Integrated electronic platforms (IEP), which have been piloted in select South African schools, is now being used to train some of South Africa’s up-and-coming chefs. This is according to Deon Roets, academic manager of Capsicum Culinary Studio, the country’s largest culinary training institution.
As Capsicum celebrates its 10th year in operation, Roets says, “Gone are the days of teaching with cumbersome and sauce-splattered course-print-outs and textbooks. After being introduced to the IEP concept at the Foodservice Educators Network International conference in 2010 and 2011, Capsicum became the first South African cooking school to implement the system in 2012.”
The trend, which is standard in several first world classrooms, sees students using iPads to access a huge range of programmes and apps (applications) that make the learning process easier and more interactive.
“With the Nearpod Teacher app our lecturers prepare presentations, notes and videos. Students log into the lesson at the start of every class using Nearpod Student. The lecturer can ascertain the students’ understanding throughout the class with interactive question and answer sessions and drag and drop functions.”
“The system is useful for developing recipes as students can take instantaneous, step-by-step pictures while cooking. These can be immediately uploaded to social media streams – this adds an interactive learning experience for the student body.
“Rather than an old-fashion notice board in the hallway, students read announcements on an electronic notice-board and with the Facetime app they can communicate with students at other campuses.”
In addition to the useful elements, the integrated system is convenient while still offering necessary learning elements.
“Students can download their course notes to their iPads or view them on the system via an Internet connection which means that they can have access to them wherever they are. The Paperport Note app allows them to make voice or movie clips and highlight on their course notes.”
Roets dismisses criticism that the new system makes students too reliant on technology or offers a distraction from learning.
“At the end of the day, a successful chef needs to be multi-faceted – passionate, talented, knowledgeable, a team-player and organised.
“While our students have immediate access to useful tools such as conversion tables Capsicum still maintains the highest training standards and ensures that they are taught the necessary theory and techniques. The Nearpod Teacher app enables the lecturer to restrict student access to social media channels during lessons.”