Wednesday, 24 June 2015

SchoolNet conducts professional development workshops as part of the Telkom Foundation ICT project in Multigrade Farm Schools

Telkom Foundation in 2014, sponsored ICT infrastructure worth over R 200,000 per winner in each of the twelve categories of the National Teaching Awards. As part of Telkom’s ongoing support in education, they have partnered with Rally2 Read in an attempt to improve literacy in Primary schools and in addition are providing ICT infrastructure that includes content, maintenance, support and a professional development pathway for teachers in project schools.
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SchoolNet South Africa has recently been appointed to conduct professional development workshops required for teachers in the thirty six Telkom Foundation Schools in three provinces viz Eastern Cape, Free State and the Western Cape. All schools are multigrade farm schools and albeit small in size still have a massive need to help learners gain a more global perspective to live and be aware of opportunities that are available to all learners irrespective of their circumstance.
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SchoolNet trainers are trained to use the cognitive apprenticeship model of training where shaping and fading techniques are used to encourage teachers to develop self-reliance in order to become independent learners. The instructional design of the materials included in this initiative is framed by the context of the teacher and attempts to employ just-in-time learning strategies and not just-in-case. 21st century teaching and learning as well as project-based learning feature prominently in the SchoolNet philosophy. The focus is to monitor teachers’ implementation of what they have learnt during our courses and to understand what more might be needed to help teachers progress beyond attendance of courses to integrate ICTs into teaching and learning activities that engage learning.
This project includes two types of interventions: one for Principals and Senior Management Team and the other for teachers on ICT Integration.

The Principals/ Senior Management Team will benefit from a seven day Change Leadership course offered to all principals and SMT from each of the project schools over a period of seven months. Each module will be facilitated once a month and this will allow participants time to complete activities at school and achieve badges in between modules.

ICT Integration: There will be a range of courses from beginner to advanced and schools will be able to choose (with assistance from SchoolNet facilitators) the courses that best suit their immediate teaching and learning needs. These courses ranges from Intel Teach Getting Started to Project Based elements.

All provinces have started training in Change leadership and are beginning to start with basic digital literacy skills. Fifteen teachers are being sponsored their attendance of the ICT in the Classroom conference in KwaZulu Natal.

The wealth of skills and knowledge will catapult teachers into the next step of using content to engage teaching and learning. We look forward to seeing and hearing the gains made by our valued teachers.

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