SchoolNet SA
Welcome to our March 2016 newsletter. We trust that our teacher readers had a refreshing first term break. In this issue we bring you news of the recent Microsoft E2 Global Exchange in Budapest attended by three of our teachers; a report back on our Learning Gains through Play project; we remind you about the EdTechTeam Google in Education Summit in South Africa in September, and more. If you are not sure whether you are a SchoolNet member we invite you to visit our website home page found at: click on 'Sign up for SchoolNet membership', and join today, so that you don't miss out on our many offerings for teachers!
In this issue:
T hree South African teachers join 250 global teachers at the Microsoft E2 Teacher exchange in Budapest. Will it be you, next year?
T hree of our Microsoft MIEExpert teachers were selected to attend the dazzling Microsoft E2 Global Teacher Exchange in beautiful Budapest this year from March 8th - 10th.  Keshma Patel from  Micklefield School, Western Cape;   Moses Sello Sehoole from  Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High, North West Province; and   Tracy Heath   from Brescia House School, Gauteng, left our shores earlier this month, along with Angela Schaerer from Microsoft, to attend a conference where they would be surrounded by some of the most creative and innovative educators from around the world. 

Read more of this post on our blog here
Learning Gains through Play: KZN Midlands: Module 10 Looking Back 

The training for the last module in the Learning Gains through Play teacher professional development in KZN was conducted at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick on Thursday 10 March 2016.  The attendance was good with nineteen teachers present. Module 10 is about reflecting and demonstrating the use of various technology skills and teaching strategies done in previous modules.  Teachers are expected to brag about the badges (for teaching strategies) obtained thus far and how they have used those in their classrooms.  Furthermore, teachers create a PowerPoint presentation using a provided template to share about one selected teaching strategy.  The teaching strategies include; jigsaw, story-telling, role-play, learning stations, mind-map, game-based learning, field-trip and gallery walk.
Read the rest of this report on our website here:
Brescia House School hosts a party - IT Style

In celebration of their 50 th  Birthday, Brescia House School hosted a TeachMeet with a difference on 15 March 2016.  Teachers were seated at tables, each decorated using a birthday party theme, and they were invited to share their ideas on innovation in teaching and learning with those seated at their tables. Each of the tables was hosted by a Brescia House School teacher who is also currently a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. In addition to sharing ideas for integrating technology into their classrooms, teachers enjoyed playing "party games", which included trying out Google cardboard, completing a scavenger hunt on their phones, and pinning the icon of their favourite app on a board in the hopes of winning a prize by hitting the lucky spot.  Teachers at Brescia House School, a Microsoft Showcase School,  excel at using technology to enhance learning. Their TeachMeet events are always great fun, and a generous way of providing teachers from the wider community with an opportunity to learn from one another.
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.
September 1: Pre-Summit Workshops | $199/Person
September 2 -3: Summit featuring Google for Edu | $225/Person
Dainfern College, Johannesburg

Register here
Mpumalanga Microsoft Educator Community Networking Session well attended

An impressive 160 teachers attended a Microsoft Educator Community Networking Session held on 22-23 March 2016 at the Vodacom supported ICT Resource Centre in Emalahleni. Mpumalanga teachers in the area were asked to attend a session on one of the days of their school holidays to learn more about new trends in education for using technology in the classroom. The sessions were organised by Nomusa Keninda who is the  eLearning Specialist for Mpumalanga Department of Education, and Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet. They took teachers on a step by step tour of the  Microsoft Educator Community , focusing on the newly released  Teaching with Technology  online course. Teachers in attendance were also encouraged to sign up to be  SchoolNet SA members  - a free program aimed at helping teachers stay in touch with the latest trends and events in using technology for educational purposes. It was exciting to see teachers arrive in their numbers to learn more about how they can enhance teaching using technology and we trust that teachers left the session inspired with ideas to try out when they get back to school. Another networking session is being planned for April, and once again local teachers will be encouraged to attend to boost their skills for teaching in the ICT environment. 
C omparison of Universal Service Obligation (USO) Solutions X Touch and Intel Devices  

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) requested SchoolNet to compare two solutions being rolled out as part of the Universal Service Obligations (USO). The USO is an ICASA-led initiative where telecommunications operators in South Africa provide ICT infrastructure solutions to at least 300 schools per year until their licenses are renewed for the next period of time. Read more...

Read the full report on our website here
IT News Africa Panel Education Innovation Summit 

IT News Africa recently hosted the 2016 Education Innovation Summit at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. The interactive roundtable discussion format provided opportunities for panellists to agree and disagree with speakers and this allowed for a highly encouraging debate about Technology in education and what was important in the short term.  Topics included the following:
  • The Role of Digital Technology in Education
  • The MOOC Model: Challenging Traditional Education models
  • How can technology drive down the cost of university education in Africa?
  • A vision for the school of tomorrow
SchoolNet's Operations Manager, Ms Omashani Naidoo was a panellist in the MOOC Model: Challenging Traditional Education Models and A Vision for the School of Tomorrow. She advocated for blended approaches to teaching and learning as "there is no one size fits all" option. Having courses purely online is not effective for the majority of public school teachers and looking at ways to integrate ICTs into classroom activities must be foremost in any ICT rollout to ensure that the huge investment in IT infrastructure is used optimally to enhance education. Technology in education has great potential if projects are well planned and implemented in carefully crafted projects to benefit teachers, learners and parents. We cannot continue to produce learners who are not tech-savvy or not ready for local and global demands.  All participants provided refreshing views on trends in education and what the future holds for technology in education. Watch participants' views and reactions to the Innovation Summit.
If you are not yet a SchoolNet member, please join us by clicking  here and following the prompts to be kept in touch with our various offerings from time to time. W e hope you'll visit our blog and our Facebook  page regularly. Please follow us on Twitter  ( @Schoolnetsa)


Warm regards
The SchoolNet team