Monday, 30 April 2012

How to work with Dropbox

Dropbox is a fantastic programme that gives you 2GB free if you install it on your computer. If you invite others you can get masses more free space. It really is worth downloading and installing Dropbox on to your computer. Once installed it makes a folder in your Documents folder. Whatever you place in this new Dropbox folder is aautomatically backed up on the web and can be accessed from anywhere. So just to have an online backup for your important documents is wonderful.The other marvelous part of Dropbox is that once you have an account, you can install Dropbox on all the computers you use and it keeps them perfectly synced. No more flash drives needed!  I have compiled some ideas of how to use Dropbox in this Slideshare.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A quick, free way to run meetings

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Today I came across this meeting site which said. “Meet Face to Face Online, hang out with co-workers and teams, run as many meetings as you want, no software or signups needed. Best of all, it's free”. This sounded great – almost like a free group Skype but maybe with video? The site is called ‘’ and the address is

Step 1: To start off you click on ‘Get a meeting room’.

Step 2: This takes you to a meeting room number that you can enter at any time.

Step 3: You now enter the meeting room with your name.


Step 4: You are asked a question about your bandwidth.

Step 5: It asks if you want to allow to access your cameras and microphone

I didn’t go any further than that, but this looks good! I think I’ll try it out on some colleagues later.Another look at the site shows amazing features.  This site looks well worth exploring.

Application for schools:
1. Groups could use this to discuss and plan group projects at home.
2. If you are in a collaborative global project this site could be used for discussions.
3. Teachers could have a quick meeting from home when time for a meeting doesn't fit into the school day.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Have you thought about joining Microsoft's Partners in Learning Network?

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Currently I am busy running a course for teachers that includes four of the Microsoft Free tools, namely AutoCollage, Windows Live Movie Maker, Songsmith and Photostory 3. These tools are fantastic to use for technology integration and can be obtained free by  joining the Partners in Learning Network, and downloading them. Have you taken a look at the new Partners in Learning Network? It really is quite amazing and has a wealth of resources available for teachers. Some of the functionalities of the old network are not yet available such as creating a group, and uploading documents to the group folder, but I am sure they’ll be available in time. If you would like to take a look here are some screenshots to help you.   






Enjoy! I am going to take another good look around right now!

Monday, 9 April 2012

How to use Tweetchat for Twitter discussions


Submitted by Fiona Beal
It all started when Philemon Kotsokoane tweeted me (on Twitter) saying “... I'd like to follow last night's chat on How do I access all the chat & remove smart pausing message?#edchatsa” 

Up to that point I had only been using a free programme called Tweetdeck for Twitter chats. I wrote a blogpost on how to use Tweetdeck last month  The reason I enjoy using Tweetdeck is because you can have a whole host of hashtags open and can follow where you wish. But I have to admit - this can be distracting at times.

After liaising with Philemon who said he had Tweetdeck installed but felt he would prefer to use Tweetchat,  I decided to explore Tweetchat. I discovered that Tweetchat doesn’t need to be installed as it is completely web-based. It also allows you to focus completely on the hashtag you are interested in. So, this is how it works:


1. Open Tweetchat (


2. Sign in with your Twittter account (so It is important to join Twitter first). 

3. Choose the hashtag you wish to follow and type it in on the top (to the left of ‘Go’). This spot is almost hidden. I am using the #edchatsa for this since this chat is something I enjoy participating in every week. 


4. Immediately the current conversation in that hashtag opens. 


5. From there it is just ‘Go’ and enjoy the ride!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Two free SchoolNet short online courses for SA teachers in technology integration

If you are a South African educator and would like to know more about technology integration by participating in short free online courses from SchoolNet, please think about joining our next two courses on offer for April and May.

Microsoft’s Free tools part 1
(10 April - end April)

If you are a South African educator and would like to sign up for this free course, please click on the link below to be taken to the sign up page. You will then be sent an email directing you to the online course platform.  The course starts officially on April 10th but it is the type of course where you can easily catch up. 

Course content:
This will be a three week course centring on how to use four of the Microsoft free tools  in the classroom, namely AutoCollage, Photostory 3, Windows Movie Maker and Microsoft Songsmith.  The course will be supported by webinars and offers a Certificate of Completion from SchoolNet if certain requirements are met.  

The course outline is:
Week 1 (beginning 10 April): AutoCollage
Week 2 (beginning 17 April): Photostory 3 and Windows Live Movie maker
Week 3 (beginning 24 April): Songsmith
Week 4: webinars from teachers who have successfully used these tools in the classroom

Next course - SchoolNet's free Wiki course
May 2012)

Course content:
Week 1: How to create a wiki using Wikispaces
Week 2: Make your wiki look and work like a website
Week 3: Add writing, photos, audio and video to your wiki
Week 4: Using your wiki for online projects

More information is available on our Free online courses page

SA teachers – why not join the conversation from 20h30 to 21h30 each Monday evening on #edchatsa?

Submitted by Fiona Beal 
Not too long ago I came across an article that posed the question 'Is Twitter the Driving Force Behind Upcoming Educational Change?' and that question constantly echoes in my mind. Twitter is an incredible tool for sharing, summarising, communicating, sending quick messages, using a hashtag for conferences and events – the list is endless. Undoubtedly, for the educator Twitter is a must. I, for one, have learned SO MUCH from my Twitter PLN.

So, for this reason we should really welcome the initiative of Arthur Preston, Headmaster at Elkanah House in Cape Town with the TweetChat for the South African Education community on a Monday night from 8:30pm – 9:30pm. Needless to say the chats to date have been very inspiring with the number of educators participating growing in leaps and bounds. 

These Twitter chats are not new to education and there are a number of really good ones that happen around the world.

20 twitter hashtags everyone should know about

However this is a first for South Africa and something that our country REALLY needs – teachers and educators entering the education conversation and airing their thoughts and feelings, as well as pooling their knowledge…who knows what changes can be effected as a result!

The website

Arthur runs #edchatsa from a website, #edchatsa: The TweetChat for the South African education community, and a Facebook page 


The website is the place to vote for upcoming topics for discussion.

What is #edchatsa?
The following explanation is taken from the website:

“Imagine a weekly gathering of dynamic, innovative and inspiring teachers who engage in lively debate, share resources, offer assistance, challenge paradigms and support each other. Imagine having the opportunity to engage with these teachers in their conversation or simply stop to listen and learn.

Imagine no longer! This gathering happens every Monday evening from 20h30 to 21h30 on Twitter in the form of what is known as a TweetChat. Started in the first week of March 2012, this community of tweeting teachers continues to meet in a virtual setting every week to discuss issues which affect education in South Africa.

During the preceding week, prospective participants can vote on their choice of topic by registering their vote. The vote is quick, simple and anonymous. Voting closes at 19h30 each Monday evening and the chat begins at 20h30 sharp. Participants use the hashtag #edchatsa to keep their tweets in the chat and allow others to follow the conversation.

The chat is moderated to ensure that participants keep on the topic, that there is some continuity throughout the hour and that courtesy and respect is maintained. At times the debate is fierce and a wide variety of opinions is expressed – this makes for lively discussion!
It is important to realise that the #edchatsa conversation continues throughout the week as folks tag relevant tweets with #edchatsa. However it is on a Monday evening that the community gathers for conversation.”
Vote for next week’s topic

Past chats have included a lively discussion on ‘Assessment’, a discussion around 'Which piece of technology could influence SA education the most' and a debate entitled ‘Mobile phones in the classroom are a good idea but create more practical problems than solutions’. 
This coming Monday night 7th April should be great:

"We will be doing something a little different this coming week – we will be spending the #edchatsa hour sharing resources and ideas. Come along with your list of indispensable websites, journals, books, blogs and be ready to share with the community


The site includes a
forum for discussion: “The #edchatsa twitter community is full of insightful, committed and innovative thought-leaders in the South African education space. As a member of this community you are invited to submit a blog post on a subject close to your heart as long as it has connection to education. Your post will then be published and will be available on this site for comment by others.

You may want to introduce readers to a particular edtech tool, open debate around a particular topic, challenge paradigms or simply add insight to the #edchatsa topic of the week. You will also be able to point readers to your own blog or social media platforms” 
(taken from the website).

Join the discussion
So why not take a look around the website and Facebook page, and join the chatter from 20h30 to 21h30 each Monday evening.on #edchatsa?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Lesotho’s teachers bridging digital divide at the Lesotho PIL Forum finals

Recently Lesotho also held their Partners in Learning Forum, and since SchoolNet partnered with Microsoft in organising this event as well, I am adding a press release of their finals. It is always interesting to read about the types of projects that teachers enter for these competitions. (Unfortunately no photos have been provided.) Furtherdown, in another post you can read about the very recent South African finals of this competition.
Maseru, Lesotho – 15 March 2012 – Teachers in the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho are overcoming massive resource shortages in their schools by finding innovative ways of using technology to improve teaching and learning outcomes. 

Just ask Lucille Kabelo Mahlatsi of Leqele High School who walked away with top honours at the Lesotho leg of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Awards in Maseru with a project called “Literature at our fingertips”. In this project learners became familiar with the language and background of Shakespearian play “Julius Caesar” through a number of activities. One group of artists created portraits of complex scenes from the play. The researcher group compared Julius Caesar and Moshoeshoe. The third group conducted a debate and the fourth group modernized and simplified the play whilst the actor group performed the play and made a video of this. 

Khutlang Leshuta from Tsolo Government Primary was one of 12 finalists at the awards, which are sponsored by Microsoft, the Lesotho College of Education and the Lesotho School Technology Innovation Centre in an attempt to stimulate the use of technology in schools. He will represent Lesotho the regional finals of the competition in Morocco in June as the second place winner. His learners investigated the causes of juvenile delinquency by interviewing street children, probation officers, chief, parents, and Juvenile Training Centre officers. Learners then gave their suggestions for combatting juvenile delinquency and these contributions were forwarded to the Tony Pandy College in Wales where the lifestyles of street children are being investigated. 

“Although the majority of Lesotho’s citizens have little or no access to technology, the quality of the entries demonstrated that even the slightest change in how teachers use the technology tools they already have – like a cell phone or laptop – can impact the way teachers teach and learners learn,” said Microsoft South Africa’s Education Lead, Reza Bardien. 

Emmanuel Ekoe Gyasi from Phethahatso English Medium Community School won third place at the Awards. In his project learners investigated soil as a habitat whilst creating an AutoCollage and Photostory to demonstrate what they have learnt. 
“My learners were so excited about having an opportunity to make a movie of Julius Caesar rather than just reading the play. They were able to relate to the story by comparing Caesar to one of their own past leaders, Moshoeshoe” says Mahlatsi. 

Partners in Learning not only recognises innovative teachers who are using technology to enhance learning. It also offers a platform for teachers to network and share their ideas and projects with peers on a national, regional and global scale. 

A 2011 Microsoft-commissioned Innovative Teaching and Learning study revealed that sharing new teaching methods as part of professional development is most effective when the sharing is direct and active, which makes the Partners in Learning Forum “such a brilliant platform”, said Bardien. 

Dr John Oliphant, Rector of Lesotho College of Education echoes this: “Each year the Forum recognises our most innovative teachers at this occasion and we are proud to have them represent Lesotho education and share their ideas and projects with peers on a global scale.” 

2012 Lesotho Partners in Learning Forum – Project Overviews
Khutlang Leshuta
Tsolo Government Primary
Juvenile Delinquency
In this project, learners investigated the causes of juvenile delinquency by interviewing street children, probation officers, chief, parents, and Juvenile Training Centre officers. Learners then gave their suggestions for combatting juvenile delinquency and these contributions were forwarded to the Tony Pandy College in Wales where the lifestyles of street children are being investigated.
Emmanuel Ekoe Gyasi
Phethahatso English Medium Community School
Our Soil, Our Soul
In this project learners investigated soil as a habitat whilst also creating an Auto Collage and Photostory to demonstrate what they have learnt. Different learners played different roles in this project – for example being planners, problem-solvers or programmers. The learners were especially concerned about the dongas near their school and asked the village chief to address a school assembly about this topic.
Moeketsi Hlazi
Lebohang Leketa
Masite Primary School and
Theressa James
I do and I understand
An old Chinese adage says “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; but I do and I understand”. In this project, teachers from neighbouring schools collaborated to improve Maths, Science and English results through a series of hands-on activities including building houses out of boxes and electrifying these models. Learners are also working together to produce a school magazine on a DVD.
Makhahiso Kanetsi
Thetsane High School
Conserving Water
This project is about affordable methods of saving water including using less water per toilet flush; designing a simple purifying system and replacing tress which use too much water. Learners have gathered information about these methods of saving water through research and have shared their findings at parent meetings and through brochures. They have also collaborated with the school bursar and Minister of Agriculture.
Makara ‘Maabiele
Thetsane High School
From trash to treasure
In order to reduce littering and the burning of waste, learners aimed to educate their communities about managing litter effectively. They have done this though a range of activities including making and distributing pamphlets, showing people how to sort waste, and learning more about bio-gas production.
Lucille Kabelo Mahlatsi
Leqele High School
Literature at our fingertips
In this project learners became familiar with the language and background of Shakespearian play “Julius Caesar” through a number of activities. One group of artists created portraits of complex scenes from the play. The researcher group compared Julius Caesar and Moshoeshoe. The third group conducted a debate and the fourth group modernized and simplified the play whilst the actor group performed the play.
Mapalesa Bridget Maimane
Thetsane High School
An African Mosotho Child versus Development
At initiation school, Mosotho children learn traditional values and respect, yet drug abuse, prostitution, Aids and suicide continue to plague communities in Lesotho. In this project, learners research these topics to establish whether these phenomena occur in other communities. The learners also network with other learners to find ways of overcoming a range of community problems.
Mathaabe Majara
Thetsane High School
Turning a lemon into lemonade
The community in which this school is situated is littered with many plastic bags. The learners sought to overcome this problem by finding useful items that could be made from the litter. The learners visited villagers who make plastic products as well as craft industries. Here they took photos and honed their communication skills by conducting interviews.
Relebohile Mosoloane
Thuto ICT Club
Thuto ICT Club
The Thuto ICT Club was formed by the Basotho Youth in 2011 in the Maseru District. The club currently has thirty nine members who aim to develop and use ICT skills for planning and helping community and rural schools. Club members enjoy sharing their experiences through social networking and participate in field trips and community projects.
Sekhobo Motlohi
Mamotlohi Matholi
Thuto-ke-leseli and Toloane Primary school
Bad Dirt
In this project, learners from two schools collaborated to find out the causes of pollution in their area and to find ways of addressing this. Activities included poetry and song competitions and debate. In addition to raising awareness of the community about the causes and effects of water pollution, the project encouraged teamwork between learners and teachers of a range of subjects.
Mpho Phakisi
Phethahatso English Medium Community School
Not just adults - but also children
In this project learners researched the topic of human trafficking and collaborated with Freedom Link and the Child Protection Unit to raise awareness through a fun walk. Some of the tasks undertaken as part of this project included designing a poster, developing a questionnaire, conducting interviews and sharing findings using Facebook.
Thabiso Shobane
Mokhokhong Primary School
Clay: A means to an end
This school lacks adequate learning materials and teaching aids as these are expensive. To overcome this challenge learners have modelled teaching resources out of clay – for example three dimensional shapes and figurines of animals. Photographs of these shapes have been included in PowerPoint presentations. Learners have also interviewed a traditional potter and recorded the interview using cell phones and digital cameras.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

10 places to find reading and writing resources for primary school learners – part 1

Submitted by Fiona Beal
One of my passions is developing reading and writing in kids. Nowadays the web is full of the most amazing sites – is it any wonder that some of us feel that free internet should be a basic human right!  Today I came across some amazing new sites and thought they would be great to share in a blog post.

I have written two previous posts about reading resources for primary school learners so would like to add the links to those in case you are interested in looking them up:

1. Share what you are reading

image  image

This is a great site where children can write reviews about their favourite books - fantasy novels, biographies, mysteries, sports... They can then also  share with other students what they are reading and discover new books based on other kids' recommendations.
2. Children’s books forever

This site features free and children’s books written by  Frans Wilhem. As I was paging through the site I recognised the Waldo books.

3. McGenius


This is a site that has free and paid resources. One really good feature is that the books have  automatic word highlighting to accompany the narration of each book so that the readers can follow along.

4. The Woodlands Junior School website


This site is a good place to find educational games for elementary age students. They also have a great collection of links to free online talking storybooks.

5. Magic keys


Here is another site with a good collection of talking picture books for children.

6. Skype an author network


This is a fantastic way to bring authors into your classroom – arrange a Skype meeting with an author. The site gives directions for authors and directions for teachers.

7. You are what you read


This is a place where kids can share information about their favourite books. After creating a simple profile You Are What You Read asks participants to name the five books that mean the most to them.

8. Scholastic’s summer challenge


9. International children’s digital library


Read books written by authors of all cultures. This site has a wide selection of reading material. 

10. Character scrapbook


This site has a template that elementary school students can use to write about and reflect on the characters in their favourite stories.

This is just a start! Watch this space for another ten amazing reading and writing resource site - coming soon!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tech-savvy teachers shine in Durban at the 2012 SA Partners in Learning Forum Awards

This is a news release from Microsoft about the winners of the 2012 Partners in Learning Forum in South Africa. 20 finalists were chosen and they attended the finals in Durban. Microsoft sponsored the finalists to attend the South African Basic Education  Conference and the winners were announced at a ceremony at the conference. Photos have been added by the editor. 

Durban – 3 April 2012

Projects that encourage learners to tell stories digitally; find solutions to rehabilitate a local polluted area; collect data on how trees grow; and create educational toys and games for the blind have won four tech-savvy teachers top honours at Microsoft’s annual Partners in Learning Awards, announced here last night. 

The teachers, Caroline Adelaar from St Mary’s School in Johannesburg, Maxwell Funo from Mkhanyiseli Primary in Cape Town, Gaye Pieterse from Durban Girls’ High and Charli Wiggill from Eden College, also from Durban were among 19 finalists at the awards. The awards aim to stimulate the use of technology in schools, enhance teaching and learning and give teachers an opportunity to share their ideas and projects with their peers both locally and across the world.
The four overall winners
Each of the four innovative teachers has secured a spot to represent South Africa at the regional finals in Morocco in July. Two of the projects, Trees4Africa and the Braille Memory Game/Toys for the Blind, collaborated with other schools to widen the reach of their project results. 

Caroline Adelaar from St Marys in Joburg
Charli Wiggil from Eden College in Durban

In a third, learners were taught how to effectively use social media as a platform for distributing movies while fostering emotional intelligence by teaching them how to use emoticons to comment on their peers’ work. 

Mkanyiseli Primary School teacher Maxwell Funo is delighted with the results his pollution impact project is delivering. “It all began when we noticed an alarming number of learners had been developing infected wounds from playing in polluted areas,” he says. “The children are now able to make a real difference to the safety of their community as we are escalating our suggested solutions to the local municipality and the City of Cape Town.” 

Maxwell Funo
Maxwell Funo from Mkanyiseli Primary School

Speaking at the awards, Microsoft South Africa managing director Mteto Nyati said a Microsoft-commissioned Innovative Teaching and Learning Research (ITL) study in 2011 showed that innovative teaching practices will flourish when supportive conditions are in place such as peer support, the sharing of ideas and a common vision among teachers to offer relevant, innovative and learner-centric teaching methods.“The quality of the entries demonstrated that even the slightest change in how teachers use the technology tools they already have – like a cell phone or laptop – can impact the way teachers teach and learners learn,” said Nyati. 
The finalists and their projects


The finalists
The following projects were on display at the South African Finals. Unfortunately one of the finalists, Clair Dean from Stirling Primary, was unable to attend the finals this year and her project is not listed here.

Caroline Adelaar
St Mary’s School
Grade two girls initiated a Smithsonian tree growth data collection project and collaborated with other African schools to create a Trees4Africa Wikispace. The wiki will be used to generate collaborative presentations integrating ICT skills, movement and music. These will be filmed and used a community outreach project to encourage sapling planting.
Nkosilathi Dlodlo
Batswana Secondary School
North West
Serving water to save
Learners investigated a range of possible causes of water shortages and proposed several solutions. Interviews were conducted with the community and a local mining industry next to the school; models were constructed; research took place in the lab and a song was produced. Findings were presented to the MEC of Education for further consideration.
Riathe Engels
Harmonie Primary School
Free State
Innovative ways to recycle -TRASH ART
The intention of this project was to give learners not participating in other extra-curricular activities an opportunity to experience technology and learn new skills. Learners collected bags and cans; they researched pollution and the fusing of plastic using the internet and they created art from recyclable materials. At the final event designs were revealed at a fashion show.
Maxwell Funo
Mkhanyiseli Primary
Cape Town
Western Cape
Our community our pride
This project began when the teacher noticed that learners were developing infected wounds from playing in polluted areas as there were no playgrounds or parks in the area. The grade seven learners photographed the affected learners and interviewed people living near the polluted areas. They are now investigating solutions and raising the issue with the municipality and City of Cape Town.
Lisa Gair
The Rock Academy
Fish Hoek
Western Cape
Cultural Exchange
The aim of this project is to connect grade four classes in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates to share information about their environments, cultures and faiths. A variety of tools are being used including a blog, wiki, screencasts and skype to commmunicate and keep a classmate who is spending the year at sea involved.
Gilmour Gordon
Elkanah House School
Western Cape
Fun with Class Music
Groups of grade sevens wrote stories and selected songs to enhance their plots. They performed the songs, recorded them with their cell-phones and imported the songs into their stories using Moviemaker. Grade eights and nines become familiar with Audacity and manipulating music using this application. They viewed a soundless video clip and added in the sound based on their interpretation of the clip.
Siobhan Louw
Somerset House
Somerset West
Western Cape
ICT'd! Innovative and creative travel document
In this project Grade six learners take a virtual international holiday. The “vacation” includes creating an itinerary, booking airline tickets and creating a travel journal. Learners sourced screenshots from online maps and their street views and manipulated these. They also edited photos to put themselves in a variety of destinations. Collaboration with the drama and English teachers allowed for extended learning opportunities.
Mabore Dorothy Lekalakala
Toronto Primary School
Limpopo Project
Lazily learning
The activities in this project draw on the learners’ love of television. Firstly learners watch their favorite television programme and compare and contrast their conclusions with learners from the United States. Secondly they draw up time management tables and share these. Thirdly they create posters and act out puppet shows, dramas, poems and songs on different learning content as alternative entertainment.
Hafeeza Ebrahim Mayet
Marlboro Gardens Secondary School
Mathe City
The focus of this project was to build a model of ‘MATHECITY’ that integrates grade five Geometry content. Learners investigated tessellations and created an AutoCollage of these. Learners folded nets of 3D shapes to form buildings and decorated these in the Arts and Culture lessons using MS Paint. Learners then used the model to find out more about cardinal points, measurements and even and odd numbers.
Nombuso Mnguni
Asithuthuke Combined School
Designing and building a model of bridge
This Grade nine Technology project involved learners identifying contemporary problems in the community and exploring them using various technological tools. Learners were then challenged to design and build a model of a bridge that can be used to address a problem that they identified. This will be presented to the community.
Neith Moore
Durban Girls’ High
The Mobile Digital Classroom – ’Flipping’ a studio
This teacher designed and built a mobile digital classroom and is training teachers and learners to use it. The flipped classroom has led to teachers starting their own blogs; a local gallery and artists working with the learners; the local environment being interrogated through a ‘shoot-n-share’ task; and the Glenwood Forum being involved as a showcase.
Gaye Pieterse
Durban Girls’ College
Inside Outside
In this digital storytelling project, girls created their own screenplays that showed how emotions are experienced inside and external factors which impact on them. The movies were posted to a closed social networking site and feedback was given. In addition to the technical skills of creating a movie, learners learnt how to comment on peers’ work and how to use digital storytelling to foster emotional intelligence.
Anita van Vuuren
Primêre Skool Universitas
Free State
In this project, The grade 3 learners chose an individual project to work on with their own plan and goals. They were paired with grade four learners who supported their younger colleagues. The projects involved taking photos, making videos and producing PowerPoint presentations. In addition to doing worthwhile activities such as making cards to sell to support the CANSA foundation, this project taught time and self-management skills and the importance of completing something that you start.
Charli Wiggill
Eden College Durban
Braille Memory Game and Toys for the Blind
In this project pupils identified with the blind and manufactured memory game cards in Braille. As an extension project, they adapted existing educational games and designed and created new educational games and toys for the blind. As a Pass it Forward-type exercise, they communicated with and collaborated with other pupils in their class and around the world.
Lerato Mazimba
St. Bernard's High School
Free State
From Trash to Couture
Learners sketched designs of fashionable clothing and shoes; runways and props for a fashion show. They gathered waste material and learnt how to turn this into fashionable items. They began designing clothes or shoes from plastic and waste material and then graduated to designing couture clothes using cloth from old clothes. Invitations, score sheets, photos and film were all produced as part of the fashion show.
Michelle Dreyer
Courtrai Primary School
Paarl - Boland
Western Cape
Bread Tags
This school’s enrichment team has implemented a number of initiatives to collect plastic bread bag tags and to use these across learning areas. Activities include competitions to guess how many tags are in a jar; using bread tags to create three dimensional objects in Technology; and finding out about the stages of production in Economic and Management Sciences. The school hopes to collect enough bread tags to purchase a wheel chair.
Sarah Hanton
Boudina McConnachie
Anna Wertlen
Victoria Girls High School
Eastern Cape
Good Vibrations through Social Networking
Using internet research, interviews and awareNet (an online school social network) learners engaged in cross-curricular research projects focusing on science and music. They created on-line teaching and learning resources and they collaborated with one another and with community members to research and publish information. This project involved working with a disadvantaged school, sharing presentations at SciFest and using discussion forums, messaging and chat to develop and share resources.
Jenny Martin
Somerset House
Somerset West
Western Cape
T-ICT 7.0
Grade seven learners were challenged to research randomly assigned ICT tools, work out how to use them and then record videos of themselves discussing the merits of their tools. The project included a WebQuest and a wiki maintained by learners who wished to build a tool to support their peers in this challenge. Learners identified community members who could benefit from their tools and then demonstrated the tools to them.
Joan Martin
Gaye Pieterse
Durban Girls’ College
Project Runway
The objective of this project is to integrate technology with art. Learners were required to research an artist and to then present their findings in an innovative way by transforming the artist’s concepts into fashion design. Learners were required to research their artist and find inspiration, “buy” their fabric online and create a PowerPoint with suitable music showcasing their designs.

The prize-winners

Categories for Awards

Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom
  • 1st place: Charli Wiggill, Eden College Durban, KZN – Braille Memory Game and Toys for the Blind
  • 2nd place: Caroline Adelaar, St Mary’s School, Gauteng – Trees4Africa
  • 1st place: Maxwell Funo, Mkhanyiseli Primary School, WC – Our Community Our Pride
  • 2nd place: Lerato Mazimba, St Bernard’s High School, FS – From Trash to Couture
Lerato Mazimba

Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking
  • 1st place: Gaye Pieterse, Durban Girls‘ College, KZN – Inside Outside
  • 2nd place: Jenny Martin and Siobhan Louw, Somerset House, WC – T-ICT 7.0
Siobhan Lowe and Jenny Martin
Cutting Edge Use of Microsoft Technology for Learning
  • 1st place: Caroline Adelaar, St Mary’s School, Gauteng – Trees4Africa
  • 2nd place: Anita van Vuuren,Primêre Skool Universitas, FS – TjokvolLEER


Innovation in Challenging Context
  • 1st place: Maxwell Funo, Mkhanyiseli Primary School, WC – Our Community Our Pride
  • 2nd place: Nkosilathi Dlodlo, Batswana Secondary School, NW – Serving Water to Serve


Educators’ Choice
  • Riathe Engels, Harmonie Primary School, FS – Innovative Ways to Recycle – TRASH ART

Judges‘ Awards:

  • Use of Social Networking -Sarah Hanton, Boudina McConnachie, Anna Wertlen, Victoria Girls High School, EC - Good Vibrations through Social Networking
  •  Use of Technology – Neith Moore, Durban Girls‘ High, KZN – The Mobile Digital Classroom – ’Flipping’ a Studio

Neith Moore
Neith Moore
  •  Innovation and Change Agent - Anita van Vuuren,Primêre Skool Universitas, FS – TjokvolLEER

Anita van Vuuren

Top Four Overall winners who will be participating in the Middle East Africa Partners in Learning Forum (in alphabetical order):

Caroline Adelaar, St Mary’s School, Gauteng – Trees4Africa
Maxwell Funo, Mkhanyiseli Primary School, WC – Our Community Our Pride
Gaye Pieterse, Durban Girls‘ College, KZN – Inside Outside
Charli Wiggill, Eden College Durban, KZN – Braille Memory Game and Toys for the Blind

Top four overall winners

*Each of 1st place Winners will receive a Dell Laptop
*Each of the 2nd Place Winners will receive a Slate Device donated by Vodacom Foundation
*The Educator Choice winner receives a SMART SB680iV interactive whiteboard system including SMART Notebook, installation and Basic User Training.
*All Finalists will receive a subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica and Interactive Curriculum Content from Learnthings
*The Judges‘ Award Winners

  • Use of Social Networking –EInstruction Mobipad and portable Interactive Whiteboard from Sangari
  • Use of Technology -EasyView Visualizer from Sangari
  • Innovation and Change Agent – Mouse Mischief Set