Welcome to our February 2016 newsletter . In this issue we bring you news of some Microsoft and Intel offerings for teachers, a report back on our Learning Gains through Play project and a notice about the upcoming EdTechTeam Google in Education Summit in South Africa in July. I
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Congratulations to the 16th Annual National Teachers Awards Finalists and Winners
SchoolNet wishes to congratulate the deserving winners and finalists of the 2016 National Teachers Awards. The prestigious ceremony was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday 27 February. The awards is in its sixteenth year and has 12 categories. SchoolNet's Megan Rademeyer has been an adjudicator in the Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning category since the inception of this category.
Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa stepped in, to open the ceremony, when the President's plane was delayed in Burundi. The Deputy President delivered an impressive address, outlining how committed the government was to education and how it had prioritised schools and the improvement of working conditions for teachers.
The Excellence in Technology-Enhanced, Teaching and Learning category was won by Gafieza Ismail-Le Chat from Spine Road in the Western Cape. Gafieza is instrumental in facilitating training for other like-minded teachers in the Mitchells Plain area. She creates her own video and audio resources for lessons and is creating an e-curriculum for English First Additional language. Roshan Behareelall from ML Sultan Primary in KwaZulu Natal and Morne Smit and Dejon Weyers from Hoer Volkskool in the North West were runners up. In addition to the other prizes awarded, the top three teachers in this category also won a prize from SchoolNet. They are each able to select any one of the SACE-endorsed SchoolNet SA courses to be facilitated for teachers at their respective schools. Furthermore each of the top three teachers will have an opportunity to attend/present at a conference in South Africa relating to educational uses of technology in the classroom.
SchoolNet once again congratulates all teachers in South Africa who work tirelessly to build better futures.
To read about the finalists and winners in each category read the report here
Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts heading for Microsoft Global Educator Exchange (E2) in Budapest in March
Out of the current 61 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts from South Africa and Lesotho, the following three teachers have been selected to attend the Microsoft Educator Exchange (E2) event taking place in Budapest, Hungary in March 2016:
Keshma Patel - Micklefield School, Western Cape; Moses Sello Sehoole - Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High, North
West Province; and Tracy Heath - Brescia House School, Gauteng.
The three teachers have demonstrated a willingness to support their peers and share their expertise through a variety of platforms; they have showcased innovative work in the classroom using technology to enhance learning; and they have continued to develop themselves through the resources available on the Microsoft Educator Community. The Microsoft Educator Exchange E2 event will bring together 300 of the most innovative educators from around the world for the opportunity to collaborate, create, and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and pedagogy in ways that achieve 21st century learning outcomes. We look forward to hearing all about Keshma, Moses and Tracy's experiences at E2 and sharing some of what they have learnt on the SchoolNet SA blog.
Intel hosts Master training for two courses on the Integration of Tablets in the Classroom
The South African educational world is currently in a precarious position as schools grapple with decisions around BYOD (Bring your own device), tablets vs laptops, WIFI connectivity vs servers etc. In the midst of these dilemmas education professionals firmly believe that without teacher professional development (TPD) there will be insufficient adoption of new technologies to transform teaching and learning, or to make any significant change to our current education system. This Intel master training arrived at exactly the right time, because it was geared toward arming service providers with tangible and practical TPD courses that they could easily implement as part of technology rollouts. The master training was facilitated by Intel's Shelley Shott and SchoolNet's Omashani Naidoo
Learning Gains through Play Project: Western Cape school visits
Learning Gains through Play project team members Janet Thomson, Hlengiwe Mfeka, Tracey Butchart (project evaluator) and Rodney Nissen (WCED) visited two project schools on Wednesday and Thursday from the 3rd - 4th of February 2016. The new principal Mrs Zaibaunesa Windvogel welcomed us into her office and we had a little chat about the project and how she is adapting. She indicated that Grade R teachers are not comfortable with the project visit at the beginning of the year as they are still settling in with their Grade R learners. This helped us to realize that the teachers do not understand the purpose of these visits which are meant to give them support where necessary instead of inspection. We then requested a staff meeting during break to clarify that misunderstanding. The meeting helped to make teachers feel at ease such that we were able to visit all the project teachers including Grade R.
To see a summary of the class visits read the rest of the report here:
Join the EdTechTeam for the 2016 South Africa Summit featuring Google for Education - at Dainfern College in September...
Learn how to use Google Apps for Education and other technologies to enhance your teaching in engaging sessions led by Google Certified Innovators and Trainers and local
GAFE rockstars. Sessions will cover a wide range of applications for beginner and experienced GAFE users, for classroom teachers, administrators, tech coordinators, and anyone interested in learning how Google's free suite of tools for education can enhance student learning.
International Classroom Collaboration - and call for ideas from teachers
Adele Driessen's Grade 1 Class at Somerset West Methodist Primary is about to embark on a collaborative classroom project with Peter Rafferty at his school:
Green Park Primary in Liverpool in the UK. They have decided to use Skype and they are still planning the details of the project. They might start off with a Mystery Skype call where their learners have to find out where in the world the other classroom is by asking questions. Everyone involved is hoping that this is going to lead to an ongoing classroom collaboration between the Somerset West and Liverpool classrooms. In 2015, SchoolNet's Omashani Naidoo and Janet Thomson both met Peter who had been globe-trotting to two different Intel events, one in San Francisco and one in London. Peter is the sort of teacher that everyone wants to meet - and that every school would love to have. He is passionate about his learners and devotes much of his energies to concocting new fun activities for them. He is definitely going to be on our list of keynote speakers to invite to our next SchoolNet conference.
You can visit his classroom blog at http://y4.greenparkschool.org.uk/
Register for the Microsoft 2 - Educator Exchange digital conference live streaming event Wed 9 March
The E2 - Educator Exchange is Microsoft in Education's annual event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. This event brings together the most innovative educators from around the world to collaborate, create, and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and pedagogy to advance learning, achieve student outcomes, and transform education. If it is at all possible, join Microsoft on 9 March 2016, from 10:00 - 13:00 South African time (UTC +2) to hear from
Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education at Microsoft and
Stephen Reid, Creative Director for ImmersiveMinds, who will be sharing innovative approaches to learning enabled by technology, including game-based learning, as well as some of their favorite ways to
#hacktheclassroom. By joining E2 online, you will be able to interact with the speakers and educators around the world, participate in the E2 Educator Challenge, and we believe you'll come away inspired. Be part of something bigger. Join the live global web-event and hack your way into a more innovative learning environment for your students."
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