Six of TEACH South Africa’s Ambassadors are taking part in the Iris Connect pilot project. Currently being rolled out by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), in partnership with the British Council at 3 schools in Gauteng. Iris Connect is an intuitive video-based platform that offers secure access professional learning opportunity. Using the technology kit classes are recorded. Importantly this offers teachers the opportunity to review their own classes on video, providing invaluable insight into their teaching presentation and so allowing them to enhance professional development through self-evaluation.
It also allows teaching professionals to share their teaching with an international peer group, for review, collaboration and improved teaching. These kits can also be used for diagnostic purposes. Ms. Maredi a TEACH Ambassador involved in the pilot said that,’It [Iris Connect] helps to review your lessons afterwards to improve teaching techniques’. The six TEACH Amabssadros currently teaching at …..Schools in Ekhuruleni South have been working with the Iris Connect team, from the Untied Kingdom, for the past three weeks to understand how the kits work and value to teachers and the school as a whole. This pilot allows the DBE to explore the value of this technology for teacher development, classroom support and knowledge sharing.
Mr David Silman of the DBE, explained during a presentation on the technology, that the potential of having a technology like this in South African classrooms could be invaluable, especially in terms of support to schools in remote areas where long distances restrict support opportunities. Pitso Motaung, a TEACH South Africa Ongoing Support Mentor, was positive about the potential of this technology to facilitate the sharing of content and lesson planning for improved teaching and a greater access to teaching knowledge. The six Iris Connect Kits will be left at their respective schools for continued use by the Ambassador and throughout the schools.