2015-01-21

Digital champions are here to help Wits embrace eLearning in 2015

We have a dedicated team on hand to help everybody at Wits to navigate Sakai, TurnItIn and e-tivities

 

 

At Wits, we want our graduates to be technologically fluent and tech savvy. So how do we achieve our goals of working towards a tech savvy future?

Here in eLSI, one way of promoting tech savvy students is through the use of change agents. We have enlisted the help of four post graduates that are currently working as our eLearning Support Agents.

Our eLearning Support Agents are responsible for assisting students and staff to respond to the challenges of teaching and learning a digital world.

Our digital champions come from diverse strategic areas and although our students are employed as eLearning support agents, they are also our digital mentors and technology champions. They are our ambassadors for Sakai, eLearning, and a richer set of digital behaviours, practices and identities.

Digital champions

Meet our digital champions: Lloyd Uta, Zamambo Twalo, Mabontsi Molefe and Jarred McCarthy.

Lloyd is a self-motivated and charismatic individual who is currently working on his Masters in Commerce with Specialisation in Marketing here at Wits. His solid background in Information Systems positions him perfectly for his role at eLSI as he’s experienced in working in marketing and IT environments. He has a particular interest in eLearning and finding ways in which technological innovation can add value in 21st Century business environments. He has recently published two journal articles in the MJSS on innovation and management. Read more about Lloyd on his blog.

Zamambo self-identifies as an artist, activist and feminist – though not necessarily in this order. She has completed a BCom Honours in Development Theory and Policy; more commonly known as Development Economics at other institutions. Her next adventure (and according to her, certainly the most exciting yet) will begin this year when she embarks on an MBA at the Wits Business School. Zamambo is determined to develop a champion’s mind-set. In her own words: “attitude commands one’s destiny”. Follow her quirky and fun blog and see how she tackles the concept that a positive attitude can be one’s currency of power and a narrative for success.

Mabontsi is a quiet but well-spoken person who loves the world of science – specifically – robots and technology. She spends most of her time researching and exploring the art of science through software development and designs electronic devices.  She is studying towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. Mabontsi has had the privilege of working as a student engineer at Eskom while a student here at Wits and had the opportunity to put her engineering skills in to practice. Currently, eLSI is giving her the opportunity to enhance her online learning skills while she’s learning more about digital identities and eLearning ventures. She blogs about the ups and downs of the rollercoaster that is life at Wits as a student engineer, and about her eLSI experiences. You can read more about her journey.

Jarred describes himself as a ‘tree hugging environmentalist’ and his currently working on completing his BSc with Honours in Geography and Environmental Studies. He also tutors 1st year Geography students and would like to tackle a Masters Degree next. He’s interested in the junction between education and technology advances where integration can meet the needs of a 21st Century world. Follow his blog where he unpacks what it means to be a 21st Century student who’s forging his own digital identity.

As you can see, the diverse backgrounds and interests of our support agents are specifically selected because they will be able to form a network of expertise. Under our guidance here at eLSI, our agents are tasked to conduct face-to-face training by using our researched resources.

Our agents also assist staff and students by manning a help desk from Mondays – Fridays during office hours. We believe that our agents will not only gain invaluable experience in technological teaching skills by training and helping out here at Wits, but that they will also be able to transfer their skills back to their own communities and future employment prospects upon graduation.

This introduction to our support agents will hopefully give you more insight into the overall project we are involved with.

A near year with new goals

Our goals for 2015 include the following:

  1. Develop a successful ICT infrastructure: we want students to be able to support students to use computing devices and services on campus for eLearning.

     

  2. Develop a student support network: we want students to assist with the digital capability of other students; to both understand the digital capabilities students need and then provide students with clear signposts to training, support and guidance.

     

  3. Provide staff support: we want staff to be comfortable with working in a digitally-rich environment and we want to engage and reward staff for supporting students and reverse-mentoring staff.

     

  4. Online development: we want students to assist with creating digitally-rich activities that reduce staff workload (e.g. by using clickers, online peer assessments, lecture capture, having students author learning materials, etc.).

     

  5. Develop policy: we want students to assist us to create opportunities for digital issues to be discussed and work towards a campus that has digital spheres embedded in its ethos.

     

We hope that you don’t hesitate to contact one of our support agents to see how their expert help and assistance will enhance your teaching or learning experience! Remember that we are here to help you throughout 2015 and that we have a wealth of resources and help files to support your online activities.

 

Need help? Contact our helpdesk for fast and professional assistance

The helpdesk can be contacted from Monday to Friday on 011 717 7161. Alternatively, send an email to elearn@wits.ac.za or click here for our online form.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Last modified on 2015-01-23 by Liana Meadon