VMware Good Gigs Team Treks Back to South Africa to Inspire Technology in the Classroom

Nov 4th, 2016

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VMware, a world leader in cloud computing and virtualisation software and services, is partnering with LEAP 1 School in Langa township, near Cape Town, to improve the school’s IT infrastructure and lead a technology workshop for its teachers.

The VMware Foundation developed a unique leadership program, called Good Gigs, which focuses on learning through immersive service. VMware’s Good Gigs program is unlike other corporate volunteer projects because it focuses on taking a human-centered design approach with the local nonprofit staff to tackle challenges together. Building upon the success of last year’s collaboration, the Good Gigs team returns work with the LEAP Science and Maths School, a pioneer in providing quality education to underserved youth.

The Good Gigs team, known as trekkers, will be on the ground in Cape Town from 5 – 19 November 2016, to implement the second phase of this three-phase “Trek.” The Trek spans three-months and commenced with the Serve Phase.

During the Serve Phase, trekkers worked with LEAP remotely, to understand the organisation’s need and develop prototypes within those constraints. During the Learn Phase, on the ground in South Africa, trekkers will do an IT Health Assessment for LEAP and strengthen its IT infrastructure.

The team is especially focused on connecting LEAP’s 6 schools on a single network. The Good Gigs Trekkers will also be leading a Technology Workshop for the teachers to strengthen their digital literacy and inspire them to integrate technology into their lesson plans. Finally, during the Inspire Phase, the Good Gigs Trekkers will define their leadership insights through the Trek so that they can apply the learning to their daily work at VMware.

“The Foundation’s mission is to inspire employees to serve and learn as active corporate citizens in communities around the world. Good Gigs provides the opportunity for all the people involved to learn and grow through immersive service,” explained Jessamine Chin, Director of the VMware Foundation located in Palo Alto, California, USA.

“In the course of this service, employees innovate through learning and applying Human Centred Design to problem solving; create an environment of inspiration through radical authenticity; and cultivate a global worldview through practicing a growth mindset.”

Last year, Good Gigs focused its efforts on the LEAP 4 School in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, and a digital literacy workshop that had trekkers working with LEAP teachers to introduce technology tools and applications to teachers, to enhance their students’ learning.

“Building on the lessons learned during last year’s South Africa Trek, and based on the prevailing needs and constraints of the LEAP 1 School, we aspire to deliver a practical solution that will not only build the school’s IT capacity, but also inspire the best possible, use of technology in the classroom via our delivery of a IT Assessment and Implementation, and Teacher Technology Workshops to support this goal,” added Chin.

In addition to its work at the school, the Good Gigs team will lead a Community Day on Saturday, 12 November, from 9am – 5pm at LEAP 1 School (St Francis Catholic Church Centre, Ndabeni Street, Langa, Western Cape). The goal of this will be to provide general technology training for community members in Langa.