Leading the way in mobile communication for Africa

EdTech Insights

The future is now

UP taking the lead in mobile communication in Africa

As the world strives to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution, as millennials enter the workforce, and as post-millennials enroll at educational facilities, a common requirement is the embracement of technology. This results in an increased demand for companies and institutions to offer innovations, such as mobile solutions, that meet the expectations and needs of these generations.

In education, this is fast becoming a standard prerequisite. These emerging technologies not only fit the students’ and young workers’ frames of reference but are also the drivers of future advances in societies, governments and businesses across the globe. To remain effective, education must not only be relevant to those being educated but also to the world they are being prepared for. As the civil rights activist, Malcolm X once said; “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Major technological advances are being seen in marketplaces and institutions throughout the world – and companies and institutions like Eiffel Corp and the University of Pretoria (UP) are determined not to let South Africa get left behind. The recently formed partnership between these organisations has seen Eiffel Corp (as the provider of Modo Campus© in South Africa), create the University of Pretoria’s UP Mobile App.

The UP Mobile App, developed on the Modo Campus© Modo Labs platform, serves as a mobile, cloud-based, localised place where students, staff and alumni can access all necessary and relevant information. This is a definite and intentional step towards South African universities embracing Ed-tech. As such, the University of Pretoria is leading the way in advancing South African tertiary institutions in the digital/tech space.  

The UP Mobile App was launched on 13 August 2019, at an event held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus. The President of UP’s Student Representative Council, David Kwaba spoke on behalf of the students. “Today is an exciting day for us, as we join the world of superior technology. Students will now be better informed and equipped and feel more empowered.”

According to Dr Wimpie Beeken, Information Technology Services Capability Development Management at the University of Pretoria, the Modo Campus© Modo Labs platform allowed for the UP App to be tailored with ease. With Eiffel Corp’s support, this ensured that the UP Mobile App services the students’ specific needs without needing advanced technical skills, such as coding. The platform, which was founded by a team from MIT, is globally recognised and celebrated.

Dr Beeken expressed excitement about the University of Pretoria being the first public university to utilise this technology and expressed joy in the fact that the platform allows the UP Mobile App to shift and change as required. “The UP Mobile App has a specific focus; to enrich the students’ lives, both on and off campus. It also has the ability to morph into something new, answering the question ‘what are the other benefits that we can bring to a user?’ We have to change as we go through years and seasons… with Modo Labs we have the opportunity to do that.”

The world continues to move towards functioning (and excelling) in the technological space, specifically within the realm of mobile communication. With the availability of global platforms such as Modo Campus©, educational institutions and companies within South Africa can not only keep up with the technological advances but become leaders in the industrial revolution too. With a focus on driving technology in education, this will be achieved. “Thank you to the University of Pretoria for your continued trust in Eiffel Corp to support you in realising the potential of technology in furthering education,” concluded Stefan Du Plessis, Chief Commercial Officer at Eiffel Corp.

 

Are you a staff member, student or alumni member of UP? Or planning to visit UP in the near future?

Follow the steps below to get the app or read more here.

  1. Visit Google Play Store or Apple iStore and download ‘UP mobile app’.
  2. Install the app on your mobile device.
  3. Select the profile relevant to you and start enjoying the features available.

The University will be adding add-on features soon.  UP welcomes all ideas and feedback on upmobapp@up.ac.za.

Get in touch

“This is a solution that is fit for purpose in the higher education space.”

 Dr Wimpie Beeken, University of Pretoria

Education. Technology. Innovation

Google in Education

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Google in Education

In June Staffroom attended the Google in Education South Africa Summit. This event called on teachers, administrators, tech directors, library media specialists and staff members to network and share lessons learnt on projects at their relevant schools.

It was an honour to be part of such a pioneering event, “we learnt about the needs of potential clients as well as shared our innovative product and its latest developments with attendees, showing them the value Staffroom could add to their schools in terms of School Management and Google Suite Integration,” Jacqueline Brodie, Account Manager at Staffroom.

This year’s summit was aimed at imparting the latest hands-on knowledge on  the management and workings of Google Apps for Education Certification. From Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town, Staffroom was proud to be present across the country, setting new benchmarks for School Management with Google.

Did you know: Google offers schools a range of useful educational services such as G Suite for Education and Google Classroom.  G Suite consists of a comprehensive set of productivity tools, which includes Gmail and Google Drive.  Google classroom provides a user-friendly virtual learning environment for both online and blended teaching and learning.

 Staffroom allows for student and staff accounts, along with enrollments into classrooms to be automatically synced into G Suite and Google Classroom.

 

Want to learn more?

Get in touch

So much to do. So much to learn. So much wow! 

 Ayden Coetzee, St. Joseph’s Marist College

Education. Technology. Innovation

Cogknowtion

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is plagiarism just bad manners?

Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker, Malcolm Gladwell created a stir on Twitter when he shared that he thought, “plagiarism [was] just bad manners…” This was his response to plagiarism allegations against him, during his interview with Daily Beast.

His reasoning was that plagiarism was not the journalistic sin it is made out to be, but rather that “the notion of originality” is narcasisstic. He argues that journalism cannot acknowledge that it is highly derivitave in nature, and therefore enforces originality on the level of the sentence. Basically if someone takes your words and makes something new with it, he “doesn’t care.”

But according to Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing, it is precisely this “I don’t care” attitude that lies at the core of plagiarism. The apathy of not caring about academic excellence leads to plagiarism and contract cheating.

The challenges related to plagiarism and contract cheating are becoming greater as the digital world and access to information freely shared grows. But this should not make us care less about plagiarism – in fact, we should become even more dilligent in how we credit thoughts and ideas. As in all things in life – where rules are no longer respected, unfortunate consequences follow.

Similarly if we loosen up the rules for plagiarism – what would the consequences for academic standards and credibility be?

We have to keep pushing for academic integrity, where plagiarism is more than “bad manners”, but rather an unacceptable act that equates to theft of ideas, thoughts and words.

Agree? Maintain Academic Integrity at your institution. Let us help you.

*Source: Turnitin Blog

Get in touch

It’s apathy that leads to academic misconduct.

Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing

Education. Technology. Innovation

Next level digital teaching and learning

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Next level digital teaching & learning

Today’s students have high expectations of their learning experiences.  Due to their everyday exposure to technology, there is a need for highly engaging learning experiences. Most importantly they demand a learning environment that not only gives them the qualifications they need, but also the skills to be successful in the workplace.

Often institutions invest in the hardware and software systems that are the norm when it comes to the digital learning journey. But how confident are you that you are able to use this technology to its full potential?  Learn how our Digital Teaching and Learning Series (eteacher powered by Blackboard) enabled educators from the University of Johannesburg to take their digital teaching and learning tools to the next level.

Get in touch

The best training I’ve received so far.

Belinda Schutte

Education. Technology. Innovation

Plagiarism is just bad manners

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is plagiarism just bad manners?

Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker, Malcolm Gladwell created a stir on Twitter when he shared that he thought, “plagiarism [was] just bad manners…” This was his response to plagiarism allegations against him, during his interview with Daily Beast.

His reasoning was that plagiarism was not the journalistic sin it is made out to be, but rather that “the notion of originality” is narcasisstic. He argues that journalism cannot acknowledge that it is highly derivitave in nature, and therefore enforces originality on the level of the sentence. Basically if someone takes your words and makes something new with it, he “doesn’t care.”

But according to Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing, it is precisely this “I don’t care” attitude that lies at the core of plagiarism. The apathy of not caring about academic excellence leads to plagiarism and contract cheating.

The challenges related to plagiarism and contract cheating are becoming greater as the digital world and access to information freely shared grows. But this should not make us care less about plagiarism – in fact, we should become even more dilligent in how we credit thoughts and ideas. As in all things in life – where rules are no longer respected, unfortunate consequences follow.

Similarly if we loosen up the rules for plagiarism – what would the consequences for academic standards and credibility be?

We have to keep pushing for academic integrity, where plagiarism is more than “bad manners”, but rather an unacceptable act that equates to theft of ideas, thoughts and words.

Agree? Maintain Academic Integrity at your institution. Let us help you.

*Source: Turnitin Blog

Get in touch

It’s apathy that leads to academic misconduct.

Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing

Education. Technology. Innovation

Expand the traditional campus – go mobile

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Expand the traditional campus - go mobile

As the idea of the “traditional” student disappears from higher education, campus communities are responding to an increasingly diverse student body, with a wide range of backgrounds, interests and perspectives. To ensure that all students, regardless of these differences, experience a study journey that meets the standards above, we must expand the traditional campus to deliver on the individual needs of each student. More and more institutions are realising that mobile can offer the flexibility to create personalized experiences with a platform that can scale across large student bodies and many campuses.

Learn how you can deploy mobile to support student success across all student demographics and enable a vibrant campus that each student can experience in their own way.

1.Enhance real-life campus experiences

Deploy an app that will help students get oriented on campus, informs them of mandatory and optional orientation events, and gives them opportunities to connect with other students.

2. Make course enrollment easy

Use your campus app to decrease the barriers for students to enroll in college and progress at a steady pace towards college completion.

3. Support students with financial aid information

Students may be eligible for grants they never knew existed, and, with some support, might be able to rearrange their budgets to find that extra funding.

4. Create engaging, personalised communications

Ensure your students are getting information that is critical to their success on campus. Too often, student emails go ignored and pile up, only to get batch deleted when inboxes become full.

5. Help students skill-up, no matter the skills they’re looking for

Students are increasingly looking for customised learning experiences that incorporate digital options. Take your in-app offerings one step further and use mobile to support student learning.

6. Prioritise student wellness and mental health

Incorporate a wellness module into your campus app, featuring content like tips for starting a meditation practice, managing competing priorities, or starting a new habit, such as regular exercise.

8. Keep students on track with degree progression

Make sure your students know how many more credits they need to graduate, which required classes they need to take, and how they are tracking towards college completion

9. Bring together your campus community

Mobile can bring people together under shared interests and keep students connected to your institution.

10. Deliver on a student support system

Having a support system is key to student success. Give parents, family members and other student supporters access to campus information through the app.

Get in touch

Unlock mobile innovation.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation

Cloud servers reduce costs up to 21%

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Cloud servers reduce costs up to 21%

While the impression is there that a cloud server is potentially more risky than hosting data on an internal server, IT leaders in Higher Education believe the so-called “Cloud” is the way of the future for Educational Institutions. In fact hosting in the cloud can save an institution up to 21% in cost!

Data is dynamic. Constantly moving, constantly accelerating in terms of size and speed. The only way to stay up to speed competitively is to host this constant stream of data on a cloud-based server. But what are the implications for an institution if they were to opt for cloud? Here are a few key benefits:

More space

A cloud-base server means access to virtual space. This means institutions can handle higher volumes of inquiries and admissions, improving overall performance.

Cost-saving

Less human resources, less equipment, less on-premises security needed. In short less infrastructure translates to less costs

Security

Yes, handled correctly a cloud-based server can actually be safer than your data locked up in a room with human protection. Protected 24/7 with less technical disruptions and physical threats such as fire, power failures and physical security.

Ease of access

Share information immediately across your institution. A cloud-based system offers a standardised administrative process, with the advantage of immediate roll-out of all changes.

Want to opt for cloud? We have the SIS for you

Get in touch

Consistent campus management. Delivered.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation

High unemployment

EdTech Insights

The future is now

High unemployment rate a shame on the country's conscience

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the high unemployment rate among the youth in the country as “a shame on our country’s conscience”.

Addressing several hundred people during the June 16 commemoration in Polokwane, Limpopo on Sunday at the local cricket club grounds, Ramaphosa said it was the youth who reminded the nation that liberation of the country is not complete if millions of people are still living in poverty and are jobless.

“Over the last few months, I travelled the country listening to the voices of our people – young and old, men and women. They took time talking about their frustrations as well as their fears. They shared their many problems and challenges. They told me of the indignity of waking up each morning, hoping that [today] will be the day that they find work or some opportunity to change their lives, only to be disappointed day-in and day-out.”

“They told me of their despondency of having to sit at home despite having the [university] degrees or the diplomas because they do not have work experience. These are the stories of the youth around the whole country.” Cyril Ramphosa

He further went on to share positive stories of innovation and entrepreneurship. And while he offered some suggestions on how we as a country need to solve this immense challenge of unemployment, we have to ask the question – what is our role? How do institutions contribute to the solution? We believe employability should be part and parcel of a student’s studies. What if there was a system that sees a student learn how to handle interviews, that prepares them for the job hunt after graduation and most importantly connects them with the right people and organisations before they graduate?

What if we told you such a solution exists? Contact us to learn more.

*Source: News24

Get in touch

SA’s unemployment rate climbs to 27,6% 

Businesstech

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Cogknowtion

EdTech Insights

The future is now

In the know with Cogknowtion

On the 12th of June, Eiffel Corp hosted an event called “Cogknowtion.” An innovative concept speaking of an individual “seeking digital education, mobility and change management excellence for knowledge and growth.”

With just under 100 participants gathering, the day was filled with action, learning and networking.

The venue slowly filled up early morning, with guests gathering around to enjoy coffee and refreshments. Our CEO, Ian Light, led with introductions and an overview of Eiffel Corp’s history, which was followed by lightning… 

Our ‘Lightning Strikes’ sessions opened the floor with interactive stations where participants joined in on fun and games that illustrated Eiffel Corp’s main products and services. This proved to be a true learning curve for all, from assessing originality in academic essays, to true or false quizzes on Learning Management Systems, and some ball skills in a simulation of ‘beer pong’ (a firm favourite). Then there was learning about mobile solutions, while uncovering codes in a mobile app ‘treasure’ hunt; and colour coded smarties reveal the intricacies of SIS. 

After the sessions were completed – our guest speakers shared some more in depth insights on these products, followed by lunch, after which participants learnt the ease with which a mobile app can be developed and deployed – in under an hour.

“Cogknowtion offered a true reflection of how active participation in learning increases understanding of subject matter. Research showed that long term retention rates dramatically increase when participatory methods are used in teaching. Our products and services enable interactive teaching or training and learning,” Clare Reilly, General Manager: Sales and Marketing.

It is this deep, reflective cognitive process that captures the essence of “Cogknowtion”, the key to what we do.

For more information on how our products and services can enable your institution, please get in touch today. 

Get in touch

I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand.

Confucius

Education. Technology. Innovation

The Power of Blackboard Analytics

EdTech Insights

The future is now

The power of analytics

Educators can now identify an at-risk student and intervene before it is too late.

Through the use of learning analytics.  

Picture a student in your class fiddling with their phones. He appears to be taking notes, but you cannot really say if he is, or if he is just WhatsApping a friend…in class time. Of course, he could be checking coursework or working with his peers on lecture related work. But then again, he could be completely distracted during your class with non-related activities.

Now, what if you as educator, had access to data to help you understand your students’ behaviour better. Not only picking up on their online activities, but also using analytical tools to speak to your students in their unique, digital language. Through understanding your students’ behaviour when it comes to technology, you may also have the insight to create a course that meets his/her needs and expectations.

While there is no easy solution to engaging students, but there are definitive, constructive steps you can take.

  1.          You can use analytical tools to help identify at-risk students.
  2.         Help students who are struggling through interpreting analytics
  3.          Support students in discovering how they can help themselves

Learning analytics can help your students be happier and more efficient in their studies. Find out how and more by getting in touch with us today – for tools that offer strategic solutions.

 

Get in touch

Making students happier is just the start of how learning analytics can help you

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation