Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Teacher Spotlight #1: Adil Mungalee – Using Microsoft OneNote

This is the first post in a new series called ‘Teacher Spotlight’ highlighting South African teachers using ICT Technology effectively in the classroom. In this post we focus on Adil Mungalee, Deputy Principal, Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School in Krugersdorp.


Technology today has moved at such a quick pace, that every industry is employing ICT’s in some way or the other, so why should the schools not be at the forefront?” This is the viewpoint of Adil Mungalee, Deputy Principal at Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School in Krugersdorp. His position as Deputy Principal gives him a great advantage in influencing how a school needs to channel funding into ICT’s. “I want Internet access for all my teachers and learners, as this will make communication so much better. I believe that every child has a right to access technology enhanced learning, so it will be vital for them to have some sort of device which will enable them to access electronic resources, be it a tablet pc, a laptop or a smartphone. They need it.” He admits, however, that the reality is that we can’t always afford what we like, so we just need to wait until the government issues us with the technologies we need to compete with the rest of the world. At his school the teachers each have a laptop and they have an ICT lab, but the students don’t yet have access to devices in the classroom.

Adil's Achievement
Adil was placed first in Gauteng province in the category Excellence in Technology–Enhanced Teaching and Learning Award in the National Teacher Awards in 2015. This award recognizes teaching methods and administrative functions which use ICT’s effectively in schools. The award also looks at innovative teaching and learning strategies employed through the use of ICT’s both in the classroom as well as in administration. Adil is very proud of this achievement.

Adil’s use of OneNote 
Adil uses Microsoft applications quite extensively. When asked how he started using OneNote, Adil says he happened to stumble across it in 2014 when he was going through the ‘unused’ apps on the Microsoft Office Suite. He started playing around with the program and realized that it is exactly what he needed for a filing system. So, he took the template given by the Department and used it to make up sections for filing. The documents and the memos etc. were then either copied and pasted into OneNote, or he would use the print to OneNote function. He shared this idea with the staff. This new template has now been shared with so many of his colleagues from surrounding schools that it is not unusual to find the same files at other schools

He uses the teacher file in OneNote to check his lesson preparation and access other resources that he would file per lesson. This makes it easy to get to stored information. Adil has started updating his file to accommodate the curriculum for the entire year. This will save him a lot of time in the future. He is longing to use OneNote as a learning tool with his students. Unfortunately many of the students don’t have access to computers at home.

How does his school use OneNote?
Adil loves using Microsoft OneNote and claims that it is the perfect application to use, not only to file documents with such ease, but also to save money! At Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School, all the teachers are experimenting with Microsoft OneNote for planning, and storing documents electronically. The principal emails all important documents directly to the teachers so that they can print directly to their OneNote files. The teachers are slowly introducing the use of OneNote e-files in all their subjects, so that soon they will not claims that this will save them a lot of money and time in the long run.

At school the teachers use a OneNote Teacher File template which is prepared for each teacher giving them the basic documentation required by the District. Teachers can then add their specific subject materials and resources to their eFiles. This system is ultra-portable, can be shared on the schools network, and offers the perfect platform for teacher moderation and development. For example, “when I, as a subject head, visit a teacher for a class visit, I can either access the OneNote file on the teacher’s computer, or I can go with my own laptop. The file is then accessed from a flash drive, and I can add my motivational comments directly onto the OneNote file. The added benefit of using OneNote, is I can take photos of the learners’ work and attach it to my report. I can also record sound from any presentations, or video record a particular observation and attach it to my report. So now when the teacher reads their report, they don’t just get a boring written moderation, but a multi-faceted report with audio and visual evidence of their teaching.”

How does Adil inspire his peers to use One Note?
He has conducted workshops with his colleagues both at school and District levels. The workshops which he conducted where he showcased his filing system, were met with great awe and positivity. He finds that after a workshop teachers from other schools rush towards him with their flash drives, hoping to get the OneNote template that way.

As he looks to the future Adil says. “Every classroom needs to be revamped to accommodate the new technologies available. Microsoft has so many exciting applications available. I encourage teachers to start using One Note for organisational purposes as a filing system.”

Find out more about using OneNote
You’ll find the OneNote website at https://www.onenote.com/Microsoft OneNote is a free must-have classroom or individual application from Microsoft, available online and offline as well as cross device. It is useful information gathering and multi-user collaboration application. OneNote can be used to gathers users' notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings, document attachments, videos and audio commentaries. You will find tutorials shared by teachers around the world about OneNote on the Microsoft Educator Community. Take a look at http://bit.ly/1QXY0jG for an example.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Apply to be part of the Microsoft Schools Programme in South Africa

Is your school actively using technology to improve teaching and learning? Is your school using (or considering deploying) Office 365 for use in school administration and the classroom? Are your school leaders using technology to assist with school transformation? Would your school like technical support and professional development from Microsoft to make better use of your Microsoft technology for education?

If you have answered “yes” to these questions, consider signing your school up to be part of the Microsoft Schools Programme by Friday 21 October 2016.

When we receive and approve your application to be a Microsoft School – you will receive Microsoft School status for demonstrating commitment to embracing technology to transform education and improve learning outcomes for students.

Through the Microsoft Schools programme your school would receive the following:
  • Technical support for getting Office 365 successfully deployed at your school
  • Teacher professional development to ensure that it can be used effectively to provide a 21st century teaching and learning environment
  • Opportunities to connect and share ideas with other schools in your region, across the country and globally
  • Invitations to Microsoft in Education events

Friday, 23 September 2016

Webinar recording 'Beyond PowerPoint to online Apps' by Mabore Lekalakala

On Thursday afternoon 22 September we held a webinar entitled, ‘Beyong PoweerPoint to online Apps' using SchoolNet's Adobe Connect platform. Our speaker was 
Mabore Lekalakala,  a South African educator currently teaching Grade 6 Mathematics and Natural Sciences & Technology at Toronto Primary School in Limpopo, Province. 

The webinar description
In this webinar, Mabore showed us how to use PowerPoint to create video-based lessons including in the lessons new add-ins and other special features such as YouTube videos, Google Forms, Quizzes, Geogebra, and Testmoz to make them interactive. She also told us how to create PowerPoint games and save lessons 'in the cloud' where they will be accessible on any device. 

The downloadable webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from the webinar available online in SlideShare:

The webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to on the following link on YouTube https://youtu.be/px7V7kLCV60 :

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #73

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Why not tune in to our free September SchoolNet webinar on Thurs 3.30pm - 'Beyond PowerPoint with Online Apps'

We are pleased to announce that our September webinar will be held this week on 22nd September at 3:30pm. Our speaker will be Mabore Lekalakala is a South African educator currently teaching Grade 6 Mathematics and Natural Sciences & Technology at Toronto Primary School in Limpopo, Province. Mabore is the winner of numerous educational technology titles and she is currently a MIEExpert. We will be using the Adobe Connect webinar platform for the webinar. Please join us if you can. (If you would like to present a short webinar on a topic of interest to teachers, please let fiona@schoolnet.org.za know!)

Webinar details
Webinar title: Beyond PowerPoint with Online Apps
Summary: In this webinar, Mabore will show us how to use PowerPoint to create video-based lessons including in the lessons new add-ins and other special features such as YouTube videos, Google Forms, Quizzes, Geogebra, and Testmoz to make them interactive. She will also demonstrate how to create PowerPoint games.The lessons will be saved in the cloud where they will be accessible on any device.
When: Thursday 22nd September, 2016 at 3:30pm, online
Duration: 15 - 30 minutes
Presenter: Mabore Lekalakala is a South African educator currently teaching Grade 6 Mathematics and Natural Sciences & Technology at Toronto Primary School in Limpopo, Province.
Host: Fiona Beal (SchoolNet)
To join the meetinghttp://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/beyondpowerpoint/

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection:http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Monday, 19 September 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #69

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:

Friday, 16 September 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #72

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.

Invitation to a Google GEG event - THE AMAZING RACE Google Style - Fri 14th October 2:30pm Wynberg Girls School

Here's a GEG (Google Educator Group) event that you don't want to miss if you live in Cape Town! The Amazing Race! It is offered by the GEG Cape Town Central group.
Date: Friday 14th October 2016
Time:  2:30 - 4:30pm
Place: Wynberg Girls High School
Topic: The Amazing Race Google Style!
Register: bit.ly/2016GEGWYNGHS

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Consider joining a Global Learning Circle - a great way to collaborate with other teachers and classes globally

What are Global Learning Circles?
The Global Learning Circles project attempts to draw participation from iEARN members in as many countries as possible.  Teachers and students work together in small groups to learn about each other by exchanging cultural information and working together in collaborative project work.   
  • There are two sessions each year, September - January and January - May. 
  • This session begins September 30, 2016, and ends on January 15, 2017. Apply ASAP
  • The next session starts in February 2017

To join iEARN Learning Circles, you must complete a placement form at least two weeks before the beginning of the session. Once you complete the placement form you will be placed in a Circle for the next session.
Interested?  Please review the choices below, and then click Join this Space at the bottom of this page and fill out the registration form on the following page. 

Circle themes
For this session, Circle themes are as follows:
  • My Hero: Elementary, Middle, and High School
  • My Hero Call To Action: Elementary, Middle, and High School
  • Computer Chronicles: Elementary, Middle, and High School
  • Places and Perspectives: Elementary, Middle, and High School
  • Mindworks: Elementary, Middle, and High School
  • Global Issues: Environment: Middle and High School
  • Global Issues: Education: Middle and High School
  • Early People Symbols Project: Elementary and Middle
Find more details about these themes at  https://iearn.org/cc/space-29

How to join a Learning Circle
Interested teachers can register at the following site: https://iearn.org/cc/space-29
  • All they need is their iEARN login and password. If you don't have this then please first register/join as a teacher at https://iearn.org/
  • Many experienced participants have already registered, so we are hoping for a very active and dynamic session of Learning Circles. 
  • If a teacher would like more information or if they have questions, they can contact Dr Barry Kramer at: learningcircles@gmail.com, ccOmashani@schoolnet.org.za