Media Works, a leader in Adult Education and Training (AET) in South Africa, has partnered with Excom Publishers, to burst into the high school space with innovative ‘Bubble’ QR technology for textbooks.

This follows Media Works’ deal to acquire 40% of South African textbook company, Excom Publishers, which has been publishing quality IEB and CAPS-aligned text books since 2008.

Media Works has assisted Excom to redesign and refresh a selection of high school-level text books, and is enriching the learning experience by giving pupils access to interactive audio and rich visuals within the textbooks.

A first for South Africa, this technology – called ‘Bubbles’ – inserts short, interactive modules into the textbooks, allowing learners to get a deeper understanding of the material through interactive audio and visual snippets that complements the curriculum.

Through simply scanning the codes via a smart phone using a free QR reader or clicking on the active links in the eBook versions, learners can unlock the rich, 60 to 90 second interactive lessons as well as additional concept examples.

The technology creates what Media Works and Excom call ‘talking textbooks’, as ‘Bubbles’ are located through the learning materials and are intended to be especially useful when revising or catching up on concepts. Through a deeper, multifaceted learning experience, learners will be able to comprehend and retain the information more successfully.

Textbooks relating to subjects such as Business Studies, Economic and Management Sciences, Life Orientation and Accounting are set to feature the technology at first, with plans in place to roll it out to other subjects in 2018.

“This marks the first time ever in South Africa that textbooks have been brought to life in this way. The QR tech will bring world-class education to students, regardless of where in the country they’re based, and what schooling experience they find themselves in,” said Dennis Lamberti, Development Director of Media Works.

Yvette Russell, a Founding Member of Excom Publishers, is upbeat about the collaboration with Media Works and the adoption of the technology.

“This is breakthrough technology for learning and it ultimately applies to different levels and categories of learners, including those who are doing home schooling. The ‘Bubbles’ will give learners a way to engage with, and recap, their studies effectively, allowing for better understanding,” Russell says.

Teachers who are interested in prescribing the books for their learners can order directly from or obtain them from several bookshops, such as PNA, Van Schaik, Caxton and many other local bookstores. The eBook version can be purchased and downloaded via or , and new options will be available in the near future.

Media Works has been operating for 21 years, and to date, has upskilled over a million adults in South Africa. Media Works’ synergy with Excom Publishers stems from its focus on multimedia as an important and effective AET tool for imparting valuable numeracy and literacy skills.

Both Excom Publishers and Media Works are looking forward to using multimedia to enhance the learning experience of high school learners in the country.

To order your interactive textbooks, click here to download the booking form.

Watch the video below to learn more about how Bubbles brings textbooks to life: