Background to the iSchool concept Africa and Zambia in particular currently faces many challenges in educating its rapidly growing population. Schools are few and pupils have to walk long distances to get to the nearest school, classes are more often than not overcrowded with few trained teachers especially in peri-urban and rural areas. iSchool presents a new way of resolving these issues. Recognising that most schools in Zambia do not have computers, electricity or other resources to deliver eLearning, iSchool provides a complete delivery solution in addition to relevant and appropriate educational content using a tablet called Mwabu and other school accessories; solar chargers, headphones, projectors and internet routers. iSchool also promotes an interactive enquiry-based learning model that helps move schools from a rote/memorising type of teaching to an environment in which the teacher adopts a facilitator role in classes with differentiated learning and group work. The Mwabu Tablet The Mwabu Tablet is a comprehensive eLearning tablet pre-loaded with iSchool learning material that has animated lessons with illustrated stories. They are all voiced and written in English and 8 major local languages; Bemba, Kaonde, Lunda, Lozi, Luvale, Nyanja (Standard), Tonga and Lusaka Nyanja. The content is designed for pupils and teachers to use the tablets every other lesson using a specially developed system that enables the teacher organize a class into groups and work with each group on a rotation basis. This works very well for larger class sizes and ensures that a teacher is able to work more closely with each student. There are three types of tablets; home, pupil and teacher tablets. The Mwabu Home Tablet There are 2,500 colourful and interactive pre-grade to grade seven lessons that follow the Zambian curriculum. It has stories for learning and fun, plus a Mwabu reading scheme which is a good tool for developing a child's reading culture and spellings at an early childhood stage. At the end of every lesson plan there are quizzes and grade seven examination questions and answers for the child's self-assessment. Parents can benefit too: adult literacy and numeracy; life-skills learning; health and farming. Help the whole family become life-long learners, with every lesson in the Zambian school syllabus. Mwabu Pupil Tablet The Pupil Edition of the iSchool tablet is sold as part of the iSchool Total Learning Environment for schools, which uses the tablets in a blended learning environment as part of rotational group work, meaning one iSchool tablet can be shared between many pupils through careful lesson planning (all provided), making it cost-effective and part of a wider, engaging lesson. No internet access is needed for the iSchool tablet to be used in a school, no special classrooms are needed, and solar power can even be provided if there is no mains electricity at the school. As well as the iSchool primary school multimedia lessons, the touch-screen tablet includes a pre-loaded version of Wikipedia and other child-friendly apps. The Mwabu Teacher Tablet 5000 lesson plans covering every subject in primary school from grades 1 to 7 for the entire Zambian curriculum. The lessons also cover all subjects in 8 major local languages for grades 1 to 3. It has continuous professional development and teacher training modules. Easier storage of data like registration of pupils in class using Spreadsheet. With the Mwabu tablet, a school can operate with minimal resources and facilities. The iSchool accessories and school pack The iSchool concept is built on a combination of e-learning accessories, learning materials, activities, group work, teacher-pupil sessions (one to one and one to many), extra-curricular activities and homework. Through this concept iSchool seeks to address many challenges that schools face by use of an iSchool school pack which consists of:
iSchool learning material
All iSchool eLearning content is approved by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Zambia.
Using modern technology iSchool teachers and students get life long learning tools, reach educational standards and become independent thinkers. Taking advantage of Africa's thirst for knowledge tSchool gives students a new chance; the opportunity to become problem solvers and to change their life circumstances, the first step on the road out of poverty. With the populations of developing nations expanding and with their economies growing at unprecedented levels, many communities don't experience any benefit and remain in subsistence lifestyles, largely because of a lack of good education. iSchool seeks to change this by introducing modern interactive enquiry based learning and all the resources needed by teachers and students.
Home edition Help the whole family become life-long learners, with every lesson in the Zambian school syllabus, backed up with homework for every grade. Parents can benefit too with adult literacy and numeracy, life-skills learning, health and farming. Also on the tablet are email and educational web browsing, with Wikipedia pre-loaded, word processor and spreadsheet software, reference material and many more fun family apps. Pupil edition The Pupil Edition of the iSchool tablet is sold as part of the iSchool Total Learning Environment for schools, which uses the tablets in a blended learning environment as part of rotational group work, meaning one iSchool tablet can be shared between many pupils through careful lesson planning (all provided), making it cost-effective and part of a wider, engaging lesson. Teacher edition The iSchool teacher tablet is available for individual teachers or as part of the Total Learning Environment. Benefits for teachers include 5000 lesson plans following the Zambian school curriculum, approved by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Zambia. There are lesson plans and ideas for every school day, of every term, for every primary grade.