17 December 2018 | Story Eugene Seegers | Photo IDEAS Lab
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Learners enjoy a lesson delivered through an All-in-One device at an IBP-served school.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Eugene van Wyk, Project Coordinator of the Internet Broadcast Project (IBP) at the South Campus of the UFS, preaches a gospel along similar lines, a motto that belongs solely to the IBP: Taking quality education to where it matters.

Quality education accessible to all

Van Wyk believes that quality education should be accessible to all, especially as a tool to relieve poverty in disadvantaged communities. That is why he has made it his aim to extend the reach and exposure of the IBP. To that end, the IBP partnered with the Free State Department of Education (FSDoE) in presenting open days during August and September 2018 in each of the five Free State districts, emphasising innovation in education. At each of these days, the IBP presented their methods and successes, highlighting their use of innovation and technology in not only school education, but teacher development and upliftment as well.

Building on existing technology

The IBP lives up to its motto by building on existing technology, while thinking up new ways to use what is available. In addition, the IBP makes innovative use of emerging and new technologies. For instance, Van Wyk often quotes from a presentation by Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, author, and futurist, at the 2009 Handheld Learning conference: “Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge.” Therefore, plans are under way to develop a mobile app that will allow learners to download lesson content and even share it with learners who do not attend a Free State secondary school served by the IBP.

The value of the IBP can be seen in the tremendous upturn in matriculation success rates in the province, an impact that Van Wyk and the E-learning division at the FSDoE are keen to maintain and spread.

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