The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) launched its hi-tech portal (E-Portal) at the Trustco North building on Robert Mugabe Avenue in Windhoek on Friday. All IOL registered students in the Khomas region were invited to experience, test and play with the most technologically advanced study tools the market has to offer. A combination of speed, sound and an array of interactive functions allow students to gain an edge above the rest, according to the private higher-learning institution.
The E-Portal enables students to see and touch all the gadgets that IOL has made accessible to students to enhance their learning experience. This includes the Kindle e-book readers, Proline laptops, Acer Neo-Touch P400 smart phones, Acer Neo-Touch S200 smart phones, Windows or Android software powered Techbooks and the brand new Techview television computers on display. Each of these is available through different IOL study-packages as experience-enhancing additions available for purchase by students.
Another exciting development announced at the launch was the provision of a free online English language grammar course online to all registered IOL students. This free online grammar course will be of particular value to many currently in the teaching profession. “Being a former teacher myself, I understand the challenges that teachers face in the classroom on a daily basis,” said IOL Head of Education, Ilana Calitz. “I believe that this course will enhance the skill-set of teachers who teach in English.”
Janene van der Heever, head of Trustco Finance and Education said that, “English is not only our national language, but also the business language of the world. Namibians are fortunate in the sense that most of us are proficient in two or more languages.” However, pointing out that only a few Namibians have English as their mother-tongue, she emphasised that students completing the course will benefit from the enhancement of their personal language skills.
The course will be completed online and in the student’s own time. Accessibility and flexibility has made online training ever-more popular world-wide. IOL currently offers more than 360 online courses, including business courses, skills courses, as well as information technology courses. IOL students are invited to visit their respective regional centers for a free introduction to the library of online courses, affording them a wealth of educational material to assist in the achievement of their own academic goals.
Hipa Murangi, IOL’s manager of International Computer Driving License and E-learning, took the opportunity to demonstrate the amazing abilities offered by the Techview. The 42 inch LCD full high definition screen allows users to switch instantly between television viewing and computer applications. Run by a powerful Intel E5400 1.8GHZ dual core processor, 2GB/DDR3/1333MHz Memory and featuring 160G hard-disk space the Techview supports split screen and multiple application operations. Ease of use is a priority as demonstrated by the wireless keyboard and mouse. “It provides its user with a computer to learn from and a TV from which knowledge and entertainment can be obtained,” he said. “The launch of the E-portal, Techview and online English course by IOL offers unique opportunities for students in Namibia to experience an education driven by the forefront of technology. This technology is the very example of a knowledge-based society. By using their knowledge of technology, IOL have taken the lead in providing innovative solutions to contributing to the economy of Namibia. We, the Ministry of education, congratulate IOL and recognise the way in which they are partnering with us to increase access to Education for all,” said Ms Kumbi Short, IT Advisor to the Minister.