If you’re reading this, there’s a 99.9% chance that you aren’t surfing right now.

And that’s ok. The ocean isn’t going anywhere.

Unless you look at it from a global warming point of view – in which case it is, very slowly but very surely, going somewhere.

But that’s a point for another day! We just wanted to make it clear that if your child was schooling online and wasn’t tied to a 3 or 4 term school calendar, you could, if your heart so desired – be surfing.

And it would be nice to know what your online schooling options are, should the day come that you’d like to swap your collared shirt for a wet suit.

If you’ve been considering taking the online GED, a whole lineup of questions may be running through your mind about this type of certification. What’s the difference between the GED and a school leaving certificate such as the NSC? Do employers and colleges care which one you have? Are there limits to what you can do with a GED versus an NSC or British International certificate?

The GED, short for (General Educational Development) test is a group of four subject tests that, when passed, certify that one has achieved the US high school educational standards.

The four online GED subjects are as follows:

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Math

Once you pass all four exams in the online GED test, you’ve earned your online GED credential. This credential serves as a diploma showing you have a 12-grade level knowledge base—even if you didn’t graduate from a traditional high school.

You can greatly increase your chances of passing your online GED the first time round by knowing what to expect in the test.

While the questions change from test to test, the format of the GED exam stays the same. Since we love being a resource that empowers people to finish their high school education, we’ve broken down the GED Test for you.

This is what it will look like:

The breakdown

The GED test consists of five chapters organized in a standardized format. All tests combined add up to 7 hours and 5 minutes. Here’s the different sections and the time allotted for each test.

1. Language Arts: Writing

The first section is special in that it’s split into 2 parts, each with their own time period.

Part 1 – 50 Questions – 75 Minutes

This first part covers sentence structure, word usage, and grammar mechanics. The test consists of groups of text that must be corrected according to proper grammar rules.

Part 2 – 45 Minutes

This is the essay portion of the test. Test takers must write an essay on a given topic. The purpose is to illustrate cohesive ideas while demonstrating an understanding of sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, etc. Topics are always opinion oriented so that it won’t require specific subject knowledge.

2. Social Studies – 50 Questions – 70 Minutes

Topics covered include American history, world history, civics, and government, economics, and geography. Test takers can expect to see graphs, excerpts from documents such as the Declaration of Independence, copies of legal documents, and more.

3. Science – 50 Questions – 80 Minutes

This portion covers basic information regarding biology, earth and space science, physics, and chemistry. Test takers must be able to apply scientific methods and knowledge to a variety of situations. You can expect to see graphs, charts, diagrams, etc.

Many would say science sections on standardized tests are more about reading and correctly interpreting than actual science and scientific knowledge. Be ready to quickly process information and respond to it and you should be fine.

4. Language Arts: Reading – 40 Questions – 65 Minutes

This section will test your ability to read, comprehend and interpret. The test will have five fiction and two non-fiction passages typically around 300-400 words long. Don’t worry about knowing literature. Just be ready to read and analyze.

5. Mathematics – 50 Questions – 90 Minutes

This test is actually split into two sections. In the first section, you are allowed to use a calculator. During the second portion, you may not. The areas of math covered are:

  • Number operations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • Algebra

Your questions answered

Which option is right for you?

Most colleges and employers accept applicants with a GED diploma.

Before applying, verify that the school/college will accept your GED diploma — a few do not.

Is it a good idea to get a GED diploma instead of a high school diploma?

For different reasons, many of today’s students have dealt with interruptions in their education. A GED diploma is equivalent to a high school diploma. It offers more opportunities than not having a diploma at all. Although many colleges and employers accept the GED certificate, some may prefer a high school diploma.

Is the GED recognized in South Africa?

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluates each submission of a foreign qualification on a case-by-case basis. The GED is eligible for evaluation as a South African National Senior Certificate or NQF L4.

What colleges accept the GED Diploma?

Nearly 98% of U.S. colleges accept the GED certificate, according to the GED Testing Service. This includes community colleges, vocational schools, private universities, and public universities. College students can study online or in person after earning a GED certificate.

Each school and program has its own admission requirements. Applicants should do research to see what requirements and supplemental materials they need to apply. Placement tests, for example, could be a requirement.

Can I study further with a GED?

Many GED graduates have been accepted for further studies into colleges and are studying both in South Africa or abroad.

Each university/college has the final say and their own criteria for acceptance and we cannot guarantee acceptance at every institute.

Helpful tips to prepare for your online GED exam

Don’t just study hard, study smart

Understand what is in each of the four exams.

Focus on the areas that are unfamiliar to you or that you find more challenging. To accommodate all the subject areas, develop a flexible study schedule and study when you are most alert.

Don’t jump to conclusions

Some questions require careful analysis. Most of the wrong answers are those that appear right at first glance. Often test writers will place misleading answers to confuse you. Instead of falling into this trap, choose the best answer based on what the question is asking you.

Know the tricks

Be aware of trick questions.

There’s a reason for the information that is shared in the actual question. Don’t ignore anything in the question.

Absolutes are not the correct answers

Any answer with absolutes like “greatest,” “always,” or “never” are often incorrect.

Beware the “except.” Questions with “which of the following is NOT true” or “except” are often missed or read too fast. Answer these questions by covering the word “except” or “not” then choosing the answer that doesn’t belong.

Practice makes perfect

Gain more exam confidence by practicing for the test as much as you can. Make the most out of your free practice exams by:

Tackling one section of the exam at a time.

Understanding the questions you got wrong by reading the explanations provided in the corrected answer. It helps printing the assessment copy and reading through the questions and answer explanations.

Lastly, try taking the tests with shorter time constraints each time you retake them.

Scoring

To pass the GED test, you need to score 145 on each of four sections and have a total score of 580. If you receive 175 or above on any section, you will earn a College Ready + score.

If you score below 145 on any one test, you can usually retake it twice without any waiting time. However, if you need to take a test a third time, you must wait 60 days. There is typically no limit on the number of times you can retake a test in any given year. However, rules for retesting may vary slightly from country to country.

Free trial

Find out more about the GED curriculum and enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.

Yes, you read right, we’re South Africa’s two time award-winning virtual school of the year, for two years in a row.

So if you’re genuinely tempted to change your kids’ school, we wouldn’t be too surprised.

As far as schools go, we’re pretty good, and although we don’t like to brag too much, facts are facts.

Here are just a few reasons as to why you’ll love us as much as our students do.

1. Pre-recorded lessons

All our lessons have been recorded and taught by subject matter experts and masters in their fields. These lessons can be accessed from anywhere at any time, provided you have a stable internet connection. Lessons can also be viewed “offline” on our Think Digital Academy App which is available on the Google Play App Store.

2. Printable study notes

All subjects across all grades have printable PDF summaries which can be used as study notes in preparation for your assessments.

3. Memos

Each lesson contains one or more activities which have to be completed either online or in your workbooks. Memos have been provided for all the lesson activities which enables you to check and mark your own work.

4. Assessments and feedback

Assessments are completed once all the content for the term has been successfully completed and covered. Students in Grades/Stages R-9 will receive instant feedback on their assessment once it has been completed and a copy of the assessment is emailed directly to the parent or tutor. This is a useful tool which enables parents/tutors to easily identify and remedy any areas of concern.

5. Weekly e-mailed reports

A weekly report is mailed to the parent or the tutor of the student every Monday morning. This report details all of the student’s activity on the system during the preceding week. The report will include useful information such as which lessons the student has viewed, which have been completed, what scores were achieved in the lesson quizzes, how long the student spent on each lesson etc.

6. Quarterly reports

Students are able to download and print their final reports at the end of each term. Once all four terms have successfully been completed, a final report displaying results for each term can be printed.

Our reports are recognised and accepted by all government and private schools, globally.

Students who receive the National Senior Certificate (NSC) certificate, can apply at their prospective universities, provided they meet the minimum entry requirements. Similarly, students who receive the British International certificates for GCSE and AS levels, can also apply at their perspective universities locally and abroad, provided they meet the minimum entry requirements. We encourage all parents and students to do their homework as to what the entry requirements are for the various university facilities, so as to select the correct combination of subjects when making their final subject choices in Grade 10 or GCSE level.

7. Online tutors and student success coaches

Students who opt for the “With Tutor Support” option upon registration, will have access to a panel of online tutors on their dashboards. These tutors can be contacted between 8:00 and 16:30, Monday to Friday and will respond within 15 minutes. Tutors can be consulted for any content related or general questions. This does not include one on one virtual tutoring, but does include assistance via images, videos, additional resources or text explanation. All students can contact a panel of success coaches for any kind of assistance relating to their content or portal.

8. Student forum

The Forum allows students to interact virtually with other students in their grade. Students are able to communicate in real-time, on their portals.

9. Live tutorials by industry experts and lecturers

We’re very excited to launch our new live tutorials in September 2021. FET students will have the opportunity to join a live tutorial for various subjects. A schedule outlining what subject and which lesson will be covered can be viewed on their online calendars.

A successful school-going student should spend at least 2-3 hours a day studying and doing homework.

And they probably would, if things like Fortnite and Facebook and TikTok and YouTube and Candy Crush didn’t keep getting in the way.

We’re not saying this will fix that problem.

But it’s a step in the right direction.

Try out our free two week trial and see for yourself.

Welcome to the future

If it sounds like we’re excited, it’s because we are. And you should be too.

Why you might ask? We’re about to spill the beans.

Cleaning sucks

It’s just one of those facts of life.

Some jobs really are better suited for robots.

Jobs like telling traffic when to stop and when to go, keeping a schedule for load shedding, deciding what nutritious meal to cook for dinner, sitting in traffic –

And cleaning the floor.

The good news is that these things are bound to get better with time, and your child could play an instrumental role in changing things for the better.

Programming helps children learn to problem-solve

Understanding computers and learning the basics of programming helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work. It also teaches them how software engineers use mathematics in order to solve problems in a logical and creative way.

The most important trend in programming for the next decade will be using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate much of computer programming. AI and machine-based learning can automate coding and help programmers write faster and better code.

Coding develops logical and problem-solving skills in students as well as encourages creative thinking. The world must prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and students should therefore equip themselves with the necessary skills of the future.

Through language, children learn how to communicate. Coding is another type of language which is used in technology to communicate. Language also strengthens both verbal and written skills, which is why it is important that children are exposed to different languages at an early age. This further helps them to make sense of the world around them. Every letter in the coding alphabet has a special formula of 0’s and 1’s which give the technology around us directions on how to perform.  What better way for our children to understand why and how the technology around them operates, than by learning to code themselves.

Why should coding be taught at schools?

Through learning the basic literacy of the digital age, children are able to understand how the technology around them works.

Today’s economy is in urgent need of people with programming skills to meet the demands of the burgeoning tech industry. That’s why introducing your child to coding is a crucial investment in their future, a 21st century skill that’s quickly becoming necessary for a wide range of professions.

Computational thinking

It’s incredibly important for children to learn computational thinking at a young age so they can learn to take a problem, understand it and develop solutions for both humans and computers to solve. One of the benefits of learning computational thinking, the core concepts behind developing code and algorithms, is that it gives students both the tools and the idea that there are many ways to solve a problem, whilst at the same time encouraging curiosity, collaboration and communication.

Not only will learning to code mean solving problems using maths, but it also requires children to think outside the box using those creative skills. Trying to solve difficult problems requires creative solutions, a highly sought-after skill which is often difficult to teach in more traditional classroom subjects.

Coding skills are in high demand

The tech industry is in constant need of new workers, and it’s not just coders or computer science majors — they need graphic designers, software developers, computer engineers, linguists, mathematicians, and more. Tech jobs are not only plentiful, but they’re also lucrative.

Coding fosters creativity and improves mathematical skills

Coding helps children to be able to visualise abstract concepts, lets them apply maths to real-world situations and turns it into a fun and creative process.

Coding improves writing academic performance

Children who learn to code are able to better understand, plan and organise their thoughts.

This in turn, helps them to become confident problem solvers.

As they learn to code and give their projects direction, they also learn that there is no one way to do something, and that should their first way be unsuccessful, they are able to write a new plan, a new code, and try again.

How does coding prepare children for high school and beyond?

Like a foreign language, coding skills are best learned early. Once children are fluent in the type of thinking required to break down and solve computer programming problems, the transition to other more advanced coding languages is relatively straightforward.

One of the biggest obstacles to succeeding in university-level computer science classes is a lack of confidence in tackling difficult, unfamiliar material. Early exposure is the best solution – being introduced to coding and any kind of software development at an early age makes it easier to learn the more technical aspects of computer science in high school and varsity.  In fact, a study by Google and Gallup shows that early exposure is one of the most important ways we can shrink the gender gap in STEM, as it boosts confidence in children, especially young girls, while they’re still interested in technology.

Coding is a lifelong skill

Even if your child wants to do something outside of computer science when they grow up, their coding skills will prove useful across many different fields. Coding teaches problem solving, organisation, maths, storytelling, designing and a whole lot more.

The ability to code transforms children from passive consumers into innovators, with eyes that see every piece of the technology puzzle, not just as a toy but as a way to problem solve and an opportunity to create.

Resilience

Coding and software development can be challenging at times especially when faced with a complex problem. By grasping and understanding the problem using computational thinking, children will learn to come up with creative ways around it if at first they don’t succeed. This is key to teaching children to develop resilience when faced with a challenge and a level of perseverance that will also keep them focused and engaged.

Why is coding vital for our future?

The future generation will hold jobs we can’t even dream up yet – How will those jobs come about? Who will create them? What will happen to the old jobs? Where will those jobs be? Not to worry, these “new” jobs are just an evolution of the way we work and the things we do now.

Learning “how to code” is the buzz phrase we might say for computational thinking.  We are not trying to create a new generation of 100 percent computer programmers but understanding the basics of computer programming, computational thinking and general tech literacy is essential to becoming an active part of our communities and the future workforce.

If we still haven’t managed to convinced you that Coding and Robotics should without a doubt, be one of your child’s subjects, perhaps knowing that your child could be the next Elon Musk for only $45 may do the trick.

Enrol now and you will receive 20% off the cost of the course ($45 $36) by using the code CR20. This offer expires on 28 July 2021.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

The key to being a successful adult, and more importantly, a successful parent, is knowing what all your options are and choosing the best one.

You might think it’s defined by things like a keen interest in the newspaper. Or knowing exactly what to do in any given emergency. Or understanding how taxes and rebates and fiscal-this-n-thats work.

Nope.

The key is having a rich knowledge of the various curricula offered and understanding what opportunities each one brings for your child.

Nothing says adulthood quite like searching for useful information to make the best possible adult decisions for your children’s schooling careers.

And that’s just what we’re here to help you to do.

What is the GED and what can it do for you?

The GED is equivalent to a high school qualification, so you can use it to apply to college, just like you would with any high school qualification. Although the GED is based on the American educational system, it is recognised worldwide. More than 98 % of colleges and universities in the United States accept the GED. Although universities in South Africa do not accept the GED, most other tertiary institutions do. Contact the institution you would like to attend to enquire about their entry requirements.

The great news is that employers recognise the GED, so, if you have the necessary skills and experience, you can apply for positions requiring a high school qualification. Your GED qualification can also significantly increase your earning potential.

Passing the GED exam can give you better opportunities for work in the future. And don’t think that you’re alone in preparing for or wanting to earn your GED: there are 20 million GED graduates around the world.

Is the GED right for my child?

Many students aren’t cut out to complete a standard high school qualification, and it usually has nothing to do with learning ability. Unlike a high school qualification, the GED can be completed in as little as three months. This makes it an ideal option for older students who would like to prepare for a career or college studies. The only requirement is that students are 17 when they write the final GED exams. There is no maximum age limit.

The GED only comprises four subjects – Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. The great news is that you can take one subject at a time. More than 20 million students worldwide have obtained their GED and you can too!

The key is to be fully prepared for your final exams with comprehensive lessons, hundreds of simulated questions, practice tests and lots of support.

What is covered in the GED?

The GED test has four main areas of testing:
Mathematical Reasoning
Reasoning Through Language Arts
Science
Social Studies

Mathematical Reasoning

Students should be familiar with Maths concepts, measurements, equations, and be able to apply Maths concepts to solve real-life problems. The final exam consists of a 115 minute online assessment which can be taken at any GED testing centre. The Maths paper has two parts and calculators can be used for the second part. You don’t have to memorise the formulas as you will have access to formula sheets. The final assessment comprises of multiple-choice questions, fill in the blank, select an area, and drop-down options.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

Test topics include reading for meaning, identifying and creating arguments, grammar and language. The final test is 150 minutes. It consists of three parts which include an extended response and multiple- choice questions.

Social Studies

Students are required to read for meaning, analyse historical events and arguments and use numbers and graphs. Students are not required to memorise countless dates and events or capitals of countries, but rather interpret text, numbers and graphs. The final test is 70 minutes long and calculators are allowed. The test comprises multiple choice questions and other question types such as drag and drop, fill in the blank and choose from a drop-down list.

Science

Students need to understand science concepts, know how to read graphs and charts displaying scientific data, and use reasoning to interpret science information. The Science test is not a memorisation test. Students do not need to memorise the periodic table of elements, but will need to recognise names and symbols of key elements to answer the questions.

Exam costs

In the US, prices vary from state to state, see the cost for your state on the GED Testing Service website.

South African students are required to register as international students on the GED website. The GED test costs $75 USD per subject, so the total for all four subjects is $300 USD. Boston City Campus and Business College VUE Testing Centres are exclusively authorised to offer the GED® Examinations within South Africa. There are currently 40 testing centers nationwide.

In order to successfully complete your GED, a passing score of 145 out of 200 must be obtained. On successful completion of all tests, students will receive an electronic version of their GED® High School Equivalency Credential issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC. You can also order a hard copy of your GED diploma or transcript. Don’t panic if you don’t pass all four tests! Students are allowed to test the same subject two additional times without a wait, and requires a 60-day wait period between additional attempts. There is no minimum grade to qualify for a rewrite, but it will incur a test fee. The GED® test score report will provide students with detailed feedback to address the skills they need to work on.

How old do I need to be to take the test?

Students are required to be 18 years old to write the test with no restrictions. If you are 17 years old, you must complete and submit a Parental/Guardian Consent form. Once the form is reviewed and approved, you will receive a notification to schedule your test.

Due to government rules, no one 16 years of age or younger is allowed to test.

Students can view their results within 24 hours.

The best part is that students can complete their GED from anywhere they like, whenever they like.

We’ve made completing the GED super easy by providing:

  • Subject matter experts to teach the content
  • Weekly reports delivered straight to your mailbox
  • Online tutors to guide and assist you with content related queries
  • Study notes to help you prepare for assessments
  • Instant feedback on all your assessments
  • Online support 6 days a week

With all this in mind, you’ve most likely made up your mind and decided that completing your GED through Think Digital, would in fact be the best decision for your child’s education.

And you’d be right.

Free trial

Enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that humans are flexible and have the ability to cope with abrupt changes. What certainly helps, is having the skills to adapt to these changes, even in the most challenging circumstances.

In recent months, online learning has grown in popularity, greatly aided by the rapid development of technology and sophisticated learner management systems for the delivery of education. Think Digital Academy can attest to this.

Businesses have, where possible, moved to remote work; schools have by necessity embraced distance learning; and many college students who had formerly been enrolled in on-campus courses, now find themselves learning online.

For those already learning online, keeping the doors of learning open, came without any challenges. Embracing the change to digital learning carries many positive benefits.

Parents and tutors with children who are learning online have found that digital learning has had a long-term positive impact on their children, who have also become more resilient to challenges in general.

Online learning is defined by students’ access to various learning materials from the learning management system (LMS), engaging in online discussions, and having virtual classes.

The advantages of online learning

Acquiring IT skills
A definite benefit is acquiring the skill to use technology effectively. Further education programmes and certainly the majority of employers, require candidates to have anything from basic to advanced IT skills. Exposing students to a range of technology within the digital classroom can give them a competitive advantage.

Flexible learning hours
Another benefit to learning online means that students have the ability and opportunity to choose their own learning hours. This is particularly useful if they have other sport or cultural commitments and have to study according to a different time schedule. If they’re early risers they could start learning at the crack of dawn or, if they are night owls, they can start learning in the afternoon and finish late. As a result, online learners can take full advantage of the situation by enabling worldwide, self-directed learning.

Flexible learning environment
With a laptop or mobile device and Wi-Fi, students can manage their own learning from just about anywhere. Another great benefit is the possibility of working from a remote location. Even if a student lives in a rural village far from educational institutions, they can still benefit from attending an online “private” school. Where students need to travel as high-performance athletes, they can do so with online learning, as they do not need to be physically present — all they require to continue learning, is a device and a reliable internet connection.

Tracked progress
Some learner management systems such as the Think Digital Academy platform facilitates online learning and allows parents and tutors to save information easily and access it whenever they log in. This kind of automatic organisation allows the parent or tutor to focus their time on aspects that require more attention. This also allows the parent or tutor to track their student’s progress and easily identify problem areas.

Flipped classroom
Perhaps the biggest benefit to online learning is this — teachers still play the most important role in the learning experience. Technology cannot replace the role of the teacher, but it does lend itself as a very useful tool for enhancing the experience of the student through the use of interactive lessons with videos, animation and quizzes. Think Digital Academy has incorporated the benefits of private teachers who are subject experts, while developing the skill of critical thinking.

When evaluating the different e-learning options for your child, it is essential that:

  • the content is engaging and interactive;
  • students are guided through their subjects by online teachers;
  • students can engage with their subjects through assignments and projects;
  • students receive electronic feedback on their learning;
  • students have platforms on which to interact and collaborate with each other such as online chat rooms and discussion forums;
  • there is a way in which parents can monitor their child’s progress.

Based on these criteria, select an option that will ignite a drive for life-long learning in your child. Ultimately, we are at the cusp of an exciting transformation in our education sector, one that will revolutionise the learning and teaching environment, and change your child’s education for the better.

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We think you should and here’s why:

The world renowned British International curriculum, which we offer at Think Digital Academy, is an internationally recognised qualification, currently offered in over 160 countries across the world, and in over 10 000 schools or colleges. Our world today has become, more and more, a global village, and arming your child with an internationally acclaimed and respected education is the way to go.

In the hundreds of nations where the British International curriculum is taught across the world, there are variations and adaptations inculcated to suit local contexts.

Where does British Assessment International Education take you?

Success in British International qualifications often gives students admission to the best universities all over the world including, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany and many other countries worldwide.

British International qualifications are accepted and valued by universities around the world, including MIT, Harvard and Cambridge.

They are recognised as qualifications that prepare and equip students with the skills they need to succeed both at university and beyond. According to the British Assessment International Education, feedback from universities is that they value the independent research and critical thinking skills, as well as the deep subject knowledge that a British International qualification brings.

The British International curriculum has a clear path for a student which runs from the age of 5 to 19. British International primary is from age 5 to age 11, and it consists of 10 subjects including English, Mathematics and Science.

British International lower secondary also consists of 10 subjects. The age group in this category is from 11 to 14 years old. From 14 to 16 years old, it is referred to as British International upper secondary. This stage identifies British International IGCSE [which has over 70 subjects], British International AS/A level and the British International AICE certificate.

But why British International curriculum?

Skills acquired through the British International pathway equip learners with the ability to thrive at university and beyond. The four stages named above (British International primary to British International advanced level) all build on each other systematically. This is vital as it builds on previous learning in a systematic and creative manner.

Through a combination of the programmes students are encouraged to develop higher-order thinking skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, independent research abilities and information interpretation. These lifetime skills prepare learners well for their academic journey.

British International schools can tailor the British International international curriculum to their culture, and ethos and to suit students’ needs. Many schools around the world use British International programmes and qualifications as the English-medium strand of a bilingual education programme.

Professionals from American universities do concur that British International is a good foundation for students. The academic skills that British International students display are second to none and they are well prepared for college. Students who have experienced the British International curriculum are able to survive and adapt to the rigorous environment in tertiary institutions.

The students are more willing to take part in academic communities and other societies, which enables them to be part of the university holistically.

Another positive attribute noted by the admissions personal of the University of Virginia is that British International students have great writing skills as well as comprehension skills. Arizona State University enrolment services alluded that British International learners match the Arizona preparatory units and perform very well.

Students at Brown University who have a background of British International are said to perform in the 90s and they graduate on time.

British International exams are taken in June or November. The time table is carefully crafted in a manner that no student can have more than six hours of examination per day. Exams for the same subjects are taken at the same time for security and credibility; this is the British International key time rule.

Think Digital Academy offers you an opportunity to be part of this globally acknowledged academic programme. We offer the British International curriculum in a conducive, fun and creative manner. Our hands-on approach creates a holistic learning environment. We produce students who are well groomed independent thinkers, flexible and well prepared to take on the world.

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When a business takes the leap to expand to another country, like in our case, to the United States of America, rebranding is inevitable. And we are excited by both the expansion as well as the rebrand of our award winning South African online school, now known as Think Digital Academy.

Our CEO, Ms Janessa Leita, explains, “As Think Digital College continues to grow in South Africa, and online education gains further popularity under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw it prudent to spread our wings to the USA – a goal we have been working on for some time now.”

She elaborates further with, “The expansion to the United States of America has become a reality as we have now registered our first institution in the state of Florida.”

What happens when you open doors in a new country?

With the first phase of global expansion of any business, online schools are no exception, there must be evolution. In this case, cultural evolvement was necessary. Janessa explains, “Our international expansion has however, meant that we have had to change our name in the process, as the word ‘college’ refers to a tertiary institution in the USA. As a result, our exciting new name Think Digital Academy was birthed.”

When certain things change (like our name) others remain the same

Think Digital Academy is undoubtedly built on the vitally fundamental pillars of Think Digital College, that of quality, advancement, and integrity. This online school that was born and launched in South Africa, which recently scooped the international 2020/21 Corporate Livewire Prestige Award, has carried over its finest traits to the American market. While this growth has been taking place, and remaining true to our mission, we have not skipped a beat in serving the online students of South Africa in the process. The Prestige award was a great honour, one that drove home the message that all online students and stakeholders should be assured of exceptional service in a safe, online school environment. Now we aim to bring the same standard of online schooling to the United States of America.

Energised, excited and exhilarated

There is no better time to use some alliteration to express the sheer joy and passion we are moving forward with as a team and organisation. Think Digital Academy is an online schooling brand that we will grow from strength to strength, but never losing sight of our online students, ensuring they always have the best available education and service delivered to them.

“Our online students are our why, they are our purpose. And everything Think Digital Academy keeps striving to do, will have these fine, young people top of mind” emphasises Janessa.

You can find more information on our online school curricula or feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

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It has been estimated that globally 50% of jobs currently in existence will not exist by 2030 and our children are not protected from this reality. The global transformation currently underway, called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), entails the convergence of all digital, physical and biological technologies. It is predicted, that by 2020, 4IR will have brought us advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, genetic engineering and virtual reality.

However, South Africa is already struggling to employ its youth. The country registered an unemployment rate of 29.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019 which is staggeringly high. The question is, can South Africa adapt quickly enough to adequately equip its young people with the skills required by 4IR?

The labour market of the future will require new skills including digital fluency, creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, empathy and adaptability. Traditional thinking was that the more specialised a person became, the more economically valuable they would be. However, 4IR requires a person to be interdisciplinary – to have sufficient knowledge in other fields outside of their area of specialisation.

Considering that information and communications technologies is the fastest growing industry in South Africa, and that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sectors are also achieving similar growth, skills in robotics and coding will future-proof our learners and equip them for the ‘jobs of the future’.

According to the World Economic Forum, the top ten emerging jobs are:

  1. Data analysts and scientists;
  2. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning specialists;
  3. General and operations managers;
  4. Software developers and analysts;
  5. Sales and marketing specialists;
  6. Big data specialists;
  7. Digital transformation specialists;
  8. New technology specialists;
  9. Organisational development specialists;
  10. Information technology services

The 4IR is no longer coming, it is upon us. The best we can do as parents, and educators, is to ensure that our students have the necessary skills for future job and labour markets, and have the ability to navigate the uncertain environment of a technology-driven economy. Our education system simply has to adapt, otherwise our children will be left behind.

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The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant closure of schools, has led to a new educational crisis.

While school closures are important to contain the coronavirus in South Africa, a comprehensive catch-up plan for learners has yet to be devised by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga. The Minister on the other hand, is leaving it up to each province, district, circuit and school to develop their own comprehensive catch-up plan. Currently only ten schooling days will be lost, which will be caught up by shortening the mid-year break, but the length, and extent, of the disruption to schooling is hard to predict at this stage with some experts forecasting that schools will only reopen at the end of April, or even May. The reality is, that very few schools in our country are able to administer e-learning, and critically, to ensure that learning material is adapted to alternative platforms such as tablets.

Many parents are unable to direct their child’s schooling during this period, either because they themselves are working remotely or have younger siblings to take care of. This leads to a significant amount of stress and tension in the home, with further undue pressure being placed on parents, particularly those with children in matric.

In order to assist learners during the shut-down, Think Digital Academy, a registered online school for Grade R to 12, is offering their full curriculum to South African learners for R500 or up to an 80% discount for Term 2. Rather than returning to school, and trying frantically to catch up with the year’s academic programme, Think Digital Academy will enable students to keep up to date with their school year. Parents can rest assured that their children are deriving the full benefit of a normal school day, remotely, through Think Digital Academy’s structured learning programme.

Students will be able to watch lessons, complete activities, projects and even take assessments to measure their progress while parents are able to pull weekly reports on their child’s activity. The CAPS curriculum is available in both English and Afrikaans, and all lessons are taught by qualified teachers, are interactive and perfectly aligned to the CAPS and British International syllabi. In addition, learners will receive free access to Think Digital Academy’s new Coding and Robotics course.

In these uncertain times, Think Digital Academy takes away the ‘what ifs’, and ensures that your child’s education, and future, is not compromised.

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The school placement chaos at the beginning of this year highlighted a very scary reality – we simply do not have enough good schools in Gauteng, South Africa.

A number of schools faced a very high enrolment demand as parents clamoured to ensure their children have a place in a school of excellence, while many schools, particularly in townships, were virtually empty. The result is that oversubscribed schools are forced to make use of mobile classrooms which are barely conducive to quality teaching and learning. These schools’ resources become constrained, with the average number of learners reaching 60 per class. This puts additional pressure on our teachers, and makes it a near impossibility that our students will be provided with the strong foothold they so desperately need if they are to succeed in high school and beyond.

It has been predicted that by 2020, Gauteng will still be short of 1373 classrooms at existing schools. This means that even at the accepted ration of 40 pupils per class‚ almost 55 000 pupils will be in over-crowded classrooms in three years.

At the same time, it’s calculated that 10% of the country’s teachers are absent from school each day, while a Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) found that 79% of South African Grade 6 maths teachers were classified as having content knowledge levels below the level at which they were teaching. This problem is compounded by a lack of support for teachers and insufficient professional development. In addition, the Centre for Development and Enterprise predicted that South Africa would need to have 456 000 teachers by 2025 to offer our children a quality education, this is 46 000 more than we currently have, and between 18 000 and 22 000 teachers leave the profession every year.

So as parents, how do we deal with high student ratios; a lack of resources; a shortage of qualified teachers in subjects like mathematics and physical sciences; a lack of discipline in our classrooms that disrupts teaching and learning, and absenteeism of teachers who are burnt out trying to cope with big classes and poor learner behaviour?

We simply have to think beyond traditional teaching and learning methods. It is time to consider virtual schools as a viable option for ensuring our children receive the best education possible, and are equipped with the skills needed for the future of work in this country.

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