Vargatex developed the LightBulb application (app) intending to impact our nations, and continents, ailing education system. It is customizable to suit both educators and students.

It is undeniable that an innovative mobile solution such as this platform, which uses the latest technology, can achieve a holistic learning experience for students who get the bad end of the stick in terms of the quality of education they receive. The LightBulb app integrates information and collaborates it into an organized manner. Moreover its hidden advantages include a higher attendance rate as pass rates skyrocketed in schools such as Mvuso Junior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape. This school is one of the few schools where the (Technology for Rural Education Development) Tech4RED pilot is being implemented for trial purposes. Moreover the application is cost effective in the long run and gives teachers ownership over lesson plans with current learning material.

With the Tech4RED project and LightBulb application in mind, lower LSM categorised youth can benefit the most. The LightBulb solution is composed of a native Android OS App that leverages on Android Tablet PC hardware that delivers a compelling user experience for consumption of content and access to services.

Following is a list of how the LightBulb application will benefit even the youth from marginalized backgrounds to prepare them for a 21st century globalized society:

1. Knowledgeable Teachers: ‘‘Teachers’’ that are more engaging and fully informed on the contents of the subject being taught. Additionally, alternative media forms like video and animations increase the ability to visualize and comprehend otherwise complicated concepts.

2. Libraries of Information. The LightBulb app has more up-to-date versions of information compared to print. The application allows easy and real-time access to a large personalized library. This is fantastic for learners in communities where it is difficult to access an abundance of quality content.

3. Standard English. Students who may have been subjected to language teachers that barely know the language that they are teaching, for instance if a fluent Sotho speaker with an elementary English vocabulary taught Social Sciences in English that was a problem that impacted the English vocabulary of the learners too.

Fortunately the LightBulb app allows learners to learn in Standard English.

4. Advanced courses.

Subjects such as AdMaths (Advanced Mathematics) were not available in all schools across South Africa and Africa as a whole, most especially rural schools. However with the LightBulb app all students across the continent will be able to access AdMaths and AdScience curriculums for more university points. This advantage will benefit intelligent students who have not had the opportunity to develop their understanding of advanced subjects.

5. Constant Access. When and if the Tech4RED project allows students to take the Android tablets that have the LightBulb app home, the student material can be backed up on a centralized server or cloud solution allowing constant access to information. This will extend their access to learning resources most especially during grade 11 and 12 where the focus of the students is mainly their matric results.

6. Shifts in Perceptions of Quality Education
. The LightBulb app is ground breaking because it is causing a shift in the minds of those who’ve always assumed that education can only be found at particular places, but rather now everyone will understand that quality education can be a digital service. Lessening the isolation of rural learners and promoting a university-ready culture for all students.

A decade from now, schools that use this application will have higher rates of former learners who graduated from university.

With the LightBulb app many more learners will be more academically successful and ready for careers in digital marketing, IT, sciences, engineering, computer systems and everything else.

By Tshwanelo Fokazi