PurpleZA to launch new professional development platform for self-learning teachers

Johannesburg, 07 Mar 2024
PurpleZA is set to launch a gamified e-learning platform.
PurpleZA is set to launch a gamified e-learning platform.

PurpleZA, which positions itself as a leader in professional development for teachers, is set to launch a new gamified platform enabling individual teachers to take charge of their own professional development and Google certifications. The new platform will enable motivated self-starters to upskill themselves and discover new ways to enhance teaching and learning using technology.

PurpleZA, a Digicloud education partner and Google for Education Innovator Project, is one of only a handful of African organisations to achieve the Google Cloud Specialisation in Education Services. The organisation connects edtech to pedagogy to help teachers transform teaching and learning. PurpleZA courses are fun and highly engaging, offering motivation in the form of sparkly confetti, badges and rewards as participants progress through levels of training.

PurpleZA director Irene Basson says: “We find that teachers are very enthusiastic and keen to learn more when the training is meaningful, targeted, relevant and available at a time that suits their schedules. Our workshops, webinars and exceptional online courses meet these needs and empower teachers. They allow teachers to choose what, when and how to learn, and also offer practical examples and editable resources so teachers can implement new ideas right away. And because the training is gamified, they report that they become ‘a little addicted to the confetti’ that appears on-screen when they get points.”

Teachers are even choosing to log into PurpleZA on weekends and before dawn to polish up their skills and get new ideas to enhance their teaching, she says.

Fellow PurpleZA Director Lindsay Wesner says PurpleZA has been helping teachers drive change in teaching and learning since its inception. She notes that PurpleZA is focused on progressive pedagogies, hands-on courses, personalised and differentiated learning, innovative technologies, measurable outcomes and acknowledging and motivating teachers.

She says: “The platform and all courses have been available to schools on a subscription basis to date. But we have had huge demand from teachers who would like to sign up for the training themselves – perhaps if their schools don’t subscribe to PurpleZA. To meet this need, our LaunchPad platform will go live later this month.”

The new platform will offer individual teachers access to all PurpleZA courses, including Google Workspace for Education, Chrome and Google Classroom training, as well as Google certification courses.

Wesner says: “Professional development training is often ‘once-off’ and ‘one size fits all’. Now teachers of different ages, subjects and skill levels can enjoy the anonymity and flexibility of self-paced online learning, allowing them to progress at their own pace without feeling embarrassed. Once people start, it definitely gains momentum.”

PurpleZA has trained and inspired over 12 500 teachers in person and online. Teachers have completed over 58 000 learning units and 11 500 Google-specific courses on the gamified professional development platform. To date, PurpleZA has supported 260 educators in achieving Level 1 Google Certified Educator status, 106 in achieving Level 2 Google Certified Educator status, and five having become Google Certified Trainers.

Schools and teachers using PurpleZA professional development tools report that the outcomes have been transformative for administration and education, with teachers feeling more confident and skilled about integrating technology into their teaching.

Basson says: “We bring a whole culture change to schools. When teachers see practical examples of how technology can be deployed in education, it connects with them.”

Candice Erasmus, Education and Change Management Lead at Digicloud Africa, says: “PurpleZA is really making waves, and it isn’t easy to become as renowned as they are in the local education industry. They are true specialists in education. Google looks for partners like PurpleZA, who understand teachers, the environment and how Google solutions benefit teachers, students and the classroom as a whole.”

Digicloud Africa, Google’s enablement partner in Africa, is the sole distributor in Africa for Google products – Google Workspace as well as Google Cloud Platform – and is also licensed to sell Chrome Enterprise and Google Education solutions.