By Tebogo Msimango: Senior Librarian eLearning services
Randburg library was buzzing with excitement for 20 learners and staff who were part of the first mobile literacy and reading development programme for high schools. Mobireadathon is a reading development programme aimed at introducing high school youth to reading and writing tools available on mobile devices. It combines both digital literacy and reading development. Initially piloted in early 2022 through an NGO called Push, in which 51 learners participated, using their smartphones, the programme was extended to Region B high schools where 4 high schools participated with learners using ereaders provided by the library services eLearning department
On the 14th of October 2022, Randburg Library hosted a Mobireadathon Reading Development Programme final where Northcliff High, Greenside High School, Oceans Private school, and De La Salle Holy Cross College High School competed. The opening was conducted by the Assistant Director of Region B Libraries Ms. Tsakane Shiburi. She made an emphasis on the importance of reading and she encouraged learners to continue to read by making use of smart devices . The ice breaker involved breaking all high schools learners into mixed teams to fill out a crossword by scanning QR codes around the venue to see which team will finish their puzzle first and decode the completed crossword puzzle with the hidden word. The main competition began after the icebreaker and was based on the traditional battle of the books Quizzing method. For the first Leg of the Mobireadathon quiz rounds, learners were asked questions on selected stories read by learners before the competition using Ereaders. A total of 6 points for getting the question and author correct were awarded to the winning group. If a school was unable to answer a question it was passed onto another school and a total of 4 points were awarded accordingly. The last “sudden death” round of the competition involved using buzzers to judge the speed of answering the questions. Learners were given 5 points for getting questions correctly and 5 points were taken away for getting questions wrong.
Congratulations to Northcliff High School for taking the first prize! The first runner was Greenside High School. Second and third runner ups respectively are Oceans Private school and De La Salle Holy Cross College High School. The event was coordinated by a team of librarians from various libraries in Region B, and it also attracted other library staff who attended the event to learn in preparation, for its expansion in their regions in 2023.
A special thanks to Woolworths Cresta branch, (represented by Qiniso Ziqubu Operations Department Manager) for sponsoring some healthy snacks for the learners. To the educators and the learners for participating in this pilot and to our guests from African Storybook, CoJ Group Communications, and Community development. Thank you to all staff that made the event possible!! We will do it again in 2023 with more high schools!!