Bringing teacher support and professional development to the forefront

Bringing teacher support and professional development to the forefront

The South African Council for Educators (SACE), supported by Belgian NPO VVOB (education for development), has launched a digital library that makes thousands of ebooks freely available to 400 000 SACE-registered teachers. 

‘The President of South Africa has highlighted how important it is for the country to become a nation of readers and our vision to launch the SACE Virtual Library for our registered educators and stakeholders is in line with this – to strengthen reading and literacy in South Africa,’ said SACE CEO Ella Mokgalane. 

Since teachers play such a vital role in nurturing learners, it is crucial that these educators have access to resources and tools that not only help them to be the best teachers they can be, but empower them to continue growing and evolving in their teaching profession.

The SACE Virtual Library is powered by Snapplify’s award-winning technology and includes a wide range of content – from professional development, leadership and management, to teaching resources and books for leisure reading. 

Importantly, Mokgalane notes, ‘engaging with the reading material from the SACE Virtual Library counts as part of educators’ continuing professional development. Therefore, educators will also be able to record their professional development points by accessing the reading material from the virtual library, which is closely linked to the Continued Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) portal.’

SACE has worked closely with the Snapplify Foundation and VVOB to launch the e-library and make thousands of diverse and relevant digital resources available. The Snapplify Foundation is passionate about supporting teachers, and is proud to be working alongside SACE and VVOB to empower the South African teaching community. 

To access the SACE Virtual Library, teachers need to be registered with SACE. Members have been emailed an invitation to join the library, and can also log in to the library using the link found in the SACE CPTD portal. Once books are checked out of the library, teachers can read them on any device, online or offline, using the Snapplify Reader app.


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Public can donate stationery boxes to schools in need with the click of a button

Public can donate stationery boxes to schools in need with the click of a button

For just R25, individuals, companies and institutions are now able to donate a stationery box to a schoolchild in need. The Snapplify Foundation, a registered NPC, will facilitate the donation for online school stationery store YourSchoolBox.

As a subsidiary of OfficeBox, YourSchoolBox provides a quick, easy, affordable way for parents and schools to manage Back2School orders. Now, anyone can sponsor a child simply by adding a box of stationery to their YourSchoolBox shopping cart. 

Earlier this year, YourSchoolBox integrated Snapplify authentication technology into its website, making signing up and signing in even simpler for hundreds of thousands of Snapplify users. 

This is the first step in the partnership between the Snapplify Foundation and YourSchoolBox, with future CSI and donor funding planned to flow via the foundation. 

‘We’re so pleased that YourSchoolBox has brought us on board as their partner for their CSI and donation programme. At the Snapplify Foundation, our mission is to increase access to quality education, and with essential stationery supplies, thousands of students will be better able to learn and succeed,’ said Debra Ogilvie-Roodt, Head of the Snapplify Foundation.

YourSchoolBox has already donated stationery packs to three government schools – The Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT), Kannemeyer Primary School and Disa Primary School – who have each been given R25 000’s worth of stationery for 2021. 

David Adams, Founder and CEO of YourSchoolBox, said: ‘We’re proud to partner with the Snapplify Foundation who have made it easy for YourSchoolBox to get our own school stationery donations distributed amongst schools in need. Most importantly though, they ensure that 100% of our customers’ donations make their way into the hands of less fortunate learners. We look forward to growing our relationship with the Snapplify Foundation and doing our small bit to assist the future leaders of SA, who all just need a start.’

The newly established foundation has seen incredible momentum in recent months – from joining forces with other partners to donate educational ebooks and uplift a no-fee government school, to opening a series of digital libraries across South Africa.

Earlier this month, the Snapplify Foundation was awarded the Bett MEA Inclusion Award, receiving international recognition for the important work it has achieved to provide digital content and e-learning tools to students who have needed these most, particularly during the pandemic. 


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Bett MEA gives international recognition to Snapplify Foundation for inclusion in education

Bett MEA gives international recognition to Snapplify Foundation for inclusion in education

The Snapplify Foundation has won the 2020 Bett MEA Inclusion Award for its work providing digital content and e-learning tools to students who need these most.

Established earlier in 2020, the foundation has already made great strides in improving access to educational opportunities for thousands of students who might otherwise have been left behind, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, students who have benefited from access to key educational resources and e-reading software via the Snapplify Foundation have included 10 000 matric learners on iSchoolAfrica’s #MyFuture programme, students at TSIBA Business School, and the beneficiaries of StudyTrust (promoting equal education in South Africa by connecting talented yet financially needy students with bursaries).

Most recently, the Snapplify Foundation has begun work with iSchoolAfrica and Saray Khumalo on rolling out nine digital libraries across South Africa, and has partnered with school management platform d6 to uplift schools with products and services that they would not usually be able to afford.

‘At the Snapplify Foundation, we are fully committed to the notion of “Leave No One Behind”.  COVID-19 has shown us the crucial role that technology has to play in creating access to education, but has also highlighted how big the digital divide is and the challenges that need to be addressed to overcome this,’ said Head of the Snapplify Foundation, Debra Ogilvie-Roodt. ‘We are grateful to be working with partners who are as committed as we are to helping schools, teachers and students overcome these challenges and bridge this divide in a sustainable way.’


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Snapplify Foundation and d6 partner to uplift Khayelitsha STEM school

Snapplify Foundation and d6 partner to uplift Khayelitsha STEM school

The Snapplify Foundation is joining forces with d6, South Africa’s leading online school management platform, to provide digital tools, content and training to the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT) – a model, no-fee government high school in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

In line with its commitment to increase access to education in disadvantaged communities, the Snapplify Foundation will set up a digital library for the school, providing students and staff with 24/7 access to over 50 000 free ebooks. Going forward, the foundation will work with Snapplify and publishing partners to supply additional library content that supports teacher and student requirements. 

The Snapplify Foundation will also provide free training to teachers on using the Engage e-learning platform which, in addition to the e-library, comes with the ability to share multimedia resources with students, helping to improve engagement and understanding as the curriculum is brought to life. In addition, COSAT teachers will be registered for Snapplify Teacha! Benefits, a programme that provides educators with free and discounted teaching aids.

For 2021, d6 will be donating online training for the school’s staff. Diving into the details of the platform’s functionality, the training will empower school staff and management to make full use of the software.

COSAT principal, Phadiela Cooper shares: ‘We’ve been using d6 since 2016 to do our learner academic reports, attendance registers, learner profiles and finances. Being able to upskill our staff so that they can use d6 and Snapplify effectively is going to make a real difference – and getting an e-learning platform and e-library with thousands of wonderful books is any educator’s dream.’

‘From allowing teachers to focus on teaching, to enabling accountability and facilitating decision-making, our administrative tools are crucial to how schools and students perform – as is easy access to educational content. Our goals to support schools with comprehensive solutions are aligned with those of the Snapplify Foundation so we’re particularly excited about this partnership, which we know will bring technological access to schools that need it the most,’ said d6 CEO, Willem Kitshoff.

This is the first step in what will be a long working relationship between the Snapplify Foundation and d6. ‘There are a lot of schools in South Africa and only a small percentage of them can afford these products and services,’ shares Debra Ogilvie-Roodt, Head of the Snapplify Foundation. ‘Between us, we plan to use our large network of schools, as well as private sector partnerships, to drive measurable change in education – in South Africa and beyond.’


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Snapplify Foundation, iSchoolAfrica and Saray Khumalo partner to make profound impact on education

Snapplify Foundation, iSchoolAfrica and Saray Khumalo partner to make profound impact on education

The Snapplify Foundation has joined iSchoolAfrica and award-winning mountaineer Saray Khumalo in setting up nine digital libraries for disadvantaged schools across South Africa’s nine provinces. As the official digital partner for the iSchoolAfrica and Saray Khumalo Literacy Labs, the foundation will provide digital books and e-resources for the libraries, selecting content according to each school’s unique needs.

Using a mobile iPad lab provided by iSchoolAfrica, thousands of students will now have access to their own fully functional school e-library. Each digital library uses Snapplify’s award-winning technology and comes with curated content that targets learners’ particular age group, reading level and interests. The Snapplify Foundation has also worked closely with its local publishing partners in order to provide mother-tongue language resources for the schools in the programme.

‘We know from the research that children are able to grasp concepts easier when they encounter it in their first language, and that students find their learning more meaningful when content reflects the world around them. For this reason, the Snapplify Foundation is especially proud to have provided these schools with access to a broad range of local African content,’ said the foundation’s Debra Ogilvie-Roodt. 

Just last month, a life-changing cyclothon – hosted by Saray Khumalo, Momentum Multiply, Vumatel and Planet Fitness – broke the Guinness World Record for the most money raised during an eight-hour stationary cycling event. The funds will go towards the iSchoolAfrica library project.

‘iSchoolAfrica focuses on bringing the world’s best technology and classroom practices to under-resourced schools. Our exciting partnership with the Snapplify Foundation therefore makes sense, as we strongly believe that our learners deserve the skills and quality support to reach their potential and succeed,’ said Michelle Lissoos, Director at iSchoolAfrica.

Earlier this year, the foundation joined the iSchoolAfrica #MyFuture programme – a campaign focusing on assisting 10 000 promising but vulnerable Grade 12 students whose futures are in jeopardy as a result of the pandemic. While iSchoolAfrica supplied iPads, the Snapplify Foundation provided e-reading software and a digital library with over 50 000+ free ebooks to the matrics, enabling them to continue learning with easy access to key educational resources.

As the Snapplify Foundation and iSchoolAfrica continue to work together, ten of thousands of students are set to benefit from access to digital content and devices – highlighting the importance of collaborative partnerships to create meaningful, measurable educational interventions.

‘The digital skills that these learners will gain while using our technology is an essential part of preparing these students not just for the 21st-century workplace but even more broadly, for their roles in society as digitally empowered citizens. We’ve been excited to be working with a partner like iSchoolAfrica who, like us, recognises the power of technology to impact the future of our youth dramatically,’ said Ogilvie-Roodt.

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