COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

The school of NAS hosted the national science week in collaboration with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) on the 31st July to the 1st August 2018.

National Science Week, is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST,) and is a countrywide celebration of science involving various stakeholders and/or role players conducting science-based activities during the week. NSW is run in all nine provinces simultaneously at multiple sites per province.  SAASTA has been appointed by the DST as the implementing agency and play the role of a coordinating body for the National Science Week. This year’s theme was “Deepening our democracy through science.”

NAS with the help of DoE invited 360 grade 9, 10 and 11 science learners from underperforming schools around Kimberley.  The six schools that were invited are: Dr EP Lekhela, Emang Mmogo comprehensive, Floors Comprehensive, Greenpoint High, Roodepan High and Vuyolwethu High. There were 1st to 3rd year student presenters alongside lecturers and laboratory technicians from SPU in the fields ICT, Data science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics who presented their projects and experiments to the learners. From outside SPU there was an organization called NCDEV presenting their work as well. Projects and presentations varied from ICT and Data Science: The Enhanced Smart Farming device, SPU graduates sharing information about Developer/Maker momentum in Northern Cape, Gaming arcade, Student Attendance Mobile App, Chemistry: Ghost writing using UV light, Oxidation reaction of Mg metal, Acid-Base titrations, Esterification reactions. Physics: Conservation of momentum, Biology: Microscopic observations, Medicinal plants and Gene sampling.

1st Year Students’ Community Engagement Web Development Projects

On completion of the 1st year module Multimedia Foundations I (NMUF51220), for the ICT Diploma at Sol Plaatje University (SPU), students should be able to understand the essential multimedia concepts for the Web. In addition, students should then be able to plan, design and develop a multimedia Website with specific use of HTML, XHTML, or Web authoring.

Since 2014, all NMUF51220 group projects were community based projects, requiring students to visit their local communities. Student groups have to visit their local communities, whether it be a school, church or youth group, home for the aged or small business. One of the aims of the project is to address issues that affect the community and/or nation building. Groups have to engage with the community.  The objective is to strive for the upliftment of communities through specific communication and training, workshops, community interface solutions, awareness programmes or create an online presence for small businesses in the community.

2014 & 2015

Interviews/meetings must be scheduled with School Principals, Church Youth Coordinators and Small Business Owners. Members of the Web Development Team (1st year SPU students) have to engage with the community (youth, learners, parents, teachers, community leaders, small business owners). Thereafter, the Web Development Teams will create a Website (2 – 3 pages) to fit the theme: “Community Engagement”. The website should inform the audience of the Team’s involvement with the community.

Groups have to visit their local community, whether it be at a school, church or youth group amongst other. Interviews/meetings must be scheduled with School Principals, Church, Youth Coordinators and others. Members of the Web Development Team (SPU students) have to engage with the community (youth, learners, parents, teachers and community leaders) on issues around the topic “Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Violence and Limited Opportunities”.

Thereafter, The Web Development Teams will create a Website (2 – 3 pages) to answer the following question: “Can Education Rescue Our Youth At-Risk?” The Website should inform the audience of the Team’s involvement with the community. Each group must create the following planning documents to be included in their

Portfolio of Evidence (PoE):

  • Creative Brief for that community
  • Flowcharts and Storyboards for the Web site

On completion of their websites, groups will submit a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) which will include (but are not limited to) the Minutes of Meetings, Creative Brief, Flowcharts, Storyboards, Screenshots of Web pages, etc. Groups will also be required to demonstrate their functional Web sites.

Objective: One of the aims of the project is to address issues that affect the community and nation building. Groups have to engage with the community on issues around the topic “Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Violence and Limited Opportunities – Can Education Rescue Our Youth At-Risk?” How can parents, teachers and community leaders work together to protect children’s right to education? The objective is to strive for the upliftment of communities through specific communication and training, workshops, community interface solutions and awareness programmes.    

2016, 2017 & 2018

Groups have to visit their local community, whether it be at a school, church or youth group, home for the aged, small business and others. Interviews/meetings must be scheduled with School Principals, Church Youth Coordinators, Small Business owners and others. Members of the Web Development Team (SPU students) have to engage with the community (youth, learners, parents, teachers, community leaders, small business owners).

Thereafter, the Web Development Teams will create a Website (2 – 3 pages) to fit the theme: “Giving Back”. The website should inform the audience of the Team’s involvement with the community. Each group must create the following planning documents to be included in their Portfolio of Evidence (PoE):

Each group must create the following Planning Documents:

  1. Creative Brief for the community Website
  2. Flowcharts for the community Website
  3. Storyboards for the community Web site

On completion of their Websites, groups will submit a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) which will include (but are not limited to):

  1. Minutes of Meetings
  2. Creative Brief
  3. Flowcharts
  4. Storyboards
  5. Screenshots of Web pages, etc.

Groups will also be required to demonstrate their functional Web sites.

Objective: One of the aims of the project is to address issues that affect the community and/or nation building. Groups have to engage with the community.  The objective is to strive for the upliftment of communities through specific communication and training, workshops, community interface solutions, awareness programmes or create an online presence for small businesses in the community.

Websites have become a requirement to build positive social media community engagement. Each group will use the rubric below as a guideline to properly create their site in HTML5 utilizing the Notepad++ free source code editor. Groups are allowed to explore with JavaScript and/or CSS and integrate it into their HTML5 code.

Site Requirements

Purpose of a website is to use it as a tool to raise awareness and encourage community participation, and also to showcase the group’s engagement with the community. Simple navigation is a must-have on all community websites. You want users to easily locate the information they are seeking in a short period of time. An eye-catching community website is an excellent means of drawing in user participation. A large, catchy header and use of images will grab their attention. But, be careful not to overdo it and distract users from the community website content with too many bells and whistles. The content determines the quality. The content on the community website should hold value for users. Give them useful information and interesting points of view.

If possible, allow visitors to leave comments on website that will be written to a database or, which can be sent directly to a valid email address. Websites must be uploaded onto a host site.

Godfrey Rudolph

Lecturer: Multimedia Foundations I (NMUF51220)

Report on Huawei Seeds for the Future Program in China.

Huawei in partnership with Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS) offers a Seeds for the future program where every year since 2016 they sent 10 South African students to China for international training in Beijing and Shenzhen. The students receives training in technologies such as LTE, 5G, and cloud computing, and got access to Huawei’s most advanced labs for practical. The training program offers cultural experience as well. Huawei is aiming to let young people benefit from the experience and support it can provide as a global ICT company.

Being selected as one of South African seeds is a huge achievement for me, given where I come from, small place called Taung. I knew just a little about ICT in my whole life until I got into the university, where I learnt more, but being granted the opportunity to go and learn more of ICT skills in China, to me is quite an achievement.  My experience in China was very amazing, I got a chance to witness the high level of ICT usage in China, where everything is almost done and payed electronically, where you would find QR code on everything and everywhere like in vending machines, bicycles, meter taxis, and at the restaurant tables, people there have WeChat application installed in their phones, it also have QR code that enables you to scan anywhere you see QR code and pay via it, it’s rare to see someone carrying cash with them. China has cameras everywhere, every corners of the streets, even on the trees. People there are so kind, loving, and always smiling with you, irrespective of your skin colour or where you come from. First week in Beijing I attended cultural classes, Monday to Friday, 08:00am – 17:00pm where I learnt Chinese language called Mandarin, calligraphy and painting. During class we were only speaking mandarin, we sang in mandarin and even performed a drama using mandarin language. It was very fun and interesting to be in a new environment and get to learn and try new things. Last day of a week we wrote a test, where every seed passed it, and after we were all awarded with certificates. Comprehensive classes really helped us, as we were able to interact with people there and there, we had clue of what to say when we get into a restaurant and how to negotiate prices when shopping. We visited the Great Hall and The Forbidden City, the former Chinese imperial palace, which is now called the palace Museum, where we learnt history of that palace.

Second week we went to Shenzhen, to learn more of ICT skills such as LTE, Cloud and 5G. First two days of classes were quite challenging for me as I had just a bit knowledge about telecommunications and we were taught depth telecommunications theory and did practical. We were taught the difference between first, second, third and fourth generation mobile communication system, that is 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, and how to connect devices to the internet using those different generations. I also learnt about the three clouds, the Experience, Knowledge, and Customer solution clouds, how to connect data to support transformation to different clouds. On the last two days, each seed decoded the Fixed Network Services, configured our own 4G Base Station, verified 3G and 4G Platform and Services. Then on the last day we all wrote an exam based on everything we were taught, theory and practical, later that day there was a graduation ceremony whereby the seeds passed the exam will receive a certificate of successfully completing Seeds for the Future Program, which by then I was one of those who received the certificate. Thanks to other two African teams which we were there with, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, they were always willing to help us SA students to understand, as they were familiar and had more knowledge in telecommunications.  All 10 South Africans students went to China, major in software developing.

There is more IoT’s ideas that can be implemented to make our lives very easy, whereby everything will done and controlled electronically. I believe and know that the skills and knowledge I gained in China will come as handy in future and help me in so many things.

In conclusion, do we really know what’s going on behind the scenes with every button-click we make? Somewhere in our lives, we have all hidden away behind the screens that surround us. Most of us just consume the technology running on these devices, and do we ever give a second thought of what we could implement so to make other people’s lives better? We all should participate in innovating technologies to better the lives of the ordinary people and to integrate technology into our lives. As a software developer, it is my duty to solve problems on a daily basis and I have the responsibility to teach people about the benefits of well-developed software. I would like to highlight some benefits of ICT, ICT is a combination of Information, knowledge, processes and technology to provide a foundation for driving efficiencies and fuelling innovation. It plays an important part in everyone’s lives. ICT is an ever changing and complex field of science, and many people find ICT very confusing. Most businesses require ICT skills these days as business processes are becoming automated and need people to create and manage systems. In businesses, ICT should be important because ICT enables employees to have information right at their fingertips. Therefore ICT should be included in every business and should be an integral part of our lives and developing this skill must be followed in every person’s daily routine.

 Thanks to DTPS and Huawei for the opportunity.

 

Rebaone Moretlwe.

Sol Plaatje University.

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