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Khanya Magazine - September 2005

Kathy McCabe, Khanya Facilitator
Having spent 14 years in England, working with children in voluntary organisations and teaching, I was involved in the development of ICT in British primary schools. I trained teachers in schools across three counties, helping them integrate ICT into the curriculum. But I had left my heart in South Africa, and it was wonderful to return here at the beginning of 2003.

As a Khanya facilitator I am able to draw on my international experience and apply the skills I have learnt. It?s incredibly rewarding to help educators harness the power of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

At present, I conduct weekly or bi-weekly training sessions for well over 300 educators in almost 20 schools.

I've also begun developing computerised talking stories to aid reading acquisition. I'm passionate about these stories. They have a very South African content, with illustrations and story lines that local children can relate to. Used in conjunction with hard copies, these readers have already been used successfully in pilot schools. I would like to see them translated into other languages, thus enabling learners to switch between the languages and voices at the click of a mouse.

I believe we are incredibly fortunate to live at this moment in history. Our generation will be remembered in much the same way as we remember the Industrial Revolution - a time of immense change, social upheaval and progress. South Africans today are more open to change than many other societies. We are speeding at full throttle through a transition that has amazed the world. We no longer have old, set ideas to hold us back. In this new territory it's possible to feel sometimes that we don't have solid ground under our feet. There are so many challenges facing education. But it is also a wonderful opportunity. The rapid development of technology is opening up so many new possibilities.

I have great respect for the many committed, dedicated teachers I have come to know over the past two and a half years. Technology is taking all of us on a new journey. It opens up a whole new dimension to education and enables us to explore possibilities that we are only just beginning to discover.