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.

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