‘Reading Eggs’ is a computer based, educational game that allows foundation phase pupils to ‘play their way’ to improving their own reading skills.
This new initiative comes from the Click Foundation, a non-governmental organisation focused on offering innovative technology-based solutions to create a meaningful impact in learning.
According to CEO Martine Schaffer, the organisation was formed in 2012, and has since expanded their reach to several schools across the country.
“Our aim is to go into schools and bring the technology to life. [Reading Eggs] is a self-paced [learning and reading] programme [where] the children think that they are playing a game,” said Schaffer.
The Click Foundation works with schools that have functional computer systems, and where the majority of the pupils do not use English as a home language.
The programme works in partnership with the school, bringing in facilitators for each class to oversee the pupils’ participation.
Both the computer programme and the facilitators are sponsored by the Click Foundation.
‘Reading Eggs’ is in effect a self-paced interactive game with levels of gradual complexity.
The programme is designed to improve the pupil’s reading ability, and will only allow for progression once specific outcomes have been achieved by the pupil.
Schaffer emphasised that the programme always offers positive reinforcement.
The organisation works with Foundation Phase pupils, and at Parkhurst Primary 80 Grade 1 pupils and 42 Grade2 pupils have been participating in ‘Reading Eggs’ since February.
Principal of Parkhurst Primary, Sanjeev Maharaj said he saw value in the programme as many of the pupils at the school do not use English as a home language.
The programme allows the pupils to pick up the language more quickly and effectively.
Maharaj noted that from a broader perspective, once literacy improves, pupils are more enabled to learn effectively in the classroom as they progress through their educational careers.
“The biggest thing is that the children are guiding themselves, it is self paced. Computer skills [are also developed] instinctively. [Through participating in the programme] children learn to listen better, more attentively and follow instructions. That filters back into the classroom and they become easier to teach,” he said.
Schaffer explained that the organisation also had access to the data regarding the pupils’ improvement through the programme.
In the long term, the Click Foundation will have enough data to distinguish trends and attributes related to improving literacy.