Nick Toozs-Hobson

Social Innovation in the classroom

Blog Post created by Nick Toozs-Hobson Employee on Jan 20, 2015

In my previous blogs I have referred to some work we are doing with Hitachi Solutions in South Africa with our Partners Vodacom and ESM to deliver consistent teaching content and methods across many classrooms across that vast country. I am so delighted to say that the first 7 classrooms are now installed and are operating in our first pilot. In a recent article published in Eye Witness News this pilot has been praised.


From an HDS perspective not only are we excited by our partnership in Social Innovation, but also we are delighted that our file and content services are at the heart of this solution. When Michael Hay, Brian Householder and Jack Domme made the momentous decision to buy Archivas in 2005 I'm not sure they had this kind of Social Innovation in their minds, but they have certainly enabled us to deliver it because of their foresight!


The system is really complex in it's engineering as there are many "moving" parts, but the architecture is elegant, long-lasting (as it needs to be) and upgradeable by its very nature. The trick to any distance or e-learning is really split into two core parts:


  1. the curriculum and the dynamic content.
  2. the teaching management


HCP is at the heart of this solution as it works in both parts; it enables us to make the content interchangeable as curricula change or update and it acts as a long term retainer of pupil, class, year, school, school district and teacher performance metrics. The delivery servers are based on UCP and the connectivity is supplied by Vodafone Cable & Wireless Infrastructure, Vodacom Tablets and SIM cards and HCP-AW. In the classroom itself is the Hitachi Digital Media Starboard which inclues the Teaching Management System devised and built by Hitachi Solutions and Cambridge Examination Board interactive Content.


e-Learning RSA.jpg


What it means for South Africa is that a single curriculum, managed in a simple and easy to use way, is now a real possibility across the coutry, in all schools, no matter where they are, in a township, in a rural district or in the heart of Bloemfontein. We have 7 schools in the pilot today, with plans to roll out to 2,500 by the end of 2015. Changing people's lives for the better!!