On Saturday 27 May, SUNCEP streamed its first tuition session live to Natural Science teachers in two different venues outside Stellenbosch, complementing the previous three contact sessions that were offered in Vredendal earlier this term.
SUNCEP's practice-based approach to professional learning entails contact tuition sessions, mentoring offered via cluster meetings, on-site support visits as well as e-support and e-mentoring.
The Centre for Learning Technologies at Stellenbosch University implemented an alternative conferencing software, called SUNStream where affordable two-way interactivity video-streaming via Adobe Connect is possible. Participants can "attend" these sessions anywhere and on any device such as a computer, tablet or even a smart phone.
This platform allows participants to communicate with one another, take polls interactively and also allows presenters to share documents on their own computer screen with the participants. The sessions can also be recorded and viewed later offline.
This session was streamed from the SUNCEP office to two groups of teachers: one group in Vredendal and another in Citrusdal. A Vredendal based SUNCEP facilitator, Ms Christa Philander and the WCED Curriculum Advisor for Physical Sciences in the West Coast, Mr Lyndon Manas, attended and technically supported the teachers during the sessions.
SUNCEP has utilised the Stellenbosch University telematics platform and will continue to do so when applicable. Rapid advances in technology have, however, made it possible to increase the two way interactive nature of broadcasts via streaming to any device and not just to telematic centres, thus strengthening SUNCEP's e-learning delivery of its short courses.
The SUNCEP team is very excited about this new platform. "Now that we have tested the platform successfully, the possibilities are endless, especially to support teachers in deep rural areas, without anyone having to drive vast distances", said Dr Trevor van Louw, Director of SUNCEP.
Photo: SUNCEP staff members preparing for the streaming: Mrs Danelda van Graan, Mrs Erika Hoffman, Mrs Pauline Hanekom, Mr Andrew Fair and Mr Shaun Graham.