CTI Education Group will become the first higher education institution in South Africa to offer its students tablet computers loaded with prescribed textbooks, at no extra cost.
More than 2 000 who will start their degree studies at CTI in January will receive the new 10-inch touch-screen Samsung Galaxy Note tablets, loaded with up to eight prescribed textbooks of course material.
The tablets will be supplied to first-year students commencing their Bachelor of Commerce and BSc in Computing Systems degrees at CTI’s 12 campuses across South Africa.
“To succeed in their future careers, young South Africans will need to be IT-literate and fully fluent with the latest technology. We want to make our students’ learning experience as close as possible to the world of work they will be entering, and we’re very pleased to partner with Samsung, one of the world’s leading technology companies, to do that,” says Darren Fox, chief executive of CTI Education Group.
A study conducted earlier this year by the Pearson Foundation of college students in the United States revealed that students believe tablets and other mobile devices will transform learning, with tablet ownership among college students having tripled in the last year.
The survey reveals that more students are reading digital books, and that a majority (63%) of college students believe that tablets will effectively replace textbooks within the next five years.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the third most popular tablet among the students surveyed in the Pearson Foundation study.
Nearly all the students surveyed believed these devices are valuable for educational purposes, and around half of them say that they would be more likely to read textbooks on a tablet because of access to embedded interactive materials, access to social networks to share notes or ask questions, and access to instructors’ comments in the reading material.
Fox adds: “Our partnership with Samsung makes us the first higher education institution in South Africa to offer our students tablet computers loaded with all of their prescribed textbooks at no extra cost beyond their normal course fees.
“By putting cutting-edge technology into their hands while they study with us, we believe we can give our students the best possible education for the modern world and the industries in which they will work. CTI focuses on equipping our students with the skills and drive that they’ll need to find fulfilling careers and add value to the South African economy.
“That is why our graduates tend to find employment more quickly than most.”
CTI students will access their textbooks through e-text software, allowing them to read their textbooks onscreen. Course lecturers will be able to make notes and update texts throughout the academic year. These will automatically update to students’ tablet devices.
Students will be offered training in how to use their tablets, and will have access to additional loan tablets and e-learning support when they are on campus. Students will also be able to use their tablets to access WiFi at all of CTI’s campuses, at no additional expense.
CTI has also secured insurance and warranties for all the tablets and will pay for this on behalf of the students.