Many of our readers will know Kate Groch as the CEO of Good Work Foundation and the daughter of Mo Groch, coordinator of the Londolozi Digital Learning Centre.
In June 2013, Kate was invited to speak on the TED stage in Edinburgh. Kate’s talk, From Chance to Choice, describes a model of education in rural Africa that is “leapfrogging” traditional education structures. A model that is using technology, cloud-based learning and innovative, online curriculums to connect learners to a digital world.
This model has been shaped, in no small part, by the adoption of Maya, Kate’s larger than life six-year-old daughter.
In this talk Kate tells that story.
In the seven months since Kate delivered this talk, 120 adult students have become digitally literate (and that is thanks to many Londolozi guests). 200 more adults have enrolled in various career-skills courses and will graduate in September 2014, and more than 1000 children use Good Work Foundation’s Digital Learning Centres every week for English, maths, and digital literacy tuition. By the end of 2014, Good Work Foundation will be reaching more than 2000 schoolchildren.
“What makes this journey so exciting” says Kate “is that we feel like pioneers. Not even in America or Europe have they got the education technology space right, and yet here, in rural South Africa, we are creating Digital Learning Centres that have tablet computers, online course material and high-speed broadband. In fact, we are the only sub-Saharan test study for Stanford University’s Stanford Mobile Inquiry-Based Learning Environment.”
Many Londolozi guests ask how they can contribute to the mission of Good Work Foundation. I posed the question to Kate, and here is what she had to say:
1. Experience “the lab”
A lot of what we do as an organisation started right here at Londolozi. My mom likes to call it “the lab”. As part of a Village Walk, guests can visit the Londolozi Digital Learning Centre and meet my mother, “Gogo” Mo, who discusses our organisation’s roots, our vision, and some of the practical lessons we have learnt “on the ground” so to speak.
2. Get involved in Digital Learning
Hazyview Digital Learning Centre is our state-of-the-art facility that operates in a village about one and half hours from Londolozi. Guests can arrange in advance to visit Hazyview and get involved with digital lessons, helping the kids out on the tablets, OR, spending some time with the adult students. There is a drive involved, but if you have some extra time, it’s well worth the trip.
3. Become Part of our Story
I love it when people from around the world start to take an interest and comment on our progress and our stories, often giving us really good, thoughtful ideas. If you would like to follow Good Work Foundation’s progress, become a fan of our Facebook page, where we post regular updates on our mission to change the landscape of rural African education. We include lots of interesting opinion pieces, and some terrific photos as well.
Do you think it is possible to change the face of education in rural Africa using innovative education technologies? Kate speaks about “human software” being as important as computers, applications and equipment. What do you think? If you have any direct questions or thoughts you would like to share with Kate, feel free to use the space below as a forum.