast weekly in the afternoons and on weekends on five community TV stations as well as DStv.
Vuselela and EISH have partnered with Obami to launch the next phase of MobiSchool on 21 July 2014. This includes a customised engagement model and next-generation web/mobile web services platform providing a unique ecosystem of educational services that can be securely accessed by a mass-market audience from any mobile phone or IP device, as well as track, record and capture all their interactions at platform level.
(C) Vuselela Media, 2014