SchoolNet SA
Welcome to our newsy October 2015 newsletter. We remind you urgently of the looming deadline for the Microsoft Innovative Educator program - closing date is only a day away on 30th October. Please remember to register to become a SchoolNet member if you haven't already done so so that you can be made aware of our many offerings for educators. If you are not sure whether you are a SchoolNet member please click on 'Sign up for SchoolNet membership' on our website home page at and join today, so that you don't miss out on our many offerings for teachers. 
In this issue:
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program - applications close on 30 October 2015

Microsoft is looking for self-driven educators who are passionate about their careers and inspiring students with outside-the-box thinking. If you have a collaborative spirit, are resourceful and entrepreneurial, relish the role of being a change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using advanced technologies and social media - then you may have what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE). Applications for this amazing program close on 30th October so we encourage you to step out and apply. The steps to applying can be found on this SchoolNet website post or on this SchoolNet blogpost  The application requires a link to an online file of some sort that tells the adjudicators why you feel you should be selected. If you would like that online file to be a video, here is a post that will explain how to go about creating the video
What made the difference? Great findings in the Learning Gains for Play project

The Learning Gains through Play (LGP) project focuses on the development of foundational literacies in Grades R and 1 through the innovative use of technology-enabled, learner-centred play in ten schools from the two provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.    The purpose of this article is to share the findings of the first evaluations of learner performance one year since the baseline findings and to relate these findings to the factors that could have influenced learning gains.  We consider the extent to which teachers have been engaging learners in the use of technology and whether this 'dosage' of exposure has influenced learning outcomes as well as the ultimate aims of the project.  We document the extent of professional development undertaken by teachers in project schools and try to establish whether the dosage that they have received thus far is sufficient to already have had a positive effect on learning gains.
Read more on our website here
SchoolNet's Operations Manager Selected for IntelĀ® Education Visionaries Program

SchoolNet's Omashani Naidoo, was recently named one of the IntelĀ® Education Visionaries, an elite group of approximately 40 education leaders from all over the world who are exemplars for global education transformation; to inspire and share best practices with other educators, administrators and parents worldwide; and help Intel design the future of education. Omashani was selected as an Intel Education Visionary on the basis of her insight, passion and proven experience as an agent of change in education. From Oct. 11-14, she attended the Intel Education Visionaries kickoff event at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, California, which served as the official launch of the program. The event brought Visionaries together to collaborate with other educators and leaders, and participate in immersive professional learning sessions , and to hear from industry experts.
Read the rest of this report here:

Ten takeaways from the Google Summit  held recently at Parklands College

Every year SchoolNet hosts the EdTechTeam's Global Summit featuring Google in Education, in partnership with the EdTechTeam and a host school. This year Parklands College in Cape Town, once again, were outstanding hosts. This is an event an educator does not want to miss out on in South Africa. Visit  for details. Every year the amazing EdTechTeam sweeps in with new brooms, and they dust away all the cobwebs from one's mind showing us what can be achieved, not only by using Google Apps in the classroom but also by redefining our roles as teachers.  "I am not just the teacher, I am a TEACHER. I am here to change the world one child at a time."  We were constantly encouraged to think about  #onenewthing  that we'll introduce in our classrooms each week.  Not only does this team inspire, befriend and amaze - they share their resources so freely with everyone!  Everything about this year's Summit was great, but this post concentrates on ten 'AHA' moments.

Read the rest of this post on our blog here
Check out the new Microsoft Educator Community

Microsoft recently launched the Microsoft Educator Community which combines the features of the Microsoft Educator Network and Skype in the Classroom.  SchoolNet's Megan Rademeyer and Microsoft's Victor Ngobeni recently presented a live webinar taking a tour through the new community and the features that teachers will benefit from. Click here to see a recording of this webinar To find out more about the  Microsoft Educator Community see this blog post Do look out for the monthly Microsoft Virtual Academy webinars which explore the various Microsoft educational offerings. To make sure you don't miss these like Microsoft in Education - South Africa and Lesotho on Facebook  follow @Microsoft EduSA on Twitter here.

Read more on our blog here
Learning Gains through Play Western Cape Weekend Workshop

On the weekend of 23 October 2015 the Western Cape Learning Gains through Play project teachers were out and about. They came in numbers to the Metro East Education District to attend the popular Scavenger Hunt module - which is never short of fun and excitement.  The Scavenger Hunt teaching strategy is like a game in which a list defining specific items to be photographed or activities to be performed by teams or individuals is prepared - with a specific context of learning in mind. The participant's concept development is optimized through active, explorative experiences, observation skills are strengthened and 21st century skills enhanced.  Activities developed technology competence as teachers were challenged to use it in innovative ways.  Teachers had first-hand experience how a scavenger hunt could broaden their learners' awareness of their surroundings or environment as well as deepen their knowledge in a particular learning area. Back from the field, teams presented their completed tasks in order to score better points for themselves.  Collaboration is part of the game! The Teachers' WhatsApp group was buzzing after the workshop - It was a day to be remembered by ALL!

Read the full report on our website here
Telkom Tomorrow starts today - join in the free workshop

The Telkom Foundation will once again be hosting a Connected Youth workshop in Mamelodi, Pretoria on the 26  November 2015. Connected Youth is an initiative that has been growing in the last couple of years. This workshop call on volunteers to help youth from local communities grow their soft skills, digital skills and are provided with motivational speakers to help encourage and grow our youth in skills to make them more attuned to the needs in the job market.  The workshop will be hosted between 7h00 and 17h00 and include each participant working on their professional CVs, email as well as registering on the national database for job seekers. For more information on Telkom's work view this link.

This post can also be found on our blog here

SACE Seminar on Online Teacher Professional Development

SchoolNet SA was invited to participate in a seminar which took place on September 29 at the SACE offices in Centurion. VVOB the Flemish Development organization facilitated the seminar which was about online courses for educator professional development. This report relies heavily on the report written by Mr. Stefaan Vande Walle (Education Advisor, VVOB). SACE is anticipating an increase online teacher professional development and had contracted VVOB to develop a quality assurance rubric for assessing such courses. There was an acceptance that the power of online teaching and learning can sometimes be better than face to face simply due to the unique affordances it provides. The seminar explored how online teaching and learning may inform and improve the accessibility to and quality of teacher professional development. What implications the rise of online modes of study have had on quality. What organizational impacts and how online teacher professional development has affected equity. How SACE can fulfil its mandate to guard the quality of teacher professional development against the background of a changing provider landscape, internationalization of professional development and changing conceptions of learning.

Read more about this on our website here
The Eskom Expo Young Scientists Awards

The Eskom Expo Young Scientists awards was recently held at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg. Hosted by the lively Proverb, the awards showcased the talented scientists South Africa is producing. More than 150 finalists were selected from entrants across South Africa. It was notable that for the first time the number of girls that entered the Expo far surpassed the number of boys. The eskom Expo for Young Scientists is a science fair, where students showcase projects based on their community experience and display their own scientific investigations. The Director, Mr Parthy Chetty, explains further about the expo in this YouTube video here. At the Expo, students discuss their work with the judges, teachers, and with students from othe schools.  By participating at expo students increase their awareness of the wonders of science, and add to their knowledge and broaden their scientific horizons. For more information on a Science Fair near you or how your school could participate visit this link.

Read this post on our blog here
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