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Using Design Thinking to Create High-Quality Education in Kayamandi Township

May 4, 2017

This May, a team of volunteers will train educators in South Africa how to integrate technology and design-thinking into their classrooms.

The volunteers from Autodesk, Adobe, and Ketiv are partnering with Team4Tech to support the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust (GSDT), Makupula Secondary School, and the Vision Afrika Community Center in Kayamandi, a township outside of Stellenbosch, South Africa.  Kayamandi’s 35,000 residents largely live in informal housing and have historically had low economic and educational opportunities.

Left: A workshop with Autodesk volunteers and Makupula educators
Center: Award ceremony with Makupula and Vision Afrika educators
Right: Students learning Tinkercad at the Vision Afrika Community Center

The educators in the Kayamandi Township are deeply committed to the future of their students, schools, and community. They invest countless time and energy into their classrooms each day, and into their own professional development. In the two years since Team4Tech and Autodesk began volunteering in Kayamandi, their teachers have learned how to integrate technology, 21st Century teaching methods, and design-thinking into their classrooms. They are eager to learn more.

“We fight for our learners’ attention,” says an Accounting and Economics teacher at Makupula, “They are discouraged by the textbooks. With this experience, we can speak a different language—a language they understand.” After bringing instructional videos into the classroom, she also said, “My learners are soooo proud of me!”

In this third project, volunteers will focus on deepening technology skills and introducing key STEM learning tools. Creating a modern computer lab at Makupula will encourage collaborative and project-based learning. Integrating making and design into the Vision Afrika curriculum will fuel creative thinking and exposure to STEM careers.

“It is fantastic to be able to send Autodesk employees back to Kayamandi alongside other volunteers from Adobe and Ketiv. Our employees grow personally and professionally through the project, and they get to work directly with educators and organizations using technology and design to make a positive impact in their community,” said Kellan Hays, the employee impact manager at Autodesk.

An Autodesk volunteer teaches educators and a representative from the Western Cape Education Department how to use a 3D Printer

That is just the start to what these driven Kayamandi educators and creative volunteers will be able to learn and create together during the project. Long-term, Team4Tech and GSDT will continue to build capacity in Kayamandi to provide high-quality education throughout the community.Tech Day participants and volunteers with a beautiful mountain view at Vision Afrika

Follow the story at #autodesklife and #adobelife

Read about past Autodesk and Team4Tech pro bono projects here.

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