“The reality is that these 200 learners have benefited from the equivalent of over 160 hours of quality teaching from leading South African teachers in the space of just two months.” Britehouse Collaboration
Via Afrika Collaboration
hello tutor is delighted to announce the collaboration with Via Afrika, a leading South African publishing house in the education sector with a strong presence in printed materials, digital materials and adult education. Via Afrika has received numerous awards over the years, including the South African Booksellers Association’s Sefika Best Educational Publisher award for three consecutive years, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Furthermore, their CAPS aligned Via Afrika Series has the highest approval rate for a single series in the industry. As impressive as these accolades are, it’s Via Afrika’s activity and growing presence in the digital education space which attracted hello tutor to the association.
In much the same way that hello tutor has established hubs across the country bringing high quality learning resources to underserviced South African students, so Via Afrika have rolled out digital education centres in the Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga each containing printed textbooks, fifteen tablets, and a computer, all of which are loaded with educational software, more than 400 Via Afrika eBooks and the Via Afrika apps. It’s alignment such as this and elsewhere which has made the partnership one worth pursuing and one which we at hello tutor are extremely excited about.
With hello tutor’s maths and science library focused largely on high school learners, Via Afrika brings to the collaboration an interactive personalized maths learning programme for Grade R to Grade 6 learners, Tabtor Maths. Through the app, which is available across most smart devices, children are able to receive personal attention from a tutor who marks and guides each child with worksheet level feedback. The results speak for themselves, with typical improvement of 2 – 5 times in performance within 7 – 10 weeks of using the programme. It’s innovative, cutting edge use of technology to engage with learners on a large scale at affordable prices such as this, which has brought the two parties together in a collaboration filled with possibilities. Watch this space…
Britehouse brings top teaching skills to underprivileged schools
Knowledge-sharing platform, Hello Tutor, housed in the Britehouse GOT-GAME digital hub helps to level playing fields in South African education
The Britehouse Group will break new ground in extending high quality teaching skills to underprivileged schools by sponsoring access to Hello Tutor. This expansion will take place in secondary schools in Diepsloot and Lanseria in Gauteng, and this year sees Britehouse broadening its support of Hello Tutor to include schools outside Gauteng, including two schools in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, and one in the Western Cape.
Hello Tutor is a knowledge-sharing platform to which teachers and other professionals with vetted teaching abilities can upload short video tutorials. This content is based on South African high school maths, science, and accounting curricula.
Schools, teachers, and individual students can download any tutorial from the Hello Tutor website, for just R2 per download, and view it as often as they like during a 48-hour window. The impact has already been felt, with approximately 200 learners from Kwena Malapo High School, Lanseria and Sunrise Secondary School, Diepsloot school consuming over a 1000 maths and science video tutorials in English and Zulu.
The reality is that these 200 learners have benefited from the equivalent of over 160 hours of quality teaching from leading South African teachers in the space of just two months.
Says Britehouse Corporate Social Investment manager, Emmeline Bester, “With easy, affordable access to teaching aids of a quality that underprivileged schools and students cannot otherwise afford a vast number of matriculants have had unlimited access to the platform in preparation for their final exams, which is reason enough for us to have sponsored two schools to date.”
“In addition to the far-reaching impact on education in our country, we were also specifically attracted to this initiative because of the use of universally available technologies, like the Internet and smartphones, to create access to the best teaching talent in the country. By removing the disadvantage in this particular way, Hello Tutor puts even the most remote, rural students on an equal footing with those in the country’s top private schools.”
The delivery mechanism for the video downloads is the Britehouse GOT-GAME digital hub which was placed at the school in early 2015. Housed in a container and equipped with smart technology and Internet and Wifi infrastructure, the hub provides a safe facility in which teachers, enterprises, and community development projects supported by technology can be hosted. This is managed by the school, which earns revenue from projects hosted in the hub. This is the case for the Diepsloot school, whose access to Hello Tutor has been renewed this year.
The GOT-GAME digital hub is the cornerstone of the 67 Day Digital Activation Movement which Britehouse launched in August 2015 and is open to all corporate sponsors. Based on the United Nations’ 67 seconds of activism initiative which celebrates Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the Movement focuses on completing community-based, technology driven projects within a repeatable cycle of 67 days.
This quickens tangible results for both communities and corporate sponsors.
As part of Britehouse’s continuous 67 Day Digital Activation Movement focus, Hello Tutor expanded its impact by placing a server in the hub to accommodate up to 20 students at a time. In addition, access to the server will be streamed into the school’s classrooms, without the need for the Internet in order to access the video tutorial library.
“There are other aspects of the Hello Tutor initiative that have a particular appeal to the Britehouse ethos of integration combined with innovation,” Bester says. “The tutors who upload videos are paid R1 every time one of their videos is downloaded. This gives teachers a source of residual income.”
“We have expanded this idea to teachers at the underprivileged schools which we support. Those who wish to convert existing Hello Tutor content into any of the official languages other than English, will also be paid R1 per download. This gives them a vested interest in using Hello Tutor’s high quality content, ensures improved education for their students, and gives the students an opportunity to learn in their home language.”
“Should the school participate in the process of uploading videos made by their teachers, then the school will get a portion of the R1 per download. This gives the schools a means of earning much needed extra income.”
Simply, the Hello Tutor platform is one of multiple possibilities, all enhancing one another. It benefits all stakeholders, from the schools and the teachers, to the parents of learners and, most importantly, the learners themselves.
In addition to the above benefits, because the Hello Tutor platform is digital, corporate sponsors, like Britehouse, are given an online dashboard which provides them with live insight into who is accessing the content and which languages, subjects, categories, and topics are most used. This enables a direct link to be drawn between the uptake of Hello Tutor content and exam results.
Says Hello Tutor, James West, “We started Hello Tutor two years ago because there was a substantial population of South Africans with the right teaching skills that simply weren’t reaching the South African student population at large.”
It became clear that the Internet was an obvious way to provide learners from all walks of life with access to the countries leading teachers and also do so in a language with which they are comfortable.
“Corporate sponsors like Britehouse and facilities like the Britehouse GOT-GAME hub take the concept that extra step further, by enabling communities where Internet penetration is low and technology is expensive to tap into the best teaching aids available,” says West.
Learn how to use your calculator!
Take your own calculator with you to class and whenever the teacher works something using one – work it out on your own one too. You need to practise to use your model and know how to enter the data to get the right answers! Some models need brackets or a different way to enter fractions and you must know how your model works.
Find out how to clear memory and clear settings – I often see that students struggle during a test with a calculator that’s settings have been set to give answers in exponential format or answers for trigonometric functions are given in radians instead of degrees and they do not know how to reset the settings.
Don’t be in a situation where you can use a calculator in the test and then you still get the wrong answers. An excellent Math performer knows how to do this well.
Blog post by: Hannari Venter
Excellent Math Performers have a habit to predict possible answers or think about reasonable answers. If you are working out the side length of a triangle and you get a negative answer – you might have made a mistake somewhere, because lengths should be positive. Here are some common logical arguments that might help you in reasoning about answers and predicting possible outcomes:
- Lengths are positive
- The term number of a number pattern is always positive – I can’t find the (-10 th) term.
- I can’t divide by zero
- I can’t find the square root of a negative number…. Also if I square something – it should be positive (bigger than or equal to 0)
- If I’m working out the height of a building – 0.3 metres and 120 km are ridiculous answers. 2.7 Metres is a perfectly acceptable answer.
- If I’m working with a number of students, animals, books, etc. decimal numbers are not valid answers – I need a positive integer as an answer, so if I get 2,6 students, I’ll answer 3 students.
- Similarly – if I predict the outcome on a dice – it should be a positive integer between 1 and 6. It can’t be 8 or 12,4 or -4
- The answers of sin and cos should lie between -1 and 1. Pi is 3,14… and is not a valid answer. If sin(x) gives an answer of 3pi, I’ll check my calculator settings. You also can’t find if x is smaller than -1 or bigger than 1.
Fix Your areas of weakness
Constantly review your work. Develop a habit to check every problem for mistakes. Make sure you’ve added up correctly by double-checking with your calculator. Work out difficult problems in two different ways and see if you get the same answer.
Get in the habit of finding your mistakes and fixing them.
Another great tool to use to fix your weaknesses is a list of mistakes or errors. Here’s a few examples of errors/mistakes:
- You know you always forget to write the units at the end of a question
- You forget to convert different units in one problem to the same unit (you can’t use cm, m and mm in one problem, you must convert them all to one, for instance convert all to cm)
- You get so busy with solving you forget that the question asked the coordinate pair (x;y) and you never finish working out y also
- You multiply x-values in your head when you should add them
So make a list of all the usual mistakes you make and write down how to fix them or what you should do instead. Then go through that list after completing an exercise to check
whether you’ve made some of your usual mistakes and fix them. You can also revise the list before every test and exam to make yourself aware of the mistakes.
This way you train your brain to not lose marks on silly little mistakes.
Create Your own Study Material
Make your own notes to study from. You know yourself very well. Only you can create notes customised to suit your own needs. A teacher’s notes or friend’s notes might help, but you are better off studying from your own notes. Let me tell you why:
- Your notes should reflect your own learning style. Some people learn better from pictures and diagrams, some people learn better from lists. One person prefers examples of the problems, another prefers a short explanation of the method and yet another only needs to know what the formulae are and how to apply them. Include the things in your notes that will help you learn best!
- What do you need to study? You only need to study the things you don’t know… For example, you are learning about shapes in the classroom. You might know perfectly well what a rectangle is, you don’t need the definition in your notes. But you might be uncertain about the definition or even just the spelling of a parallelogram. You need to study the parallelogram and need that in your notes.
If your notes contains a lot of information which you already know – you waste valuable time while studying, going through things you know and you tire yourself before you start going through the things you didn’t know.
- You learn from various resources – your teacher, your textbook, your exercise book, a tutor, a friend, extra textbooks, the internet, etc.
By making your own notes, you can combine the information in one place. You should constantly update your notes with information from all of the resources listed above, so that by the time the exam starts – you’re not feeling overwhelmed and all over the place. You know that everything you need to know is organised in one file or one notebook. You can simply go through your notes and maybe work out one or two practise papers.
- Make a list of words with its definitions. Create a little dictionary of Mathematics words where you can look up the meaning if you need to. Keep this list with your notes and keep it for next years also – you can build onto it and refer back to past years.
- Mathematics is a cumulative subject. Knowledge and concepts are constantly being built on previous knowledge. If you have notes from previous years – it gives you something to fall back on if you realise that you don’t remember past knowledge.
2. Endurance / Persistence
When doing Mathematics, you have to develop a can-do attitude. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The top Math students don’t always get it right the first time. Usually, they are the top Math students exactly because they struggle more than anyone else. This might seem contradictory, but by struggling and persisting until you solve a problem, you develop skills to solve similar problems. The more you constantly develop your problem solving skills by tackling challenging questions – the better you will become at it.
- Never leave questions open. Try them to the best of your capabilities and knowledge.
- Believe in yourself! Never tell yourself that you can’t do it – you can. Some questions may take longer, but you can do it!
- You will get fit in problem solving. Just like running track. At the beginning it will be challenging, but if you keep on practising, it gets easier and easier to solve difficult problems.
In the words of Vince Lombardi, “Life’s battle doesn’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but in the end the man who wins in the man who thinks he can”
Blog material courtesy of guest blogger, Mrs Maths
This is the first in an eight part series by Mrs Maths of tips to becoming a star maths performer!
Become involved in your own learning process.
Prepare yourself for class by reading ahead. During lessons, try to predict the next steps before the teacher writes them down and have a notepad or book ready to quickly take note of anything new you learned each day.
If you watch a teacher do Math perfectly every single day in class – that will not make you a performer, you have to get your brain actively involved in the process and practise the Math on your own as well.
If you watch someone doing Math, the only thing you will become good at, is watching someone do Math. This statement is true. Roll up your socks and jump in! By being involved, by being active in your learning, you can become the master of Mathematics. The one who always knows the answer! The excellent performer.
Remember: Every Master was once a beginner!