The Pulse aims to deliver more comprehensive life skills education, based on three essential ingredients.
Information: The Pulse has created a CD-ROM and comic book, from which learners can easily source key information on HIV&AIDS. Both resources are framed around six stories. These deliver critical information in a fun, but systematic and simple way to promote greater understanding of concepts and facts.
Attitudes, Values and Beliefs: The African Pulse adopts a choice based approach to nurture skills and attitudes that promote equality and empower all learners to be responsible citizens of South Africa.
Skills: If knowledge, attitudes and values based programmes are supported with a skills component then young people are more likely to transfer knowledge into protective behaviour. The African Pulse can enhance the experiential learning aspects of a lesson. The activities and games built into the stories can enhance interaction and encourage learners to practice and exercise a variety of life skills.
In addition to these three life skills components The African Pulse has adopted an edutainment approach to cater for today’s ‘media savvy’ generation of South Africans. In comparison to conventional text books, the CD-ROM and comic book offer a novel, flexible and fresh approach to curriculum topics. The resources employ a story as the vehicle for learning. This aims to entice and engage learners to understand. Various activities incorporated in the CD-ROM and comic book then help to involve and challenge the learners on the issues addressed.
The ICT component of The African Pulse has the potential to enhance learning through its unique interactive and appealing features. A computer based programme can be an attractive teaching resource because of their social, vocational, pedagogical and catalytic benefits. Mathematics and science have commonly made use of these distinctive educational capabilities of computers. However the possibilities of this medium being a platform to explore sensitive and social issues should also be exploited.
In conclusion, The African Pulse utilises the appeal of a variety of media to make edutainment feasible for Life Orientation. The Pulse can nurture knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that are more conducive to healthy living through a package of media based resources. These remain interactive, engaging and learner centered, yet simultaneously educator friendly because they are relevant and flexible.