Friday, 20 February 2015

Profile: Microsoft #MIEExpert15 Phuti Ragophala, principal of Pula Madibogo Primary School in Limpopo, South Africa

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This is a profile from Phuti Ragopahala, one of South Africa’s Microsoft #MIEExperts for 2015. Phuti is a school principal who will be travelling to the Microsoft Global Forum in Dubai in a week’s time. Her blog can be seen at http://itandiksproject.blogspot.com/ . She has also written a hguest post for the SchoolNet blog on using Windows Movie maker. Her Microsoft Sway can be found at https://sway.com/q1BMnYZek9jiD3ZI. Phuti was the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Winner in South Africa in 2011. 

My name is Phuti Ragophala,57 years old, mother of three daughters and two grandchildren. I am nicknamed “Techno Granny” by my friends and daughters. I am on many social networks like Facebook, Twitter (@PhutiRagophala), Pinterest, Linkedin etc.

I am the principal of Pula Madibogo Primary in Mankweng Circuit Limpopo Province Polokwane. I  teach Economics and Management Sciences in Grade 7
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My philosophy at school
Teaching and managing the school is not an easy task but through passion I am able to combine the two successfully.

I always tell people that when I get to class with learners, I don’t get there to teach but to equip learners with the survival skills that will assist and inspire them to choose their future careers. So teaching to me is not duty but a way of life.

What I love about teaching is that I am able to change the lives of learners and community members through education. I am changing the financial status of needy families through education. Being a school principal, a mother, leader and a granny made me prioritize community and teaching work above my personal needs. In the classroom, that’s where leaders are groomed. I am happy that I am the one doing that.

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Reception class in action with technology lessons
My learning activities in the Microsoft Educator Network
Hence my learning activities that depict and display how project-based learning approach can play a role in conveying the lessons to learners minds and inspire them choose careers that will secure their brighter future . Based from the lessons I had with learners in class that was about ‘Inequality and Poverty in South Africa’,  I encouraged them to come up with projects that will assist in bridging the gap between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-nots’ at our poverty-stricken community school. Through skills from Food and Trees for Africa, the University of Limpopo and other stakeholders, my learners came up with a project about making medicines using raw herbs. They made ointments that benefit needy community members and learners who cannot access professional doctors. The lesson was driven outside the classroom to benefit community members and learners were able to solve authentic challenges in the community . Collaboration of knowledge was done with other medical institutions through this project.

View my project in the following links:

Today's learners!Tomorrow's great thinkers and scientists

A blog post on my blog

Several Microsoft free resources like Windows Movie Maker, Sticky Sorter, Auto Collage and Songsmith were used to enhance my learning activity.

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The image above shows Phuti workshopping with the Reception Class educators on how to download free resources from Microsoft and engage learners.

Teaching and Learning has changed
This is the time to revolutionize education through Technology.”Teaching and learning has changed” said Anthony Salcito. These are the words echoed during the Barcelona Global Conference in March 2014.I was so inspired and motivated.

The Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert competition
The fact that I am selected twice in two consecutive years made me so proud about my innovative work. To be recognized globally and attend global conferences is not for every one, but only for the chosen few. I am so thrilled indeed!

My hopes for education
There is one thing that I would love to see happening in education: To allow learners to take a lead in learning and use IT gadgets to drive their lessons in class . Today’s generation learn by creating knowledge not by absorbing it as we did it during our times. The tide has turned!

Microsoft workshops
My signature (shown at the beginning of this post) allows me to run Microsoft workshops in schools.

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Phuti in action with IT workshops!


Phuti has been recognised as a South African hero in Education by the Coza Cares Foundation who made the following video about her.

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