IT Systems Implementation & Workshops | LEAP Science and Maths School
A team of 13 employees from Pure Good Foundation (Pure Storage) helped set up new IT systems and conducted IT teacher and learner training workshops at LEAP 2 School. The goals of the project were to increase teachers' digital literacy and improve learning outcomes for Grades 8 - 12 students through the use of technology.
About the Nonprofit
It is estimated that the South African education system produces just one graduate for every 100 children who start Grade 1. Students living in townships are at a huge disadvantage where two-thirds suffer from domestic violence, and historically during apartheid, black South Africans were not allowed to learn math and science.
LEAP Science and Maths School is an innovative nonprofit organization that has six schools throughout South Africa and is a pioneer in providing quality education to underserved youth living in Townships. They focus on Math, Science, and English, have extended school hours, and believe in developing the students’ character as well as their intellect. On average 70% of students in South Africa pass the Grade 12 final examinations, while 96% of LEAP students pass.
About the Project
This was Team4Tech’s fifth project with LEAP. Our vision was to assist LEAP in equipping all six of their schools so that each LEAP teacher will have a laptop, all learners will have access to technology through desktops and tablets, and classrooms will be models of 21st century teaching and learning methods.
With Pure's strong technical background, the Pure Good team worked with LEAP's IT team to move LEAP school's IT system to a VMware ESX environment. Previously LEAP's servers were run on FreeBSD so it wasn't well integrated. With the help of Pure, LEAP's Active Directory server, laptops and desktops are all on Windows, making future installations for LEAP's IT staff much easier. In addition, the Active Directory (used for authentication for the desktops and laptops users), and Moodle (used for recording LEAP's grades), now run on a virtual VMware machine, which is on a physical ESX, allowing for higher performance and is more scalable because they can add more virtual machines in the future at a lower cost than purchasing additional physical servers. The team also installed a Linux server that runs Moodle and KA lite, created images for LEAP 2's desktops and laptops, trained LEAP's IT staff, and taught a team of students called IT superstars, to help with future troubleshooting and maintenance of the IT equipment.
On the teacher training side, the team conducted interactive, personalized sessions on basic digital literacy, Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Google Tools, and educational software such as KA Lite, IXL Maths and Science, Paper Video, Tux Typing, WordPress, Makey Makey, Scratch, and Google Cardboard/Google Expeditions for the teachers and future teachers of LEAP 2 school. During reflection session, the teachers expressed that they felt more comfortable using technology especially understanding how to integrate it into their classes.
Lastly, the team also worked with LEAP 2's schools' 220 learners! The team ran 8 sessions simultaneously for three days where Grades 8 - 12 students learned how to:
- Create their own website,
- Program with Python,
- Create music with a volunteer who is a professional DJ on the side,
- Travel the world through Google Expeditions and Google Cardboard,
- Meditate and practice gratitude,
- Create music and learn about circuits through Scratch and Makey Makey
- Learned about physics and how to build a strong bridge with popsicle sticks
- Learned how to play dodgeball
- Learned how to start their own business in entrepreneurship class
- Learned about different careers through career exploration class
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