MATHS whizzes in high schools across the Eastern Cape competed against each other using an innovative app on their mobile devices.
The free TouchTutor® Quiz app – developed by Nelson Mandela University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre and made available on the Google Play store earlier this year – offered pupils a wide array of content to boost their knowledge and understanding of mathematics, along with two unique options to achieve in the subject.
The first saw pupils across the province completing a series of competitions throughout the year, all the time accumulating “leaderboard” points for their achievements, while the second option saw 250 selected pupils competing in a two-round Maths Olympiad competition for the top positions.
The overall “leaderboard” winners in each grade were Khwezi Lomso’s Anganathi Nombombo (Grade 8), Alexander Road’s Evagelos Batsis (Grade 9), KwaMagxaki Secondary School’s Kamva Mkroyiya (Grade 10), Nico Malan’s Riana Goussard (Grade 11) and Nico Malan’s Erich du Plessis (Grade 12).
Du Plessis also came tie-first in the Olympiad’s Grade 11 and 12 competition, along with Pearson’s Darmhik Naicker and Ndzondelelo High’s Likhona Mbele. Nico Malan’s Tristan Venter won the Grade 8 and 9 category, while Alexander Road’s Chase de Doncker was top in Grade 10.
In addition to province-based competitions, the app provides pupils with mobile access to both maths and science content, along with multi-language support, self-tests with feedback, and school-based competitions. All of these are linked to the Grade 8 to 12 school curricula for maths, and the Grade 10 to 12 physical sciences curricula.
The app is particularly useful for under-resourced schools, where pupils do not always gain the mathematical knowledge or skills they need to excel at school or to access universities.
TouchTutor® Quiz can be downloaded onto phones or android tablets – and can also be linked to data projectors for teaching use in classrooms.
“The app can be used by pupils, teachers and schools anywhere in South Africa. It builds on our existing programmes, which have led to improved understanding and real results in the classroom. Our hope for next year is that we will be able to significantly expand the participation of pupils across the country ,” said GMMDC’s Phil Collett.
TouchTutor® Quiz is a spin-off of GMMDC’s ground-breaking TouchTutor® package – which is an offline teaching and learning resource that covers the complete high school curriculum for maths and science. First introduced in 2012 and expanded each year until its 2017 completion, the package brings maths and physical sciences concepts to life for pupils through offline video lessons, PowerPoint presentations and innovative software called GeoGebra – while also boosting their understanding through past papers, interactive self-tests, and language support in several South African languages.
Before the launch of the quiz app in May this year, TouchTutor® was only available as a tablet- or desktop-based “personal tutor”, reaching pupils in GMMDC’s 100 project schools, and as a laptop-based teaching resource, accessible to teachers in those schools. The quiz is enabling TouchTutor® to reach many more pupils and teachers.
“Through all our programmes, we have been determined to find creative ways of harnessing accessible offline technology to reach today’s ‘screen generation’. We’re also providing teachers with modern teaching approaches to address the aspirations and content gaps of pupils in South Africa,” said GMMDC head Prof Werner Olivier.
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