KNOWLEDGE NETWORK TIMES

Jil established Knowledge Network (K-Net for short) in 1994 for people of all ages to learn how to use technology as a tool for school, work, varsity, for life and learning.

An Interview with Jil Hrdliczka
Founder and Owner of Knowledge Network
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK TIMELINE

Educator empowerment

A man with a future

Educator empowerment

Computer learning goes rural

Krugersdorp High School broadens learner's possibilities

A training school with a difference

These techno kids learn through play

Computer facility opens for kids

A useful tool to learn life skills

Knowledge Network's IT Learning System yields results at St Joseph's School

Equipping children with skills to cope

Knowledge knows no age!

A different drum

Windows 95 network for K-Net

Kids shape up for the hi-tech business world of tomorrow

PR for credibility

Computer technology network for kids and teenagers

K-Net brings computers

K-Net

Workgroup supports K-Net

Computerising the classroom

Providing a hi-tech model for kids

Unlocking the magic

Never too soon to get kids on the keyboard

Jil developed the Knowledge Network Level 05 In-school diploma programme for Grade 11 / 12 learners which can be run on Windows-based computers, laptops or tablets, Apple Macs, iPads or Android tablets. The programme has been in the South African market for 21 years.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING PROJECTS

Dear Jil

The journey taken to reach the final level of Knowledge Network flew by, but it was by no means a walk in the park. Each lesson proved stimulating, with a new piece of knowledge working itself into the class. Every year and every lesson was a step forward towards the final assessment. I feel my experience will prove to be a necessary asset in any future undertaking. Preparing for the assessment was not so simple, it required practice to make perfect. Two weeks prior to the paper was spent practicing every aspect that could have been asked. The four hour assessment was very valuable as it examined various features on the computer, which we were taught throughout our time of computer lessons, features such as referencing, something that is an invaluable tool in life. I felt the paper was relevant in terms of our technologically-rich lifestyles, exploring the aspects of social media and translation software. It was the perfect combination of challenging and intriguing; not too difficult and not too easy. I feel this experience will only serve to benefit me in the future with my studies and career.

P.S This text was more difficult to write than the actual 4-hour assessment.

Cole Zumpt
2017 Grade 12 learner School of Merit, Edenvale, South Africa

I am a Knowledge Network Mentor. I mentor both educators and learners from pre-primary to KN Level 05 in Grade 11 or 12. The most rewarding part is the end of KN Level 05. That might sound strange, but let me explain.

The KN Level 05 year is the culmination of all the hard work by both learners and mentors, a nerve-racking year for both.The wonderful part is I see them apply all they have learned and know it will stand them in good stead for years to come.

Not only does Knowledge Network teach learners to use windows-based systems, iPads, Macs and Androids but also covers aspects such as e-learning to ensure learners have the coping skills to apply their knowledge.

The program includes researching, creativity, critical thinking, social media safety, layout, life and entrepreneurial skills and much more. This ensures learners achieve holistic learning.

“So much to do in so little time”. This is indicative of the final years of school but thank goodness with Knowledge Network the learners are prepared so well throughout the years that in the final stretch it is a consolidation of all that has been learned.

One of my responsibilities this year was to get an 80% pass rate from the teachers presenting KN Level 05 to learners.

“My mentor” in this was Jil, Founder of Knowledge Network. Before mentoring me she invested many hours creating a collaborative learning project.

Educators, learners and mentors had an opportunity to submit their input about what learners needed to cover and in what depth in order to score 70% in a 4-hour assessment.

Every year a market-related topic is selected for the assessment, the research for which helps learners at school, university and in life. The topic for 2017 is social media and translation software.

Jil’s analysis of the collaborative input resulted in approximately twenty 1-hour sessions which I then worked through with educators presenting KN Level 05 so they were equipped with the “know-how” to deliver the learning to their learners.

The first results of this process were from Grey High School, Port Elizabeth. The work done by their learners is awesome, their results just as awesome.

The good thing about the KN Level 05 results is the learners who read the paper, complete and understand the research, do the required project work and have the required “look” all score 70%. The pass mark for all Knowledge Network certificates, in-school diploma in this case, is 70%.

As the learners are about to head off into the work place, to colleges and universities Knowledge Network revisits referencing, presentation of work and spreadsheeting.

After completing a project on referencing learners told me they so appreciated these sessions as it helped with their class work. It will also be critical for the completion of assignments for their further studies. I felt proud of them as I had of course always known the benefits and now they were recognising it for themselves, a sign they had grown up.

I had the opportunity to chat with past students. They have all said “thank you”. What they have learned through Knowledge Network has made a difference.

Ashley Grant
Educator / KN Mentor, School of Merit, Edenvale, South Africa

I was lucky enough to attend a school that offered the Knowledge Network Programme. Between 2008 and 2012, I completed the Knowledge Network Programme (reached Level 05) by completing the course I enhanced my computer literacy courses. It laid down the fundamental computer literacy skills as well as prepared me for the computer skills I needed to pass my Matric CAT exam, as well as for the computer literacy skills I needed for University and work (as a teacher). By the time I got to University, my computer skills exceeded those who did not have the privilege of taking the course. I have been able to fully utilise the computer programmes that were required throughout my degree (especially in my Honours year). I can definitely say, without the Knowledge Network course I would have struggled in Varsity, and I would not have been able to integrate technology into my teaching nearly as much as what I currently do.  It is very easy to underestimate the value behind the programme, trust me I did, but I cannot actually thank Knowledge Network (and my computer teacher, Mrs Gattoo) enough for teaching me such valuable and useful skills.

Claire Bristow
Past student St Teresa’s School, Rosebank, South Africa

Dear Jil

I just attended our Valediction at my School. Our class got the first 100% pass rate in 2017 at our school. It’s a huge achievement and we are so happy and proud to achieve this. The referencing helped us get through our Biology project as this was the majority of our marks and without having learned referencing during our Knowledge Network classes we would not have passed it. The way the lessons are taught to us makes it easy to understand and it also helped prepare us for our end of year assessment. The Knowledge Network programme helped us with school work and as it is so valuable in life it will help me in future.

Caitlin Harris
2017 Grade 12 learner, School of Merit, Edenvale, South Africa

Both of my children went through the Knowledge Network programme from the prep school through the college. They were enabled and equipped with core skills and knowledge including being able to format documents, write and compile reports, work with spreadsheets, analyse and express data in readable or graphic form, conduct research and undertake resource-based learning, work with databases and web design, compile and conduct presentations, create digital graphic designs and construct pictures and vector designs, to name but a few. All of the above lessons could be applied across platforms using various devices. The students are not limited or restricted to a specific device or a particular operating system. Evaluation is continuous and on-going, with external moderation and certification that ensures exacting standards as well as the required body of knowledge and skill sets. Upon my children’s entry to university (different universities) they were required to complete an IT literacy test. I am proud to say that both achieved well above the required 70% pass and were well above the norms and standards of their fellow students. This spoke volumes for the competence and efficacy of the Knowledge Network programme. The long term learning benefits derived there from are essential life skills and form a solid platform for any school leaver.

Kevin Stewart
Father of two learners who completed the Knowledge Network in-school Diploma Programme

In 2004, I attended the ILAMM Evaluator and Facilitator Training & Mentorship Programme offered by Knowledge Network after which our Preparatory school implemented the Knowledge Network programme. I was the ICT educator tasked with the responsibility of implementing an effective and enduring skills-based ICT programme. The structure and approach of the KN programme allowed the students to learn and develop their skills across a number of applications on different platforms and on different devices. The programme also emphasises a creative and lateral thinking approach to problem solving. Skills are taught, developed and reinforced throughout the programme over the various levels. The in-service training that I received throughout the years for the different levels taught, enabled me to advance my skills and allowed me to offer my colleagues a sustained support base. In 2007, I was fortunate to be invited to teach this programme to the senior students in the College, thus further advancing my skills and
knowledge. Here we were also introduced to databases and web design, as well as the usual business and communicative applications. The senior school or college programme moves the students up through levels 1 to 4 where they do an externally moderated certified examination. The programme culminates at Level 5 with an externally moderated Diploma examination. The programme keeps all learners channelled and sufficiently challenged, whilst simultaneously empowering and preparing them as they move intotertiary study or the workplace.
Many students have returned over the years to express their appreciation for the computer and communicative and collaborative skills that they acquired under my guidance.”

Kevin Stewart
Information and Communication Technology Educator and KN Mentor, St Dunstan’s College, Benoni, South Africa