Developments in technology combined with shifts in education models are transforming the way academic institutions deliver education, and learners' preferred methods of learning. The world over, "blended learning" is fast becoming the norm.
Gijima, the information and communication technology company (ICT), has partnered with Panopto to deliver this hybrid learning model to educational institutions across the country.
Blended learning is an integrated approach to education that combines traditional in-class face-to-face learning methods with online activities.
Panopto is globally respected as a front-runner in the development of blended learning software and video management technology. Founded at Carnegie Mellon University, the company presently works with over 450 clients in the academic and corporate sectors, serving more than three million students around the world.
Positive impact in South Africa
Explaining Gijima's involvement in education, interim CEO Eileen Wilton says the company sees great potential for blended learning technologies to have a positive impact in South Africa.
"Shifts in education models and evolving technologies are driving the need for interactive, rich media-based interaction between students and educators. As a leader in customised technology-based solutions, Gijima saw it fit to get involved in the education space which is fast being shaped by advances in technology. An example is the emergence of integrated cameras and microphones in laptops, tablets and smartphones which is enabling recording on all platforms."
Key benefits of this approach to education delivery include enabling educational institutions to provide anytime access to educational content and to reach a wider audience of learners.
"Done correctly, blended learning helps to improve resource utilisation at educational institutions complementing traditional class interactions, and enhancing skills such as online content development and online learning. In the South African context, it will help ready our learners for self-directed and continuous learning as they further their careers after formal study," says Wilton.
Addressing educational challenges
Ari Bixhorn, Panopto's vice president of marketing, says the organisation shares Gijima's commitment to building capacity in South Africa and addressing educational challenges.
"Panopto is a company founded on the belief that technology can transform the way academic institutions deliver education and the way students learn. In partnership with Gijima, and through active engagement with local institutions, we look forward to delivering blended learning solutions that expand access to education and that cater to the diverse needs of South Africa's students."
Wilton says Gijima will be engaging with other like-minded organisations in the spirit of creating solid and meaningful partnerships.
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