Teachers are more likely to achieve outstanding success when using teaching best practices & technology frequently


Of teachers achieve positive success when using collaborative software frequently


Whole-class instruction is the most frequently used teaching method


Of schools consider active learning as an important approach at their school


Not  only  does  the  use  of  instructional  technologies  help  to   improve  student  achievement  while  facilitating  communication  and  collaboration,  but  also   helps  to  prepare  students  for  the  workforce  of  the  21st  century.


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Great teachers get results. but when they are able to use education technology to enable the best teaching practices, their ability to achieve successful outcomes is greatly enhanced. The highest sucess comes from great teaching practices, complemented by software and hardware, in that order.


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WIL offers a holistic approach to learning by equipping employees not only with the necessary theoretical background, but also with the opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts in practice.


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“He had a whole new spirit in math class. I could see it in his eyes.”

St Mary’s Teacher, Grade 6, Pretoria 

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Vastratech:  Appreciation of collaboration

The Living Lab for Innovative Teaching at the University of Pretoria (LLITUP) research Collaboratorium is an interactive and interdisciplinary research and collaboration space at the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria.  The purpose of the space is to bring different stakeholders in information and communication technology (ICT) in Education together to play and experiment with; learn from; and research about the possibilities of different technologies in education.  The Collaboratorium was established in 2016 and formally launched during 2017.  The stakeholders in the LLITUP Collaboratorium include educators (teachers, lecturers, facilitators, trainers); researchers; support partners; and industry partners.

One of our first partners in this endeavour, was Vastratech, through Candice du Preez.  From the first discussion with Candice in 2016, even before the physical space was recognizable as a vibrant and flexible collaboration space, Vastratech bought into the concept wholeheartedly.  Not only do they provide the newest technology for us to play and work with; but they also support us in decision making about equipment we have to acquire, as well as the design of other types of interactive spaces.  Their representative (Debbie Ginsberg) visits us on a regular basis and participates in our dreaming and planning for new innovative endeavours. 

Many of our students have the opportunity to experiment with SMART Boards and SMART Learning Suite in the Collaboratorium on different occasions as part of formal courses.  This inspires students to think about the possibilities to incorporate technology in their future careers.  Especially the students that are prepared to be ICT support teachers in schools are given every opportunity to learn from the experience of the specialists at Vastratech.  Our visit to their beautiful education space was one of the students’ favourite experiences of the year in 2017.

We are thankful and feel privileged to have Vastratech as one of our partners in Education.

 Dr Ronel Callaghan

Manager:  LLITUP research unit

Meet LEELO - A Member of Rosebank Primary

SMART "Naming the Monster" Project 

I was very privileged to have been nominated and then selected to participate in the SMART “Naming the Monster” project.

I was contacted by Kelly Miksch from SMART and Karen Durandt from VastraTech to enlist the help of my 2017 Grade 6 Maths class to name one of the SMART Monsters. The idea behind the project was to name one of the SMART Learning Suite Monsters that represents a learning skill that the SMART Monster Quiz promotes. We were given the “Creativity Monster” to name and give a personality to, showing how creativity can be used to achieve success in the classroom, overcome barriers or to just be a happy, caring individual.

We began our project by coming up with a variety of names. Since we are located in South Africa with a diverse language structure, we decided to try and incorporate an African Language word into our monster’s name. Karen and I did some research, looking up various African words for the word “creativity” and “fire” (since our monster holds fireballs in her hands). Many of the options were not appropriate for a name, but we both (and the class) liked the word “Umlilo” which is Zulu for “fire”.

Each child in the class could propose a name.  We looked at synonyms for “creativity” and various known names that have a “creativity” meaning associated to them. The majority of the children were excited by the idea of combining my first name (Leigh) with the word “Umlilo”.  However, each child was allowed to propose a name. We then held a vote and determined the top 5 most popular names. These names were then entered into a SMART Response Activity and each child had one vote (YES or NO) to determine the name of the Creativity Monster. The name with the most votes won.  And so LeeLo was christened.

Using a Monster Quiz activity, we then designed LeeLo’s personality. Her personality traits were discussed and agreed upon, as well as her hobbies and her favourite food.  Again, we wanted LeeLo to be associated with South Africa, so everyone agreed that her favourite food is “Peppermint Crisp Fireballs” (with peppermint crisp being a milk chocolate bar filled with a multitude of thin cylinders of mint-flavoured toffee, invented by a South African).

With the help of Karen and VastraTech, 24 children then visited VastraTech’s offices to write their stories and draw their unique pictures of LeeLo.

The result is that we have an adorable, brilliant “monster” who likes to use her creative superpower to help others.

Lee Taylor-Shaw 

Acting Principal: Rosebank Primary School 


Inspiring and developing people in the 4C’s  ● Communication ● Creativity ● Collaboration ● Critical thinking
Contact Head Office: Gauteng | 011 300 7900 | 062 608 2975 |