The Reach Trust is excited to announce the release of an innovative mobile learning solution with the support of The FirstRand Empowerment Foundation.
LevelUp tackles some of the most critical education challenges in South Africa and will help high school learners to improve their academic performance, strengthen their social skills and foster good learning behaviour. Harnessing the power of mobile connectivity, the solution is available to almost every learner in the country as an Android app from the Google Play Store and a mobi site: www.mylevelup.mobi
Designed and developed from key learnings of two recent projects, The Ukufunda Virtual School with more than 160 000 learners and the Learn2Earn pilot, LevelUp is modelled on schools of excellence with a holistic approach to learner wellbeing. “There’s been a lot of general emphasis on access to information being key to unlocking a learner’s potential. And while it is vital, we believe that inspiration, motivation and rewards play equally important roles,” says Andrew Rudge, CEO of The Reach Trust.
LevelUp presents high school learners with an integrated value proposition: access to contextualised learning material, academic and psychosocial support, and an incentive programme linked to rewards.
- The ‘Classroom’ features free curriculum-aligned content from Grade 8 to Grade 12. To make it more interesting for learners, the academic content is presented in a discussion format with links to textbook pages and useful examples.
- Life skills programmes are accessible in a practical step-by-step format to help learners achieve their goals in five comprehensive categories: Career, Creative, Health & Happy, IRL (In Real Life) and Get Ahead.
- The ‘Advice’ section helps learners to find their feet during adolescence with must-know facts, guidance, and a comprehensive directory of support services in 6 useful categories: Love & Relationship, Alcohol & Drugs, Sexual Health, Family Issues, Growing Up and Mental Health.
The most ground-breaking feature of LevelUp is the ‘Daily Challenges’ that encourage learners to test their knowledge in exchange for rewards. “We believe that a strong argument can be made for using incentives to stimulate appropriate learning behaviour and to create a long-term learning habit,” adds Rudge.
Throughout the system, the learner is rewarded for inputs - e.g. ‘read this article to earn 10 points’ as well as outputs; ‘if you answer correctly on the first attempt you earn 50 bonus points.’ What’s most exciting is that these virtual points can be redeemed for tangible rewards in a ‘Store’ that works similar to some leading loyalty programmes.
Reward options for performing learners vary from airtime and data to shopping coupons for products. The launch partners include Shoprite and Checkers. “We are thrilled to have Africa’s largest retail group on board from the get-go. We believe that their commitment to education outcomes will enable us to rapidly scale the uptake of LevelUp,” says Rudge.
The launch coincides with a national marketing and awareness campaign of LevelUp in collaboration with the SABC’s flagship youth entertainment show, Hectic Nine-9. A number of local role models have also come on board to support the drive, and these include surfing pro Roxy Louw, ice swimmer Ryan Stramrood, and Mandla Maseko, the first black African astronaut in space.
Together with them, Reach is asking the public to help a performing learner stay informed, be motivated and get rewarded for as little R100 per year. Donations can be made online via the Trust’s website.