Esquire partners in 3D virtual learning trial
Jul 25th, 2011

Leading ICT distributor Esquire Technologies is a partner in a pilot project that aims to bring constructivist 3D virtual learning environments (3DVLEs) learning to all schools in the long term.

An international team of researchers from Australia and the United States has launched a pilot study that will measure the impact of constructivist 3D virtual learning environments on learning outcomes, learner motivation, creativity and the self-esteem of Grade 4 learners in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces.

The study is particularly timely in light of the recent Department of Education Report of Annual National Assessments 2011 findings that the performance level of Grade 3 learners in the country is low. The reasons for this include the challenges associated with supporting 11 major official languages, large classroom sizes, low levels of teacher skill, low parent participation and poorly resourced schools.

The 3DVLE pilot project aims to investigate the potential of constructivist learning facilitated through a 3D virtual learning environment designed to engage learners in collaborative, creative problem solving activities in which numeracy, literacy, life skills and creative activities are embedded in a motivating game-like environment.

“The potential that this pilot study holds for education in South Africa fits in well with Esquire’s own objective of supporting projects that will bring the benefits of technology to learners in South Africa,” said Esquire Technologies Marketing Director Mahomed Cassim at the launch of the pilot project for six schools in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.  A similar parallel project is taking place in Limpopo Province.

Robert Abraham, Department of Basic Education, Dr Denise Wood, University of South Australia, Gauteng Head of SANZAF, Hoosen Essof; and Esquire Technologies Director Mahomed Cassim

“Technology can certainly never replace the educator, but the model being tested is exciting because it provides for minimal intervention from teachers in a kind of unique self-development exercise for children,’ Cassim added.

Dr. Denise Wood, senior lecturer and researcher in media arts in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia is the project research leader.  Together with Esquire Technologies, other local stakeholders and partners include the Department of Basic Education; the South African National Zakaat Fund (SANZAF) and Siyafunda CTC.

 

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