Friday, 23 August 2013

Webinar recording: Mindmapping with iPads and other devices (by Carolyn Bruton)

Yesterday we held two SchoolNet webinars presented by Carolyn Bruton, a teacher who is an expert in Mindmapping. The first one took place at 3:30pm and the second one was a repeat that took place at 6:00 pm. Thank you to all who attended the webinars

Carolyn’s presentation is given below – Carolyn has kindly agreed that teachers can download it.

Recording link:
If you wish to listen to the presentation the recording link can be found at

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

SchoolNet Webinar on Mindmapping - Thursday at 3:30pm and again at 6:00pm. Join us!

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding Carolyn Bruton's webinar on Mindmapping using the Ipad and other devices in two different time slots on Thursday. The first will be at 3:30 pm and the repeat slot will be at 6:00 pm. 

Webinar 1
Name: Mindmapping using an Pad and other devices:
Summary: Carolyn says. "We will examine the development and use of mind mapping with toddlers through to senior students using freehand drawing activities and how they are constructed. I will discuss my journey with mind maps in a junior school (Kidspiration & Inspiration) and my search for iPad alternatives at the iStore. We will look at resources, blogs, articles and websites which summarise and compare mind mapping software and will conclude the webinar by considering those which worked best for the presenter and those attending the webinar."
Presenter: Carolyn Bruton

Starting Time: Thursday 22 August: 3:30 PM
Duration:30 mins 
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room 
Summary: Carolyn says. "We will examine the development and use of mind mapping with toddlers through to senior students using freehand drawing activities and how they are constructed. I will discuss my journey with mind maps in a junior school (Kidspiration & Inspiration) and my search for iPad alternatives at the iStore. We will look at resources, blogs, articles and websites which summarise and compare mind mapping software and will conclude the webinar by considering those which worked best for the presenter and those attending the webinar."

Webinar 2
Name: Mindmapping using an Pad and other devices:
Presenter: Carolyn Bruton
Starting Time: Thursday 22 August: 6:00 PM
Duration:30 mins 
URL:   (This is a repeat of the earlier Mindmapping webinar)
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room 

More about Carolyn Bruton
Carolynn Bruton retired from formal teaching in 2011 after teaching IT at Springfield Junior School in Cape Town for 18 years.  Her interest in mind mapping led to her receiving an Inspired Teacher Scholarship in 2006 which included a trip to the USA and Canada. She attended technology events and workshops using hand held devices there. Carolynn now runs her own company IT at Home where she teaches adults to use their own laptops, iPads and other devices in a computer room in her home in Rondebosch.

Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
If you would like to win a trip to Barcelona, Spain to participate in the Global Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum you have until 30 September 2013 to apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert  ( If you are passionate about using technology to enhance education and motivating others you could be selected to join this exclusive global community by applying to be an Educator Expert and sharing your Learning Activity on the Partners in Learning Network (

To see some of the Learning Activities that were presented by teachers at the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference, have a look at the 2013 South Africa and Lesotho Partners in Learning Discussion on the Partners in Learning Network (

WP_20130702_002 (1)
Some of the teachers who presented their Learning Activities at the SchoolNet Conference in July 2013

One of these teachers will be selected to go to the Global Partners in Learning Forum – but there is still time for others to enter by 30 September 2013 to be part of the team that will represent South Africa and Lesotho in Barcelona, Spain. You have nothing to lose by applying and sharing your Learning Activity – so show the world what you can do and stand a chance of winning the professional development experience of a lifetime!

SchoolNet attends the Intel® Oxford Curriculum Roundtable in the UK - July 2013

Submitted by Omashani NaidooThe Intel Roundtable curriculum discussion  was held at Wolfson's College, Oxford, United  Kingdom. South Africa participated with 25 other countries from Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. This event was well represented by over 70 delegates from various Education sectors with Omashani Naidoo representing SchoolNetSA. 

Omashani says, "The Roundtable workshop was indeed an eye-opener. There are many parallels and actually being a third world country is irrelevant when it comes down to being innovative. South Africa is engaging in many implementation strategies that our counterparts in Europe and Asia are currently working on. Yes we have a lot of social challenges but we are not laggards when it comes to trending in education."

Download or read the rest of this report here.

The Google Summit–Pre-Conference workshop information now available

As you know SchoolNet and Parklands are hosting a Google in Education summit for K-12 education, the first of its kind in Africa, on September 26th and 27th at Parklands College in Cape Town. We do hope you will take hold of this fantastic opportunity to find out how you can use Google in your classroom with great benefit to your students. You can register for this event at

Pre-conference workshop information
In addition to the Summit the Ed Teach team is presenting some very relevant Pre-Conference workshops at the same venue the day before the actual Summit.  Find out how you register for any of these valuable workshops at


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Thembelihle Primary School undergoes Intel’s Getting Started Training

clip_image001Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka of SchoolNet
Thembelihle Primary School is situated in Howick.  Their Management Team decided to buy laptops for the staff including a digital data projector per classroom. The laptops are loaded with the latest software i.e. Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013. The training consists of nine educators from the Primary school and two educators from the Pre-Primary school. 

The first session started on a high note and with lots of enthusiasm as teachers were looking forward to using their laptops for the first time. The training consisted of teachers with different levels of ICT skills from no skill to some extent of advanced users. It is always a challenge to accommodate both a no skill as well as advanced participants, but it is manageable.

The first module on 21 Century skills was equally enjoyed by all teachers (those with no skills and the advanced users). It served as a motivation for the teachers to look forward to the next session. In that session teachers reflected on their classroom practices and identified gaps as
clip_image003they were studying or learning about 21st century skills. The training is being conducted in the afternoons for two and a half hours which is a big sacrifice on teachers’ part as they leave the school when it is almost dark but with no complaints. Their commitment is highly commendable. The teachers have completed seven modules out of fourteen (14) to date.

Every session starts with a sharing on a success story told by teachers of how they had implemented or tried out what had been learnt in the training. A remarkable development and a level of confidence is displayed by individual teachers as they progress with the training. One success story or lesson shared by one of the teachers Nicky Msebele is on how she used internet search (Module 6) with her little ones for the first time which concluded with a creation of posters and creative writing of poems which they posted on the wall. She says she had never seen them so active and paying attention until the end of the lesson. That lesson motivated her to try more ways of integrating ICT in her class. As part of the last session  teachers finalised their class websites while the principal of the school Ms Carol Bonwell created her school website. She is determined to upload it and start sharing documents with her teachers there.

SchoolNet conducts ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development in Queenstown


The facilitators are introduced to the participants
Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
On the 19 - 20 of August 2013 about 150 educators from Nciba Circuit in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape gathered at Queens College in Queenstown to receive their first Teacher Professional Development which included a 10” inch Samsung or Prestigio tablet device for each teacher. The was also attended by the Eastern Cape Education Department officials, SchoolNet SA Executive Director Janet Thomson, Omashani Naidoo Operations Manager, Hlengiwe Mfeka ICT4RED Project Manager, 12 ICT4RED Trainers, local principals and the TECH4RED Team.

The teachers examine their new tablets

All the attendees first assembled at the College hall for a short debrief where Merryl Ford, Manager for the ICT4E / mLearning CSIR Meraka Institute, shared an overview for the project. She was followed by Dr Adele Botha, Principal Researcher CSIR Meraka Institute, who gave an Overview for the Project in her comic approach. This made teachers feel at ease. The Arthur Mfebe principal gave a presentation on the success story at his school and this motivated teachers to believe that they can also do it. The principal of Queen’s College was presented with a 10.2 Galaxy Samsung tablet for their kindness as the school freely hosted the event. The Aha!! moment came when teachers had to go to different classrooms, according to their schools, to receive their tablets and complete the necessary documentation. Excitement was written all over their faces as they carried their tablets back home.

Almost all of the teachers turned out the following day and again looked excited and anxious at the same time. Some of them mentioned that they had played with their tablets throughout the night and already knew how to perform certain tasks even before the class started on the day. In that way those teachers were able to support their peers. Also the ‘How To’ in the printed manuals also played a major role in supporting teachers to perform required tasks.

The teachers enjoy using the jigsaw method of
co-operative learning
All or most of the teachers learned about the jigsaw method of co-operative learning for the first time and were very keen to go and try it out in their classrooms. Most of the teachers seemed to cope with the training and tried their best regardless of their age mainly because the course is structured in such a way that it is not about the technology but more about the pedagogy e.g. jigsaw cooperative learning and mind map strategies. One principal commented that ‘they are very committed and want to see the project through’. The planned modules, Modules one and two (out of ten) were successfully completed. The next module, Module three, was successfully conducted at each school in the week of 5-8 August 2013.

To view more of the photos for the Teacher Professional Development in Queenstown click on the link below

Intel® Teach Elements sponsored to Ekukhanyeni High School

clip_image001[4]Submitted by Omashani NaidooEkukhanyeni High School won professional development training at Intel’s One Day Conference in KwaZulu Natal. Ms Hlengiwe Mfeka facilitated the training which was attended by 14 educators who were very enthusiastic and looking forward to learn.

The session started with introductions and the educators enjoyed the manner in which it was done. Each person was asked to give an adjective beginning with the first letter of their name which describes their character which was not known by others. This set the tone of the workshop.

Most of the educators had no computer skills and some with very basic skills so Intel Teach Getting Started was first facilitated. The session started with the first module on 21st century learning. Teachers were actively engaged in the discussions. At the end of module three which looked at critical thinking and how it can be incorporated into teaching and learning - one teacher commented that the first three modules served as a mirror which identified gaps to be closed by the course. Before the end of the session teachers were introduced to a four cycle process namely: plan, do, review and share. Those who had longed to work in a Word processor had a sparkle in their eyes when it was introduced in module 4. Most of the teachers were interested in creating a certificate. One challenge experienced was that the school used Open Office and the help guide for that version was not available on the CD.

The training proceeded by an introduction to the Intel Teach Elements course – Collaboration in the digital classroom. The course was introduced such that it was merged or linked with the discussions and or activities done in the previous day i.e. Module one and three – there was an overlap which made the session flow.

clip_image001Teachers were taken through the course structure and the navigation of a course. Initially beginners struggled to find their way using the CD. The role of an Action plan was explained and how teachers would need to toggle between activities and the course materials.
Teachers were asked to work in pairs to describe how they are 21st century educators or have 21st century classrooms. This was done to gauge their understanding about attributes of a 21st century educator or classroom. This exercises helped teachers to understand gaps in their teaching practice as they listen to each other’s’ description.
clip_image002The facilitator encouraged activities that engaged and challenged teachers to reflect on how they teach in the classroom and learn from their experiences. Teachers enjoyed learning about developments in Collaboration (Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing) as they could relate to them. This prepared them to better understand collaboration in action in their classroom. Teachers were reminded to update their action plan with their collaboration goals. They were asked to share their goals with the rest of the group and individuals who seemed not to understand the task were assisted by other group members.

Teachers were introduced to five Collaboration Frameworks used when planning collaboration. Different activities including quizzes were shown to teachers so they could clearly understand each framework in depth and be able to implement it in their own planning. The activity on thinking about improving a lesson based on the Frameworks learnt was a huge challenge to teachers. Each teacher shared their plan and a peer review allowed constructive feedback – this worked really well.

Ugie Schools Get Started with Intel® Teach

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo
PG Bison, through Infundo Consulting, sponsored training for teachers in the Ugie area in the Eastern Cape. Ugie High was used as a venue and although there was enough computers for all the teachers, not of them worked properly. However stable access to the Internet was a pleasure and this allowed teachers to engage more fully with the course and understand how to perform searches, send and receive emails and that there was nothing to it at all!


Sixteen teachers attended from schools in the surrounding area. Most teachers were clearly afraid and felt that it would be impossible to teach them anything. Despite this weariness teachers were eager to work and gain skills and confidence. The facilitator felt comfortable with this group and challenged teachers to do more learn more.

As the days of training ticked on, the group of teachers became more determined and far exceeded their own expectations. Some even commented that this is what they call ‘over teaching” and they were now ‘over learning’. Teachers were very excited to see the evidence of their progress through the various types of documents that they managed to complete.
The creativity shown in the Action Plans was very encouraging and the teachers were quite pleased with work they produced. Peer reviews ensured that teachers were able to positively show encouragement of other teachers.

Pinetown Vodacom ICT Resource Centre and Cisco Training have a great influence in Zamokuhle Buthelezi’s Life

Submitted by Nomty Gaba from SchoolNet
This is an Impact Story from the Pinetown Vodacom ICT Resource Centre showing how training in computer skills can greatly influence a person’s life. SchoolNet manages the Vodacom ICT Resource Centres for Vodacom.

Zamokuhle Buthelezi, a volunteer at the Pinetown Vodacom ICT Resource Centre and a Cisco trainer, says that the centre has had a great impact on his life. He started volunteering at the centre in March 2012 and in April 2013 he was nominated by the Pinetown Vodacom Centre manager to attend the two week long Cisco training course in Port Elizabeth. Since attending the training, Zamo has been using the skills that he acquired throughout Pinetown with a special focus on Tshelimnyama as this is his home town. Zamo has also been offering computer skills training at no cost to the Sakhisizwe Home Project as he is a member of this organisation. Zamo does not charge the people of iTshelimnyama for training but he does charge for computer repairs.

clip_image006Zamo boasts that the IT Cisco Academy improved his computer skills in a big way and he is committed to sharing his skills with the community. Zamo is a trainer for soft skills and also conducts basic computer skills training at the Vodacom ICT Resource Centre as well as being responsible for marketing the centre to his community. He is also involved in the community project called Youth in IT and is responsible for providing training in essential IT skills for this project.


Zamo has fixed a number of computers since receiving Cisco training, but is especially proud of repairing Mr Mdunge’s desktop which other technical people had been unable to repair. He was also able to rectify the problem with the COMMOS settings on Mr Sibalukhulu’s desktop computer. Zamokuhle smiles when he talks about Siyabonga, another young person who is now helping him train the community, who Zamo helped to mentor. He also mentions how he enjoys running the SchoolNet Sizanani ICT for Community Members course and thinks that he may be able to charge for running this course as a small business opportunity.

clip_image010Zamo is looking forward to the KwaZulu-Natal Vodacom ICT Resource Centre reopening in its new location and says he will be conducting Cisco Essentials Training once the move is complete. Currently he is promoting the course which will be offered at no cost to participants. Mrs Lindiwe Dlamini, the Centre Manager of the Vodacom ICT Resource Centre says Zamo is a very humble person and always willing to learn new skills. She has no doubt that companies will be interested in employing him.

SchoolNet SA and the  Vodacom Foundation are proud of Zamokuhle Buthelezi’s journey. Well done!

We invite SA teachers to participate in our Adobe Youth Voices programme – free and exciting!

clip_image002       clip_image002

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo

If you are a teacher of students aged 13 – 19 please think about joining our Adobe Youth Voices programme with a group of students – even if you need to form a club in order to do this.  Create media with the free products and free online training from Adobe headquarters that we supply. 

All teachers and learners who meet all expectations will go into a prize draw to win great prizes and a trip to the next IEARN conference.

What is this programme all about?
Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) is about igniting young people’s creative confidence – the ability to harness creative skills to solve problems – by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. AYV is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to increase creativity in education, which we believe will better equip young people to be the problem solvers, critical thinkers, and leaders of tomorrow.

At the heart of AYV is an educational methodology that provides youth 13-19 years of age with the inspiration, training and technology to create original media content on an issue they care about. Through this experience, participants hone skills of self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility and persistence – the skills we believe are central to creative confidence.

AYV is brought to life through strategic partnerships with mission-aligned organizations and school districts who deliver and support AYV programming in over 50 countries. The Adobe Foundation provides funds, software, training materials, and on-going support to partner organizations who work directly with thousands of schools, community organi­zations, and educators worldwide. These educators then facilitate AYV locally - reaching 130,000 young people to date.

What are the benefits for me as a participating educator?
In addition to learning skills in the use of Adobe Photoshop and Premier Elements, learn skills in facilitating workshops on creating media and creating social messaging, the following programme activities are also offered to participating teachers and learners.


Essentials Essentials ( connects partners, their educators, and thousands more who join, in an online community where they can share ideas, access curriculum and other resources, and upload youth media works in progress to receive feedback.
Aspire Awards Aspire Awards (, a global online media festival, recognizes best-in-class content and creativity from youth around the world. AYV youth are invited to submit projects for online viewing and voting and winning projects are awarded software and hardware.
Creativity Scholarships The Creativity Scholarships program supports the next generation of creative thinkers and propels the future careers of those who create. The scholarships provide financial support to youth who have participated in AYV through the network of strategic partners.
Educator Training Through the AYV training, educators enhance their teaching strategies, gain new skills and collaborate with like-minded educators and youth media experts to enable young people to express themselves using digital tools.
AYV Live! AYV Live! Showcases and celebrates the youth media created over a program year. These exhibition events also present opportunities for the youth to interact with an audience about their work.
Project Pitch Session A project pitch session is an opportunity for the youth artists to present their ideas and confirm they have a solid plan before they go into production. Often pitch sessions are organized so that AYV youth present their ideas to a group of their peers and other AYV educators for feedback.
Rough Cut Review A rough cut review allows youth to take a step back and see their work as an audience does, while receiving feedback on ways to clarify and synthesize their ideas. Similar to the pitch session, rough cut reviews are usually done as a group, where youth artists and educators review work together and provide feedback.
AYV Summit The AYV Summit brings together AYV educators, partners and youth from around the world for a bi-annual training and celebration of the program. The Summit fosters best practice sharing, cross-cultural exchanges, develops youth leadership, and celebrates best-in-class educators.
Lead Educator Program The Lead Educator program has been designed as a way for AYV to maintain fidelity by supporting the core. AYV hosts an annual Lead Educator Training where Leads are prepared to be advocates for the program by articulating the need for creative confidence in their region and the community at large.

Who is eligible to participate
• Schools or youth organizations that serve low-income, disadvantaged middle and high school youth (ages 13–19)
• Access to or a plan to access media production equipment and resources
• Commitment of site administrator and/or information technology department to expedite the installation of donated software on site computers as soon as it is made available

What educator selection criteria will be used?
• Experience in facilitating or an interest in learning new strategies for project-based learning
• Strong belief in student-centered community and social change projects
• Passionate about sharing youth perspectives and voices
• Committed to engaging youth in rigorous investigation of topics of their own choosing that are relevant and meaningful to their lives
• Motivated and available to participate in AYV, without insurmountable barriers to success
• For educators enrolling the English language online courses, an ability to read and understand English, and to interact in English with course facilitators and other course participants.

What is expected of participating Educator?
• Participate in an 8-week online course
• Develop an AYV program plan for the year, which will be drafted during the online course
• Launch their program plan and guide at least 25 youth over the course of the year in the creation of youth media using the digital tools provided.
• Participate in national AYV events, including workshops and exhibition activities
• Complete periodic reports describing progress, sharing best practices, and evaluating the benefit of AYV for youth
• Participate in the Adobe Youth Voices Essentials online community, sharing stories and program progress
• Contribute youth media work to the AYV collection during the September 2013-June 2014 iEARN AYV Program Year, to be exhibited locally, online, and globally. Final submission of projects need to be submitted by April.
• Participate in program evaluation activities: each educator must complete a pre-program (start of online course), post-training (end of online course), post-program (upon submitting end of year work). Returning educators (those trained in previous years) who are not taking the online course, but will continue participating in AYV, should fill out a pre-program survey and a post-program survey. All participating educators should guide their students to complete two surveys: pre-program (prior to beginning the AYV program) and post-program (upon submitting end of year work).

Two courses on offer
Two course sessions are held during the AYV year. For South Africa, 6 educators will need to participate in the September course and another 6 educators in February. Each new educator is expected to take one 8-week course.

Course One: 23 September 2013 – 18 November 2013
+1 new course for returning AYV educators on Photoshop and Digital Messaging

Course Two: 17 February 2014 – 14 April 2014turnign educators on Photoshop and Digital Messaging

Previous winners that travelled to the IEARN Conference with this project

image image
Hlengiwe Mfeka visits California with her movie project on Street Children A SchoolNet AYV group visits Taiwan with Warren Sparrow's 'Super Veggie-Man' movie project

Read about the experiences of previous SA teachers who participated in this programme.

1. SchoolNet's Adobe Youth Voices programme sends a team to California
(18 August 2011)
2. A wonderful Adobe Youth Voices media opportunity for South African teachers!
(27 August 2012)
3. Adobe Youth Voices in South Africa–teachers, you have to join this amazing project! (5 September 2012)
4. Congratulations to our Adobe Youth Voices project winners! (19 September 2012)

How to apply
Send Ms Omashani Naidoo, an email to express interest in participating in this Adobe Youth Voices collaboration project.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Have you registered for the Google summit at Parklands College on 26th and 27th September?

This post is a reminder about the upcoming Google Summit hosted by SchoolNet and Parklands at Parklands College in Cape Town on September 26th and 27th. This is a first of its kind in Africa and well worth attending. The early bird fee is unfortunately no longer available but we would love you to register to attend and find out more about how Google Apps for Education and other Google Tools can be used easily and freely  in an educational institution to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education.

The Ed Tech team from the USA are the organisers of the Conference and they have created a Conference website especially for the event. You can view this at Please let your colleagues and anyone else who might be interested in attending know about this event.