SchoolNet SA
Welcome to our jam-packed September 2015 newsletter.  SchoolNet has been busy at work in many projects around South Africa and we bring you reportbacks on these.   We also remind you of the upcoming EdTechTeam Google for Education and iOS Summits being hosted by Parklands College and SchoolNet in October 2015. Please register if you haven't already done so.  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:  
Summit1Register for the upcoming EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education in Cape Town in October

We invite you to join us for the South Africa EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education to be held at Parklands College in Cape Town.The program features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, Apple Distinguished Educators, practicing administrators, solution providers, and representatives from the Google education teams.  The EdTechTeam has shared the preliminary schedule online at  so that you can start envisioning the sessions you will attend! Make sure to follow #gafesummit and @edtechteam on Twitter for all the latest news. We hope to see you in October! If you have not yet registered please visit:  

summit2The EdTechTeam's iOS Summit takes place in Cape Town on October 8th. Have you registered?

We invite you to join us for the EdTechTeam's iOS Summit on 8th October 2015 at Parklands College. The engaging experience includes an opening keynote, Apple Distinguished Educators, in-depth workshop sessions, and a wide variety of breakout sessions ...all focused on the purposeful integration of the iPad for teaching and learning. The two key speakers are world-renowned presenters Jenny Magiera and Holly Clark. The program is available to view at Register at

SchoolNet and Microsoft present the National Core ICT Training Team workshop in Johannesburg 

Between 15 and 18 September 2015, fifty two ICT trainers from all provinces attended a workshop at the Microsoft Training Centre. The workshop had the theme of "Using Technologies Optimally for Quality Learning and Teaching" and aimed to equip core trainers with knowledge and skills around a number of ICT in education tools and programmes which they can then implement in their province. Amongst the tools covered were Microsoft Math, Skype in the Classroom, 2Enable, Vodacom Digital Classroom, Mindset Network, Office 365, UkuFunda Apps and the UkuFunda Virtual School - all of which are free offerings that can be used by teachers and learners to enhance education using technology. Core trainers were also shown the Microsoft Teaching with Technology course and the new Intel Education offerings in the hopes that these programmes will be made available to teachers. The workshop culminated in provincial groups enhancing and presenting their provincial plans so that all provinces could learn from each other.  

Learning Gains for Play project: Report on the RASA and PARFA 2015 Conference in Cape Town

The Reading Association of South Africa and the Pan-African Reading for All Conference was held at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from 2nd - 5th September.   The theme was Imagination and Literacy.   SchoolNet's D. G. Murray Trust project, Learning Gains through Play, fitted this theme well and, therefore, a project team of six was selected to make a presentation. The team included Noxolo Buyeye (Solomon Qatyana Primary) Nthabiseng Hlela (Nogqaza Primary) Ella Klaasens (Temperance Town Primary) Hlengiwe Mfeka, Janet Thomson from SchoolNet and Tracey Butchart, the LGP project evaluator. The video of Adele Driessen telling the story of a below-average learner using the Xbox in her class was shown early and started the presentation on a strong note.  All three teachers showed videos of their classrooms and Noxolo and Nthabi spoke authoritatively about their experiences and their learners. Nthabi's topic was demonstrating how the teaching strategy of learning stations works with tablets in her classroom.  Her video is on the SchoolNet YouTube channel here. Tracey wrapped up our presentation by summarising her most recent (July) findings. Most of the data was so convincingly positive in favour of the project schools in contrast to the control schools, that the project team felt a sense of achievement. 

Read the full report on our website here
SchoolNet attends the first ICT Disability Chamber Meeting in Pretoria

On the 10th of September SchoolNet SA was invited to attend the first ICT Disabilility Chamber Meeting held at Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria. The purpose was to focus on the empowerment of persons with disability within the ICT sector. The aim was to ensure that they eliminate the barriers to access by persons with disabilities and promote mainstreaming of the disability perspective in ICT policy formulation and implementation  and  to form a platform of engagement that brings together government ,the private sector, academia and civil society with a view to accelerating the implementation of government ICT policies and sector plans.  It is also aimed at enhancing trust between various stakeholders and to cement partnerships between all role players.

Read more on our website here
SchoolNet conducts professional development in the Eastern Cape on behalf of the Telkom Foundation

Telkom is making meaningful contributions to
improving the quality of education in the Eastern Cape Schools.  SchoolNet SA is conducting training in the course, Change Leadership for Technology Integration
with Senior Management Teams in 12 schools in the Queenstown area of the Eastern Cape. Facing Challenges is one of the modules
covered in September. Effective school leaders are key to large-scale and sustainable education reform. Leaders have a deeper and more lasting influence on their organizations and provide more comprehensive leadership if their focus extends over maintaining high standards. Training was conducted by Mr M Rafu on 3rd September 2015. Sozizwe Primary school was chosen as a training venue as it was central to the schools involved.

Read the full report on our website here
Teaching with Technology: SACE accredited and excellent preparation for the MCE exam

The  Microsoft Teaching with Technology  course is a free online, self-study course available through the Microsoft Educator Network. It begins with a diagnostic assessment which then advises a participant which of the following modules he or she should complete in order to be awarded a Teaching with Technology certificate:
  • Why does UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers promote technology literacy
  • Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
  • How do technology and pedagogy mix
  • Use basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
  • Technology literacy and your professional development
  •  Organise and manage the use of ICT in your classroom 
The  Microsoft Teaching with Technology course was recently endorsed by SACE with SchoolNet SA as the training provider. This  means that teachers who successfully complete it can claim 15 professional development points from SACE. If you would like to boost your knowledge of how to integrate technology into your classroom - and if you would like formal recognition of your knowledge of using ICTs as part of teaching and learning, please do work through this course. Upon completion, please email the certificate that Microsoft sends to you to in order to be awarded a certificate that can be used to claim SACE professional development points. T he Microsoft Teaching with Technology course is excellent preparation for those teachers who wish to write the international  Microsoft Certified Educator  (MCE) exam. The first five teachers to complete the Teaching with Technology course who send  their certificates, will each be sent a Microsoft sponsored voucher to take the MCE exam. This offer is limited to the first five teachers who send in their certificate - so please do use the opportunity to validate your  global educator technology literacy competencies.

This report can also be read on our blog here 
Learning Gains for Play project - KZN Teacher Professional Development Workshop Mind-mapping and Gallery Walk

Saturday 19  September 2015 was freezing with pouring rain in the KZN Midlands, BUT that didn't prevent teachers in the Learning Gains through Play project from attending their TPD workshop at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick. The workshop for the two modules to be covered, Mind mapping and Gallery Walk, was attended by 16 out of 22 Grade R and 1 teachers from the five schools participating in the project - all absentees had officially forwarded their apologies.  Despite this slight setback in attendance, the training didn't fall short of excitement right through the day.  The first module conducted was Mind mapping, a teaching strategy which involves modelling the pedagogical practices of mind mapping and brainstorming by categorizing Apps on the teacher tablets.  Another activity which was important in this module was when teachers were engaged in evaluating various Apps and how this teaching strategy can be applicable in a foundation phase class. The Gallery Walk module (conducted after lunch) demonstrated how teachers could use this teaching strategy to create effective critical discussions around important classroom and real life topics.  The content of this Gallery Walk teaching strategy was how to use social networking platforms to create or participate in online professional learning community.

Read the full report on the website here
SchoolNet invited to attend the Digital Wellness Toolkit Information Session

Intel, UNESCO and the South Africa Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics ( ACEIE) invited SchoolNet SA and other institutions  to attend an information session on the content of the Digital Wellness toolkit at the Intel offices.  The objective was to enable well-equipped digital citizens. This toolkit was developed in partnership between Intel, UNESCO South Africa and the ACEIE , to allow all sectors of South African society to enjoy the benefits of the internet, Social Media and Digital Communication. During this event, there were two presenters i.e. Dr Coetzee Bester and Dr Malan.  The introduction was done by Susanna Ackermann of Intel.  Susanna elaborated on Education transformation. In her introduction, she emphasised that educational technology initiatives also bring risks. Achieving the promise of technology requires more than deploying devices; the focus should be on sustaining the resources and it should also improve learning and teaching.

To read the full report on this session visit our website here
SchoolNet conducts professional development workshops for the Anglo Platinum Community Digital Literacy Project

SchoolNet has conducted professional development workshops as part of the Anglo Platinum Community Digital Literacy Project. These workshops were conducted appropriately and effectively within clustered groups of twenty teachers from the 226 schools in targeted districts. As part of the social responsibility framework, the intention of this interactive , is to uplift and support specifically targeted communities in the North West ( Bojanala District) and Limpopo (Waterberg,Greater Sekhukhune and Capricorn Districts). The selected schools are within a 50km radius of four mining operations for Anglo Platinum.  SchoolNet provided training to clusters of Maths and Science teachers from schools in the four project districts and offered SACE-accredited Intel Teach Getting Started (10 points) and Intel Teach Elements (10 points)  professional development courses targeting a range of digital literacy skills. This was part of an introductory  and an advanced ICT integration programme. 

Please read the rest of this report on the website here
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Warm regards
The SchoolNet team