Friday, 31 October 2014

Designing Lessons with Microsoft OfficeMix

Office Mix offers a simple way to turn PowerPoint slides into interactive online lessons and presentations, including video, quizzes and active links. Office Mix is available for free and once downloaded easily installs into PowerPoint. Educators can use Office Mix to create and share rich, interactive lessons that students can review at home, and reserve class time for group discussions and to focus on difficult material.

You can watch a video showing a quick tour of the Office Mix features as shown below


The following resources give a good overview of how you can use office Mix in your classroom. 

SchoolNet appointed as Google’s Education Partner in South Africa to advance the Google Educator Group (GEG) programme…

 GEG logo
Submitted by Fiona Beal
SchoolNet SA is pleased to announce our appointment as Google’s Education Partner in South Africa. We will be offering free GEG training workshops around the country as well as overseeing the formation of Google Education Groups (GEGs) in the different provinces. It is hoped to grow South Africa’s pool of voluntary GEG leaders (practising teachers who are ICT champions) from the workshop attendees. These GEG groups and the GEG training are part of Google’s worldwide strategy to help teachers enhance the use of technology in teaching. The groups when launched offer various events: GEG Socials, GEG ‘Getting to Know’ events, GEG Virtual (e.g. Hangouts), GEG Training/Workshops, GEG Speaker Meets, GEG Field Trip/Actives, GEG Conference/Unconferences, GEG Hackathons etc. GEG groups are springing up all over the world.

World-wide GEG groups
In South Africa we have around nine GEGs that are in the process of forming, and others on the way. You are invited to join the GEG South Africa Google+ community which currently has 255 members at to keep abreast of what is happening.

We would like to invite any teacher, principal, administrator or anyone who is interested in technology in education to join us in this new venture and attend one of the Google Educator Groups (GEG) free technology-enabled education workshops for teachers which are currently being offered in various centres around the country. These workshops are a platform for participants to come, learn, connect and guide their peers and learners to harness the power of technology and especially Google tools.

It would be honour to have you interact with other like-minded technology-inclined educators and a Google-endorsed trainer during these hours as you discover an innovative use of the Internet and Google tools in and out of the classroom. If you would like to host training at your school or attend a nearby training when it is offered please contact Ms Omashani Naidoo at

Further reading
Google Educator Groups

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Orientation Workshop for Commonwealth Certificate for Teacher ICT Integration (CCTI) – Uganda

Submitted by Janet Thomson
In preparation for online participation in the CCTI, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) engaged SchoolNet South Africa (SNSA) to conduct an orientation workshop for approximately 100 participants in Kampala, Uganda, on October 24, 2014.

SchoolNet engaged Gerald Roos and Senzo Ngcobo to travel to Kampala and facilitate the workshop. The Ministry of Education and Sport of Uganda (MoES) appointed Harriet Kagezi to coordinate the programme in Uganda. She was assisted by Gilbert Engorot. 100 names were submitted 54 of which were not accompanied by email addresses. Kumari in the SchoolNet SA office then phoned the individual Ugandan school contact persons and acquired the missing data.

The workshop was hosted by the Shimoni Core Primary Teachers College near Kitari, 38 km from central Kampala. 

The facilitators travelled to the venue on 23 October to establish whether the facilities had been prepared as per separate contract between Shimoni PTC and CoL. SchoolNet’s request had been for there to be at least 34 operational computers with Internet access as this was orientation to an online course. So they were very disappointed to find that the College had 8 functional computers, of which only 4 were connected to the Internet. The venue was also not large enough to house 100 persons. Under the circumstances and after discussion with the MoES and College representatives the decision was taken that the workshop should be moved to a multi-purpose hall and that time would be allowed for participants to access the Internet for the most basic purpose, logging in and joining their groups.

On the morning of the workshop 101 participants registered and a number of other delegates attended the workshop. These included the principal of Shimoni PTC who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Principal Secretary and then other Ministry of Education and Sport delegates.  In addition to these registered participants, four MoES representatives requested to be able to fully participate in the course. There are therefore 105 participants registered and SchoolNet has four tutors ready to manage their online participation.

After the welcoming messages the workshop began and was based around the workshop presentation (Appendix A). The projection screen space was inadequate in size, being restricted by bordering windows and considering the width of the arranged chairs and distance from the screen. 

It must therefore be stated that in addition to the expected communication difficulties of the presenters’ South African accents, there was a real challenge in the way that the media could support the presenters, and as a result a large question mark about the effectiveness of the presentation in achieving the original objectives.

In the session before lunch the participants met in their five groups and discussed what it would take for them to be successful in this course. Their discussion was serious and lengthy which was encouraging to see. Their feedback was captured on the presentation screen. The participants identified the need to plan their time, to be supported by their schools and the MoEs, to communicate and support each other within and between schools. They suggested creating social media support groups (which they were to discover was already catered for in the learning management system). They recognized the need to show commitment and be accountable to their group colleagues.

After lunch the participants with laptops were asked to connect to the Wi-Fi network that was set up by the MoE’s technician, Gilbert Engorot. As a result approximately 25 connection points were made available and although the connection was relatively slow, all participants had the opportunity to log in to  and join their groups. This was not 100% successful because it later transpired that 20 participants had not succeeded in joining groups, but at least the participants were able to have a small amount of hands-on exposure to the LMS.

The lack of all-day connectivity for 100 participants was a serious constraint. Despite the positive attitude of the participants and their willingness to commit to the programme, it was already becoming clear that the startup momentum required from such an orientation workshop was lacking.

The workshop concluded with the completion of a workshop evaluation/commitment form. 96 out of 100 forms were returned and each was signed to indicate commitment to the programme.

It’s Playtime! Learning Gains Project - Western Cape Teacher Professional Development Workshop

Submitted by Janet Thomson
On the weekend of October 10 and 11th the Professional Development programme for the Western Cape Grade 1 and Grade R teachers reached Module 4 (Learning Stations) and Module 7 (Xbox Kinect and Games in the Classroom). The workshops were held at The Metro East District offices in Kuils River, Cape Town.

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Day 1 – Module 4 – Learning Stations

At the start of the workshop Rodney Nissen, the facilitator asked teachers to reflect on how they have been using their own teacher tablets since the last workshop. A synopsis of positive, negative and interesting was compiled.

The positives were that learners were very excited about the tablet. One of the teachers noted that the most positive aspect was that they had been given their own tablet and this had been a surprise bonus. Another real positive was the rapid growth they had felt in their own technology skills. Teachers also voiced the feeling that they felt extremely positive and encouraging vibes during the training sessions.

The negatives that were of concern, related to management issues at one school where the school leadership was not supporting the teachers by allowing them to become familiar with their own tablets or in fact to take full ownership. Two teachers were very sad to be moving schools and leaving the project. There was also a feeling that the collection of evidence for badges had been very time consuming. Teachers were grateful for the chance to voice their concerns.

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The interesting aspects were that teachers had noticed how hungry for knowledge the learners had become with the use of the tablet. Delegates were informed that the photo of Temperance Town learners from Bianca Bayer’s class had been used on the home page of the project website. The photo showed them recording their voices on a Monday morning, reporting on their weekend feedback to Mr Tablet.

clip_image005Module 4 is all about using Learning Stations. This is a classroom management concept that is already widely used in primary schools. The teacher plans different activities to happen around the classroom and allow for learners to have a variety of experiences. The teachers could think of plenty of examples that they are already using and listed them in a brainstorm. These included corners for: art, reading, Maths, fantasy, building blocks, acting, clay or play dough. Teachers even included some examples from previous modules of the Learning Gains programme such as storytelling and problem-solving. However, teachers soon started to consider new activities that included digital options. This is what the rest of the module was about. Teachers accesssed many other apps and games to try out as potential digital learning stations in their classrooms. These included: Aldiko ebook reader, CupCake Maker, Native Audio, video player and an origami tutorial. One group also made a water pump out of straws. Each group then demonstrated and shared what they had learnt at their station and reflected on their experiences by using the Learning Stations Evaluation in Kingsoft office on their tablets.

Day 2 - 
Module 7 - Game-based learning: Xbox Kinect and Games in the Classroom

This module is clearly one of the most significant for this project seeing as the central theme of the project is play and using games for learning. Peter de Lisle from Hilton College had designed the course materials for the first Xbox pilot in Lakeside Park Primary in Vryheid in 2010 and had adapted those course materials for the current Learning Gains project.
Peter started the workshop with a short exercise where teachers were asked to carry a balloon between them without using their hands and around a route mapped out within the training centre that included stairs. After much amusement during this exercise, discussions ensued around the characteristics of games and whether this was in fact a game. Teachers agreed that it was a game because even though Peter had never said it was a race, it did have rules and it was fun.

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In order to consider how much learning happens through play, participants were asked to reflect on their own experiences of games as children at school. They soon found the Memoires App in order to record their reflections.

Peter then proceeded to show a video about James Gee who is a psycholinguistics researcher who used to specialise in acquired literacy but his current area of expertise is gaming and particularly how the principles of gaming can be applied to education[1]. One of the most interesting stories that the professor related concerned his first experience of playing the video game, World of Warcraft. He had started by reading the manual and was completely confused by the jargon and terminology. He decided to just play the game and soon found success. He recounted that sometime later he looked back at the manual and was really surprised that he had not been able to understand the vocabulary because now, having played the game, it was all crystal clear. The message that came across was captured in one of his quotes, “The problem with our schools … is that we give out the manuals without the games.” And of course he was not referring to actual games but to problem solving activities that need to be included in teaching for learners to unlock their understanding.

The Jig-saw activity that followed delved into the concepts involved in “learner-centred classrooms” – and the following four areas of expertise were explored:

Teachers returned to their home groups and spent time discussing the key aspects of the learner-centred classroom in relation to the aspects discussed in the expert groups.
Then it was time to meet the Xbox Kinect. Themba Mabaso had spent the previous day setting up 6 Xboxes for groups to work around two training venues experiencing the different types of games. Some of the participants were hesitant to start with but soon became excitedly involved as they left their inhibitions behind.
Many of the teachers became exhausted with the more exertive games such as the sports games and adventure games. Peter saved the story game, Kinectimals, until last for all teachers to observe at the same time so that the concepts within the game could be explained and discussed.


Teachers then spent time classifying games and evaluating their appropriateness for their classes from the point of view of language, movement required, age appropriateness and whether it would appeal to their learners. The rest of the workshop was spent devising lesson plans to incorporate Xbox Kinect games.


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Videos of the workshop are uploaded to the SchoolNet YouTube Channel here:
More photos are viewable from the SchoolNet website here

[1] James Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy 2007 Macmillan

Great newspaper article about SchoolNet’s Hlengiwe Mfeka

SchoolNet is proud of one of their project managers, Hlengiwe Mfeka,  who was featured in the Echo Maritzburg recently on World Teachers' Day. 


The link to the article in the Echo Maritzburg of the 16th October can be found on this link for further reading:

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

ICT4RED Project – Teacher Professional Development: More than just brainstorming!

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
Teachers from the phase three schools in Cofimvaba are making great progress thus far in effective use of technology in their teaching since the ICT4RED professional development workshops they first attended in July 2014. They are halfway through towards earning their tablets and most individuals have already earned themselves enough badges to qualify for gadgets such as SD cards and earphones. All fourteen (14) participating schools are excited to have earned a data projector and are working even harder to soon earn a mobi kit

The ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development workshops for module five were held at St Marks and St James centres from 29 September to 02 October 2014. Each school is allocated to attend at a nearby centre in one afternoon of the three days scheduled. The first afternoon of the workshop the weather was terrible such that there was hail and storm and we were worried that would affect teacher attendance – to our amazement the attendance was normal which showed the kind of commitment that the teachers have in this project.

Module five focuses on Mindmapping as a teaching strategy and how it can be used in the classroom to engage learners in critical thinking and collaborative discussions which promotes 21st century skills. Teachers enjoyed the first activities of the module which focused mainly on tablet Apps management; that helped to increase their tablet skills. The Mindmapping activity is strategically designed such that while teachers learn about the teaching strategy but also explore various Apps installed in their devices in order to use them in their classrooms - That is a cherry on top for this module which was strategically intended by course Instructional designers.

This teaching strategy is not new but the WOW for these teachers was to learn how to do it using technology. Teachers shared brilliant lesson ideas on how the teaching strategy can be used in the classroom in different learning areas. Facilitators have expressed how they have enjoyed these workshops because of high enthusiasm, active participation and dedication that has been shown by these teachers. Teachers always look forward to the next workshop to learn something new which will ignite learners’ interest in their classrooms and keep them motivated.

Teaching with Twitter in #Afrikaans

This is a guest post from Tiaan Lotter (@MrLotter), a Google Certified Teacher from South Africa. Tiaan is a very innovative Afrikaans teacher from Parklands College and he frequently presents at conferences around South Africa. Visit his website at In previous guest posts Tiaan shared about his experience at the Google Teacher Academy in London and also Gone Google? Now go Advanced...  Thanks for the great sharing Tiaan and Parklands College.

Sign up
Two years ago, as a teacher entering the realm of technology I set up a Twitter account by accident. Meaning, I didn't really know what I was going to be doing with it, but somehow I felt it was important. I proceeded to put it on my board and advertised it to the kids, again not quite knowing what for. The kids, duly ignored it. Being at the amazing school that Parklands College is, we quite fortuitously were trained in the use of Twitter a few weeks after - #rightplacerighttime
Still, I was adamant on using it. We subsequently had an “e-day” which are days set on the school’s timetable where learners run their school day from home. Teachers set work, distribute it to learners through an array of virtual platforms and should be available online to their learners at the time that would’ve corresponded with their lesson on the timetable. The task I set learners on our Afrikaans Intranet portal was to watch a music video and tweet a review about it and @ me in. Learners responded and received this as a new and quite refreshing way to respond to work.


Not the most exciting sentences to write, but getting a homework assignment to complete over Twitter… a little less monotonous than pen and paper or even Word and E-mail.

Hatch your egg, follow and Tweet!
I didn’t see this as a great success. Indeed my eyes were shut as a little baby bird peeping out of its shell for the first time. It took me about another year to become an active member of the Twitter community. Mainly using it to follow people who have something to say. Many times I unfollowed those who just ranted about their personal lives, indeed that is what Facebook has become known for. I decided my Twitter experience should be different. Following various organisations and people I stumbled upon a few of the right connections and I grew my network of Tweeters that had things to say that I wanted to read.

Following this, my adoption of other technologies in the classroom and my growth to Google Certified Teacher and beyond, I decided it is time to take Twitter further have been an active Tweeter of educational technology over the past year. Sometimes I retweet something interesting or I tweet something that I found that I find interest, hoping others would also find it useful. I also started creating content and spreading it through this medium. I created Prezis for the entire Grade 12 Afrikaans first additional Poetry syllabus and tweeted each one as I finished it, hashtagging and mentioning anyone that came up as suggesting tags.

Spread your wings and #fly!
The time arrived to revisit using Twitter as more than a reading and micro-blurbing tool. So introducing myself to my new class of grade 7 boys was the prime opportunity to put this to the test. I had them get out their cellphones at the beginning of a lesson - which never goes down badly! - and had them tweet the following:

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This way they learn how to Tweet, hashtag and mention - yes some of them had no idea how Twitter works. Learning the sentence was also incentivised using potential bonus marks if written correctly at the end of a test. Next, came the part that the boys absolutely fell over to get and do right. They had to divide into teams and one was allowed to be the Tweeter, but he was not allowed to speak at all. The other members of the team had to feed him Afrikaans sentences to tweet to #TwitterResies (#Twitter Race) and their class (e.g. #7PSpan1 i.e. #7PTeam1).

They didn’t want the other teams to hear so they were quiet as mice! Also running between the board where I was showing the # stream live from Twitter (you can also use one of the multiple web tools to display # streams) and their seats. The highest number of sentences I received in 10 minutes of Twitter Racing was 26! I obviously had to curate these sentences to make sure the language was okay and that they didn’t just tweet nonsense. Competition + Boys = Win, which combined with teaching results in grade 7 boys writing 26 Afrikaans sentences (remember this is their additional language) in 10 minutes in the last lesson of the day. In my opinion: #lessonmadeofwin


I would have loved to reinforce the wins or the amount of sentences with a gem of positive reinforcement called Classcraft, but the short nature of term 4 has forced me to postpone its use until 2015.

It didn’t end it there. In their next lesson I taught degrees of comparison (again having them moving around in a different game) and their homework was to tweet as sentence using the comparative degree as well as the superlative/. #TmetT for “Trappe met Twitter”

My conclusion
Ultimately, using Twitter is a way of getting kids to use some of the tools of the 21st century. I need to mention that most of them said something like: “Oh, its almost like using Instagram,” which pointed out that Twitter has been around for a long time and that today’s generation is being increasingly engaged by the visual medium. This is nothing new. However, used in an engaging, fun and purposeful manner something text based - like Twitter, Facebook or even an eBook can become fun and an awesome learning experience.

SchoolNet says: Thank you very much Tiaan for this explanation of how you are using Twitter in Afrikaans. So exciting!  We really appreciate you sharing your knowledge via the SchoolNet blog.  

Monday, 27 October 2014

Great Learning Activities shared on Microsoft Educator Network by South African teachers…take a look!

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
Applications to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert have now closed and the process of selecting teachers to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Redmond, USA in April 2015 is underway. We were thrilled by the calibre of teachers who applied and were impressed by the more than 50 new Learning Activities that were uploaded to the Microsoft Educator Network.

Thank you to all the teachers who shared their lesson ideas with an international community of teachers through the Microsoft Educator Network. We will announce the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts in our next newsletter, but for now here is a sample of some of the projects that were shared and the teachers who shared them. Whilst teachers were only required to upload one Learning Activity to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator, a number of teachers shared a few lesson plans that showcase how they are using technology in engaging ways in their classrooms.

Kathryn Riva of Micklefield School
Kathryn Riva of Micklefield School has uploaded a record 13 learning activities to the Microsoft Educator Network which show how she incorporates technology into her grade 5 lessons. Kathryn says “I am fascinated with technology and infusing it into my teaching. I believe that children will one day be stepping out into a world where being able to use technology with ease and without fear is essential. I want to instil a love and curiosity for technology into each child that I teach, to enable them to create innovative, blended projects using Web 2.0 Teaching Tools alongside traditional teaching methods”.


Some of Kathryn’s Learning Activities include a “Tutankhamen Newspaper Report”, “Religious Festivals Project” and an “International Day Wiki Project”. One of the really great things about what this teacher does is she shares her activities on her wiki so that the grade 5s can collaborate with their classmates and parents can see what their children are up to. The wiki also allows for flipped classroom activities and showcasing work.

Mabore Lekalakala of Toronto Primary School
Mabore Lekalakala of Toronto Primary in Limpopo has shared six learning activities on the Microsoft Educator Network focusing on content creation and interactive learning in her Maths lessons. Her learners have been exposed to a range of applications including Microsoft Maths Worksheet Generator, Khan Academy materials and Geogebra. After mastering the subject matter, learners created their own materials using Book Creator, PowerPoint, Song Smith and other applications which they shared with grade 5 learners. Learners especially enjoyed using Kodu to solve problems and sharing photos and video clips through AutoCollage and making their own movies.

If you are a primary school maths teacher, perhaps struggling with few resources, have a look at Mabore’s Learning Activities to see what is possible with enthusiasm and creativity. Learning Activities include “Songsmith to learn maths concepts”; “Worksheet Generator for Practice and Self-Assessment” and “Contextualised Learning Resources to Learn Mathematics”.

Tracy Heath
Tracy Heath of Brescia House School has shared four Learning Activities on the Microsoft Educator Network – “All about me – where was I born?”; “The Water Cycle”; “Movie about Grade 6” and “Travel brochure for Egypt”.

In addition to teaching some classes, Tracy also offers professional development to her colleagues. Once a week she does a short 20 minute session with staff encouraging them to share ideas. Some of these sessions are just introductions to Apps, whilst other sessions are longer and make use of more formal instruction. Whilst Tracy says her school is blessed to have access to devices, her challenge is to help teachers who are unsure about using technology one step at a time. Tracy’s learning activities show how teachers can maximise the technology that they have access to by creating project-based learning opportunities.

The Microsoft Educator Network - a useful classroom resource
Whilst applications have now closed to become a Microsoft Educator Expert for this year, please continue to share your Learning Activities on the Microsoft Educator Network and look out for next year’s competition. Also make use of the search functionality to find ideas for teaching content you need to cover or ideas for using a tool your would like to try. Out of the more than twelve thousand activities that have been shared, there is bound to be one that you could try out or adapt for use in your classroom.

Invited to be a ‘Dragon’ (by @apeters522) in the finale of a creative Grade 9 Dragons' Den project at Parklands College

Submitted by Fiona Beal
A rather exciting thing happened to me recently. I was invited to be a ‘Dragon’ at Parklands College. Yes, you DID hear me correctly…a Dragon! This is what the invite from Anthony Peters of Parklands College said, “Would you like to be one of the dragons?” Since I have always wanted to be thought of as a ‘Dragon’ at school I seized the opportunity and said YES!

Well, as it turned out this was the most innovative project ever! It was a combination of all seven of Term 3’s Grade 9 English assessments integrated with a module of Technology and a module of EMS (Economic Management Sciences). Anthony Peters lives up to the type of thinking shown below when he prepares his lessons – thinking out of the box!

Not only did he get all three subject teachers working together but he based the final assessment of this integrated project on the popular BBC broadcast, Dragons' Den. Hence the word ‘dragon’!

Assessment based on BBC series Dragon’s Den
In the TV series budding entrepreneurs, inventors and small businessmen (and women) pitch their ideas to the five 'dragons' - real-life business leaders and millionaires, with real cash to invest in the companies they feel will make it. Each 'contestant' must convince the 'dragons' to part with thousands of pounds to make their dreams a reality.  So Anthony invited four or five ‘dragons’ to play the part of these Dragons' Den dragons, listen to the orals and decide whether or not to invest in the created products. Anthony did the same project in 2013 VERY successfully and he sent me the video link so that I could get an idea of what to expect (

What was the project about?
The Grade 9s formed groups and each group designed their idea for a future product that would solve a particular need. They had to think this through in every detail in English and Technology. The students then created the product using Sketchup, a free 3D design product. They checked the validity of the product with the Science teacher and then worked out all the facts, figures and the business plan using EMS. For English they completed seven assessments which included creating the mini-project, an advertisement, a business letter, a piece of argumentative writing, and finally the Dragons' Den oral where they would be grilled by the ‘Dragons’. If they were persuasive enough and one of the Dragons decided to invest, they could score extra points.

Read what Anthony says about his project
"The following article comprises a brief summary of a term-long English project based on the popular BBC television broadcast, ‘Dragons’ Den’ which I developed for Grade 9 learners. It combined 6 Curriculum-based assessments including: an advert (short transactional), both listening and reading comprehensions, a business letter (long transactional), a discursive essay on the importance of technology and a group oral (in front of a panel of ‘dragons’). The project also tied in a module of Design and EMS in order to promote a truly holistic approach to maintaining ‘authenticity in education’.

This project-based initiative had three foci. Firstly, to combine a selection of assessments and subjects under one theme (Dragons' Den) to set the context. This promoted deeper understanding of the language concepts (e.g. the AIDA principle, rhetoric, register, for advertisements, as well as the format and essential components of the other assessments). Secondly, to expose the learners to authentic scenarios which they could relate to and then demonstrate their own ‘knowledge’ by producing their own ‘inventions’ which they had developed via collaboration. Lastly, to incorporate iPads, Macs, iPhones and free apps (e.g. GoogleDocs, Sketchup, iMovie, iMotion,) to enhance the quality, imagination and learner interaction so the children could become fully aware of what is involved with bringing something as abstract as an idea to the public market.

I produced several Keynote presentations that aimed to expose learners to a host of curriculum-based criteria. The Keynotes described the important elements of the various curriculum objectives as well as provided some short exercises to develop the all-important ‘higher order thinking’. The learners then had to design their very own inventions based on a public need (e.g. a toothbrush that tells you where and how long to brush for).

After this, the learners had to complete various collaborative tasks including storyboards (using ComicLife2), creating a logo, a slogan, a list of ideas for possible inventions (using Sketchup) and producing their very own advertisements using iMovie and a variety of other Apple apps for special effects.

The end result was extremely rewarding, particularly as the advertisements were then put up on the television screens around the school. This not only promoted the learners’ work but also allowed the student body to vote (via their cellphones to my email inbox) for the ones they deemed the most appealing. This had marketing potential too, as each learner then had to put their advertisements onto their Facebook walls and ask the populace what they thought of their product. Again, this enhanced learner understanding in an authentic way, because in the real world they would be expected to run surveys to establish how the market (target audience) would react to their product.

This project was extremely successful, as not only did it tackle the curriculum objectives in a more exciting and innovative way, but it enforced higher order thinking, creativity and refined quality by implementing some diverse, free and exceptionally versatile Apple and Google apps. The marriage between technology and linguistic objectives resulted in improved project efficacy, assessment scores and far more engaged learners."

How did the morning progress?


What an enjoyable morning! There was no end to the creativity shown in designing these products…one innovation after the other! Products ranged from a built in Breathaliser built into the steering wheel of any car that prevented the car from starting if the breath had certain levels of alcohol…  to Smart Glass that changes colour when certain chemicals enter the liquid… to Technoglass that reacts to an LED Detector in a cricket ball… to an Instant Breakfast Maker to name but a few.   The students were closely interrogated on the possibility of success of their inventions, their costs, projections, ideas etc.  They had prepared really well with each person having a role in the team, and knowing their stuff!

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This was such a novel, real-world idea of conducting an assessment. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and marveled at Anthony’s creative approach to his teaching. 


Dragons' Den project in 2015
Anthony has been advertising on Twitter that next year he would like to involve more schools in this project. You are invited to consider this and contact him via Twitter


More about Anthony Peters
This is a very creative young teacher! Anthony has shared five of his creative lessons on the SchoolNet blog and these can be viewed at He has also been interviewed by iPad Educators blog team at