Enhancing Digital Skills in South African Schools: Application Skills and Essential Equipment

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it is crucial to equip South African learners with application skills that will allow them to use various digital platforms effectively. The Application Skills strand in the Foundation Phase curriculum introduces students to different digital platforms, teaching them about device applications’ user interfaces and functions.

Developing Application Skills in the Classroom

The Application Skills strand focuses on teaching learners the following skills and content:

  1. Using digital devices: Familiarizing learners with different devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  2. Navigating applications and user interfaces: Introducing students to various applications and teaching them how to use their interfaces effectively.
  3. Text editing applications: Guiding learners in creating, editing, and formatting text documents using word processing software.
  4. Spreadsheet applications: Instruct students in organizing, analyzing, and presenting data using spreadsheet software.

Computer Hardware and Software Requirements for Coding and Robotics Laboratories

To support the development of application skills in South African schools, it is essential to provide learners with access to appropriate computer hardware and software. The following minimum hardware specs and software requirements should be met in Coding and Robotics Laboratories:

Computer Hardware Requirements:

  • GHz 64-bit processor (Core I5 CPU minimum)
  • 8 GB RAM / 4GB RAM + 2GB Graphics card
  • 500 GB secondary storage
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Monitor with a resolution of 1024×768 or higher
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Data projector or demonstrating software (LED Lens with 3000 lumens)
  • One high-speed printer per Coding and Robotics Lab
  • Internet Access
  • Network

Computer Software Requirements:

  • Antivirus and Internet Security
  • Cloud Storage Services
  • Operating System
  • Office Suite (Text editing and Spreadsheets)
  • Application Software for Block-based Coding and Drawing
  • Screen Control

By teaching Application Skills in South African schools and providing learners access to suitable computer hardware and software, educators can help bridge the digital divide and prepare students for the technologically advanced world. These skills will enable learners to engage confidently with digital platforms, equipping them with the tools necessary to succeed in their future academic and professional endeavours.