Submitted 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
they 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.