One of South Africa’s largest universities, the University of Johannesburg (UJ), has undertaken a decision to make tablets compulsory for first-year students from next year.
“This introduction of handheld devices will confirm UJ as a leader in innovative teaching and learning. Technology will be an integral part of UJ students’ learning process and with this, UJ graduates will have the competitive edge and be able to vie for top positions nationally and internationally,” the university said in a statement.
All first-year students at UJ will be expected to have either a laptop or a handheld device such as tablet or an iPad, and the university said that they have been preparing for the technological change for the last two years.
The establishment added that they have already started initiatives that include campus-wide Wi-Fi connectivity and charging points.
“As one of SA’s top universities, and one of the top 4% globally, UJ is committed to bringing 21st century education to our students. The use of technology is the natural evolution of accessible education. Handheld devices bring a new and powerful immediacy, collaboration and ease of access to studies. Students will be able to respond when lecturers ask them to find information online, take an in-class quiz – or to let lecturers know when they need to make their explanations clearer. It puts students’ learning in their own hands and allow them to actively participate in their education,” said Professor Elizabeth de Kadt, Executive Director Academic Development and Support.
The first phase of the handheld device rollout focuses on UJ first-year entrants, but the campaign will impact students already registered with UJ and will be rolled out to other cohorts of UJ students in the future.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor