Wednesday, 30 September 2015

SchoolNet conducts professional development in the Eastern Cape on behalf of the Telkom Foundation

School Net SA conducts professional development workshops as part of an initiative for the Telkom Foundation. Telkom is making meaningful contributions to improving the quality of education in the Eastern Cape Schools. School Net SA is conducting training in the course, Change Leadership for Technology Integration with Senior Management Teams in 12 schools in the Queenstown area of the Eastern Cape. Facing Challenges is one of the modules covered in September. Effective school leaders are key to large-scale and sustainable education reform.

Leaders have a deeper and more lasting influence on their organizations and provide more comprehensive leadership if their focus extends over maintaining high standards.

Training was conducted by Mr M Rafu on 3rd of September 2015. Sozizwe Primary school was chosen as a training venue as it was central to the schools involved. The trainer reported that 41 participants attended the training. The purpose of the module was outlined and the outcomes of the modules were communicated with the participants. The trainer reported that at first the participants were reluctant to share ideas about the challenges they faced at their respective schools and this was part of the activity in module 4.

After the trainer has explained the importance of the activity, the participants understood why they had to do the activity so that they come up with solutions. They realised that collaboration and sharing were the best approaches to solving problems. They were able to see the difference between technical challenges and adaptive challenges.

The trainer reported that he emphasised the plan of action as a conclusive stage in solving problems.They did another activity on embracing resistance instead of avoiding it. The teachers did a role play activity to rehearse situations in preparation for a future performance and to improve their abilities within a role. The teachers realised that as a change leader, you can view resistance to change as a problem, as an obstacle, as a negative and something to overcome, crushed or disposed of. However there is a positive side to resistance to change and, those who would lead successful change efforts, are well served by tending to resistance. Resistance to change is evidence that people care about something and want to protect it. So it can actually improve a change effort’s chances of success.

Please read the rest of this report on our website here :

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Learning Gains for Play project - KZN Teacher Professional Development Workshop on Mind mapping and a Gallery Walk

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
Saturday the 19th of September 2015 was freezing with pouring rain in the KZN Midlands, BUT that didn’t prevent teachers in the Learning Gains through Play project from attending their TPD workshop at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick. The workshop for the two modules to be covered, Mind mapping and Gallery Walk, was attended by 16 out of 22 Grade R and 1 teachers from the five schools participating in the project – all absentees had officially forwarded their apologies. Despite this slight setback in attendance, the training didn’t fall short of excitement right through the day.
The first module conducted was Mind mapping, a teaching strategy which involves modelling the pedagogical practices of mind mapping and brainstorming by categorizing Apps on the teacher tablets. Another activity which was important in this module was when teachers were engaged in evaluating various Apps and how this teaching strategy can be applicable in a foundation phase class.

The Gallery Walk module (conducted after lunch) demonstrated how teachers could use this teaching strategy to create effective critical discussions around important classroom and real life topics. The content of this Gallery Walk teaching strategy was how to use social networking platforms to create or participate in online professional learning community.

Mind mapping
A moment of fun emanated from the first activity when participants were grouped to compete in five mobile skills challenge. The challenges required teams to perform important basic skills that one needs to be able to do when owning a tablet device. The skills drilled were to:
  • Uninstall an App icon from the apps page.
  • Put the ES file Explorer app icon on the home screen
  • Hook onto a specific internet WI-FI
  • Set the data usage warning level to 500Mb.
The first group to have ALL its members complete each challenge were to raise up both hands and make their war cry. That was to ensure that team members support one another in the process to enforce collaboration. The Busy Bee group won all the challenges! This team went beyond supporting each other but went to assist other groups when they had finished theirs. That created a good vibe, the spirit of comradeship and strong connections amongst the group as a whole. In the process of all this, teachers mentioned how the activity helped them to gain confidence in using their device.
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The next few activities were demanding and required teachers to apply 21st Century Learning skills. They were so much engaged, and not for a moment did they look at their watches.
They really appreciated the information shared with them about two lessons that had been observed in the Western Cape project schools. They noted that they would find it very useful for their own implementation.

Gallery Walk
After lunch, new groups were formed for a Gallery Walk module. Teachers were given folded paper with the name of an animal. They had to find their group members without making any noise but imitate their animal behaviour – this was enjoyed by all and helped to refocus the groups.

Participants had a slow start and seemed a bit confused about commenting on the displays, so the facilitator moved around to explain further. Of particular interest was phishing and online identities, which seemed to be new terminology to some but once having read examples the light dawned. With phishing almost all the teachers were able to identify those e-mails and messages which were not authentic. In many cases this was due to them or close friends have fallen victim to such scams.Teachers showed interest in joining or signing up for other Professional Learning Communities. They were motivated to sign up for a SchoolNet SA membership in order to take advantage of the benefits. The next part of the module, was to create online profiles and interact virtually with colleagues. Time was against us. Therefore we decided to combine the website training with this activity that was due to take place at the schools. Also there wasn’t time to discuss how the strategy could be implemented in their classrooms. The facilitator promised to create an opportunity for this discussion back at their schools as well.

It was a great day!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Great Google posts this week #30

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions recently, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far.

1. Google Classroom: How to Transfer Events from One Google Calendar to Another

Michael Fricano says: “So you've got your Google Classroom calendars all set up, right? But, if you're like me, you already had a Google Calendar going for class. So you might be asking, "How do I transfer events from my old calendar to my new one? It's actually really easy!”

2. 9 Favourite Chrome Extensions for the Classroom

Tracy Duncan says: “Google Chrome extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. They extend Google Chrome’s abilities by adding a button for the extension next to the address bar. Here are nine of our favourite Google Chrome extensions:
  • AdBlock: Remove those pesky ads on websites that students frequently visit.
  • Cabulary: Create vocabulary flash cards from words on any website.
  • CraftyText: Project large text from a computer or Chromebook.
  • Extensify: Manage extensions on your toolbar by quickly enabling or disabling them.
  • OneTab: Reduce the clutter of multiple browser tabs.
  • Save as PDF: Save a web page directly to a PDF with just one click.
  • TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read): Create summaries of any website article.
  • Tab Glue: Puts all of your Chrome tabs together again in a single click.
  • Tab Scissors: Divide one browser window into two.

3. Google Hangouts - a complete guide!

Plus your business says: “This is the fifth video in a series of five. It covers just about everything you'll need to know about Google Hangouts, including Hangouts-On-Air. Check out for more information on Google+ for Business.

4. How To Setup and Run a Google Hangout 2014

The DIYWebguy says: “ - In this short video, I show you how to setup, schedule, and invite attendees as well as panelists to your Google Hangouts.

5. Goobric in Real Time

Goobric is a Chrome Extension that allows teachers to use rubrics to automagically score student work. Grades are pasted into the doc and recorded in the original spreadsheet as well. This video shows a real time demo of workflow using Goobric to assess an assignment submitted via Google Classroom and 'ingested' using Doctopus.

6. Tab Suspender and Ad Blocker (for Google Chrome)

In this technology tip screencast, Wesley Fryer shares 2 free and helpful extensions for Google Chrome. Wesley Fryer says: “These are 2 Google Chrome Extensions That Will Change Your Life!
Tab Suspender is one of the new extensions Ben introduced me to. It’s absolutely fantastic: If you haven’t used a browser tab in awhile, it automatically suspends or “caches” it so it’s no longer using so much computer memory. According to the description, it can save up to 80% of your computer browser memory. I love how it goes into effect automatically, no configuration is required once it’s activated. When you want to use a suspended tab again, just click on the big blue “refresh” button and it will again become active.

7. Hidden Features of Google Chrome | Chrome | The Apps Show

Chrome is filled with secrets, that once revealed will give you power over web browsing! Chrome is filled with a hidden features that can take your web browsing game up a couple notches. Once again,  hosts John and Debbie lead us on a perilous expedition of one our most popular topics - Chrome! This week they show us how to quickly mute that tab blaring “Call Me Maybe” across the office, use keyboard shortcuts to quickly jump back and forth between tabs and even a way to find your phone.

8. Google Keep is now out for iPhone and iPad

Finally! One of the most popular Android note-taking apps, the simple and straightforward Google Keep is now out for iPhone and iPad. Google Keep is a notes app that emulates the look of colorful sticky notes, and it's a really simple notes app that works on both mobile and desktop, syncing effortlessly across all devices. Its clever color system (you have eight colors of notes to choose from, and you can have, say, red notes for personal stuff, green for to-dos, and so on) allows you to quickly sort through and filter messages, and in addition to all that you can also easily attach images, add text labels, share notes with your contacts and copy notes to Google Docs.

9. Google Drawings interactive posters (no glue sticks necessary!)

Matt Miller says: “Students have created posters in so many classes for so many years. They’re visual, eye-catching and chock full of information. They can be a hassle, though. There’s all of the supplies: markers, glue sticks and the poster board itself (a bigger hassle if kids need to buy it and bring it in). Then there are the magazines. In the past, I’ve had students cut pictures out of magazines to include in posters. Of course, that ends up being a mess. I usually find shards of magazine clippings all over my classroom for weeks afterward. Thankfully, Google Apps has given us an outlet to have all the same perks of creating posters without as much of hassle. Google Drawings is a perfect medium for creating digital posters. “

10. Word Cloud Generators for Google Chromebooks

The Tech Lady says: “Here is a list of word cloud generators that will work on a Samsung Google Chromebook.  That is what I used to test these tools on.
  • ABCya: This website will allow you to generate word clouds for free and you do not need to create an account. 
  • Tagul: A Free word cloud generator that will run on Google Chromebooks. 
  • Wordsift: A free visual thesaurus that will take word and create a concept map of the meaning.
  • Worditout: A free word cloud generator in which you do not need to create an account.  Just type the list of words in the paragraph text box, specify the size, background color, color specifications, text, size, layout and click on 'Word it Out'.  

Friday, 25 September 2015

Register your Grade 10-12 Maths students on Microsoft Math before the school holidays start

If your Grade 10-12 Maths students are not yet taking advantage of this great, free service offered by Microsoft please get them registered as soon as they return to school in the fourth term. Best though is to get them to register now before the school holidays start. This is a free service that they will benefit from enormously.

What is Microsoft Math?
Microsoft Math, is a great free site for Grade 10-12 Maths students to use after hours either in groups or individually to revise their Maths content and get help with any queries.  The site is available cross device on smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets etc.


Advantages of the Microsoft Math programme
One of the many advantages of this program is that it is an after school free programme and learners can set up their own study groups with friends and see how they are doing or compete with each other! The program is also accessible from a PC or a tablet.

If you are a Maths teacher and you don’t yet know about this service, why not try it our this holiday for yourself by going to and registering. You’ll be amazed!

Useful Microsoft posts this week #21

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:

Teaching with Technology: SACE accredited and excellent preparation for the Microsoft Certified Educator exam

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
The Microsoft Teaching with Technology course is a free online, self-study course available through the Microsoft Educator Network. It begins with a diagnostic assessment which then advises a participant which of the following modules he or she should complete in order to be awarded a Teaching with Technology certificate:
  • Why does UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers promote technology literacy
  • Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
  • How do technology and pedagogy mix
  • Use basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
  • Technology literacy and your professional development
  • Organise and manage the use of ICT in your classroom
The Microsoft Teaching with Technology course was recently endorsed by SACE with SchoolNet SA as the training provider. This  means that teachers who successfully complete it can claim 15 professional development points from SACE. If you would like to boost your knowledge of how to integrate technology into your classroom – and if you would like formal recognition of your knowledge of using ICTs as part of teaching and learning, please do work through this course. Upon completion, please email the certificate that Microsoft sends to you to in order to be awarded a certificate that can be used to claim SACE professional development points.

The Microsoft Teaching with Technology course is excellent preparation for those teachers who wish to write the international Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam. The first five teachers to complete the Teaching with Technology course who send their certificates, will each be sent a Microsoft sponsored voucher to take the MCE exam. This offer is limited to the first five teachers who send in their certificate – so please do use the opportunity to validate your global educator technology literacy competencies.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

SchoolNet and Microsoft facilitate the National Core ICT Training Team Workshop

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
Between 15 and 18 September 2015, fifty two ICT trainers from all provinces attended a workshop at the Microsoft Training Centre. The workshop had the theme of “Using Technologies Optimally for Quality Learning and Teaching” and aimed to equip core trainers with knowledge and skills around a number of ICT in education tools and programmes which they can then implement in their province.

Amongst the tools covered were Microsoft Math, Skype in the Classroom, 2Enable, Vodacom Digital Classroom, Mindset Network, Office 365, UkuFunda Apps and the UkuFunda Virtual School – all of which are free offerings that can be used by teachers and learners to enhance education using technology. Core trainers were also shown the Microsoft Teaching with Technology course and the new Intel Education offerings in the hopes that these programmes will be made available to teachers. The workshop culminated in provincial groups enhancing and presenting their provincial plans so that all provinces could learn from each other.  

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Have you seen e-classroom’s new website, new interactive Maths and Science revision paper platform, and new App?

E-classroom (, the well-known South African education site with free, downloadable CAPS-aligned activities for every subject and every grade has not only launched a lovely new website over the weekend, but also an interactive Maths and Science revision paper platform and an App!


Interactive learning is the future of education, and technology, when implemented properly, can deliver substantial gains in learner achievement and boost engagement. Learners today definitely want more interactivity and control over their learning experience.

The Maths and Science Revision Papers platform
The E-classroom Maths & Science Revision Papers provide a platform for learners to practise their knowledge on test papers and receive immediate results. It gives learners feedback on how they are doing, while letting them choose their own learning paths and their own pace and engages them in their own education processes.

The revision material has been developed by top text book writers and teachers. The platform breaks Grades 7 – 12 Maths and Science subjects down into different learning topics that align with what is being covered in the classroom each term. Learners can select the papers they want to complete and then answer the questions, and the platform then works out their marks and highlights correct and incorrect answers. The end result for the learners is a boost in confidence and the satisfaction of being in control of their studies, with fewer surprises waiting for them in their exams.

So if learners can ace these practice tests, they’ll be all set to score big on the real exams! There’s nothing like thorough preparation to create exam-time confidence.

The revision papers can be used on computer desktops, mobile devices and tablets. Considering the NSC exams start on 26th October 2015, there’s no better time than to start practising now!

Useful links
Download the app:


Or visit the mobi site to REGISTER: Do take a look at their new website.
You can also follow e-classroom on Facebook and on Twitter

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Blended learning classroom videos you’ll love watching…

Now that technology is being used more and more in the everyday classroom, Blended Learning is becoming very popular. Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace (Wikipedia).
CC image courtesy of Queens University Flickr
There are many versions of blended learning but from reading the literature it appears that the rotation model is the most common especially in the primary school classroom. This is likened to the ‘Learning Stations’ pedagogy that many primary school teachers use in their classrooms.
I came across five really interesting videos that allow one to visit a blended learning classroom and see it in operation. I am adding them here.

1. Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom
This is one of the Edutopia videos in their Blended Learning page on their blog. It shows a high school classroom participating in Blended Learning instruction. However the focus of the video is that it illustrates how a school-wide approach to blended learning allows teachers the flexibility to define and implement online instruction that meets their students needs.

2. Aspire ERES Academy: Blended Learning in Action
Aspire Public Schools is one of the nation's top-performing large school systems serving predominantly low-income students. Aspire seeks to transform underserved communities and it has a track record of success, with 100% of graduating seniors accepted to four year colleges. Always pushing the boundaries on innovation in teaching and learning, Aspire decided in 2011 to introduce blended learning into two of its schools. This video showcases blended learning in action at Aspire ERES Academy, a K-8 school located in Oakland, CA.

3. What Blended Learning Looks Like in the Classroom
This video was made in Ontario, Canada. Ontario has been engaging in a province-wide collaborative research study on effective technology-enabled teaching and learning practices. This video shows the reflections of the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.

4. Redesigning the school day at KIPP LA using a Station Rotation
This video has been uploaded by the Khan Academy. It shows a second grader class doing their blended learning programs throughout the day.

5. Blended Learning in Spokane Public Schools
An increasing number of Spokane Public Schools teachers are using Blended Learning, which employs online learning, student pacing and small group instruction to give a more personalized educational experience. Learn more at

All these videos highlight some of the benefits of blended learning, the main ones being that students are engaged, they can work at their own pace and get help from peers as well as from the teacher,  and they can direct their own learning.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Enter the Global Virtual Classroom website design contest – work in collaboration with two international classes on a project and design a Google site together – register before September 25th


This is a superb web design (using Google Sites) contest to participate in with your class – the Global Virtual Classroom . Only three days left to register.

Who may participate?
Teacher guided Primary (Grades 1-7) and Secondary (Grades 8-12, or equivalent) classes and youth groups around the world that have access to the Internet and know or are willing to learn Google Sites are eligible. A  group should have 15-40 students, between 7 and 18 years old as of September. If more than 40 students would like to participate, please apply as two groups and submit separate applications.

Technical skill requirements
The teacher in charge must be familiar with Google Sites and capable of helping students build web pages.

Commitment to the project
Teacher and students must be willing to make a serious commitment to collaborating with their partner schools for the duration of the project. Our emphasis is on teamwork across cultural and geographic distances, which is much harder than working together in the same room or even the same country.

Program Schedule
Recruiting Period - Applications open from July 1 through September 25
School Registration - Application and Registration Deadline September 30
Announce Participating Teams -October 1-3

Winners of the 2014/2015 competitionYou’ll find all the winners on this page:
An image of the winners in the Primary School section is shown below.


Friday, 18 September 2015

Useful Microsoft posts this week #20

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:

Teachers tell your classes about the Breakthrough Junior Challenge in Maths, Life Sciences or Physics – closing date is October 7th!

I saw this competition advertised on   It seems to be open to the world to 13-18 year olds!  The submission deadline is Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at 11:59 PM ET.

As long as your students are 13 or older at the time of registration and no older than 18 by October 7, 2015, they can participate. The organisers welcome submissions in English from everyone who meets the age requirements, including students who are homeschooled, students with disabilities, and students from all over the world. For additional details, check out the rules.

What do you have to do?
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge presented by Khan’s Academy and Breakthroughprize invites you to share your passion for math and science with the world! Submit a 10-minute video that illustrates a challenging concept or theory of mathematics, life sciences, or physics in an engaging, illuminating, and creative way.

You can explain an age-old theory or concept or a more recent breakthrough discovery, including one made by a Breakthrough Laureate or perhaps even by you! The winner will receive a $250,000 post-secondary scholarship!"


The winning prize is amazing! Visit and register.

10 Great Google Posts this week #29

1.  Google Tricks and Tips: Editing Images in Docs and Slides by Casey Bell
Casey says: "Did you know you can crop, add borders, and even reshape your images in Google Docs and Slides? This feature has been around for just a few months, and it a great feature for students and teachers! Editing images give you the abilitity to add a professional touch to your presentations and documents".

2. Research Tip – Start with an Image search by Alice Keeler
Alice says: "When trying to find information on a new topic one is likely to use a search engine such as Google or Bing. The results will be a text based list of websites that probably talk about that topic. Given that you do not know anything about the topic, how do you choose which websites to look at?"

3. Snagit Chrome Extension: Share the Google Drive Folder by Alice Keeler
Alice says: "The Snagit Chrome extension by TechSmith is one of my top recommendations for educators. It allows you to take screenshots and annotate them. Create screencast videos and if you can keep the recording under 20 seconds, create an animated GIF. The files automatically save to a folder in your Google Drive. This makes it a snap to attach the screenshots and videos to Google Classroom. Simply click on the Drive icon in Classroom and find the TechSmith folder. Other ways to share the screenshots and videos are with a link. However, files saved in Drive are defaulted to private."

4. Here's what it's REALLY like to work at Google, the 'world's most attractive' employer
The writer says: "Google is quite possibly the best place to work in the world. The tech giant headquartered in Mountain View, California, frequently ranks top tier on Business Insider's Best Companies To Work For In America list, landing in the No. 2 spot this year. Google was also judged to be the World's Most Attractive Employer this year by global research and advisory firm Universum, and employee ratings on Glassdoor earned the company the No. 1 spot on Glassdoor's Employees' Choice Awards, Best Places to Work 2015."

5. 11 Steps to Create A Google Plus Community for your Class by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
The writer says: "Here is a step by step guide to help you set up a Google Plus community. You can use this virtual environment as a collaborative space for your class where you can share resources and initiate discussions with and among students."

6. Google Classroom Launches Chrome Extension So Teachers Can Instantly Share Links With The Entire Class by Drew Olanoff
Drew says: "Google calls Classroom a “mission control for teachers,” allowing them to access all of Google Apps for Education within one central place. Teachers can use the product to chat with students, help students with their work and keep track of the daily goings on in the classroom.Today, the product is introducing something really nifty that will allow a teacher to share a link with students immediately without them having to give out a URL. If all of the students happen to be using a Chrome browser and are logged in, a teacher can jump on over to a webpage, click the extension and pick a class to share it with."

7. Three Easy Ways to Create A Google Plus Hangout with Your Students by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

The writer says: "To start a hangout, click on " hangout party" on the bottom left of your Google Plus page then click on " start a hangout " Then post a hangout invitation. Provide the description of the hangout and type in the emails of your students or whomever you want to participate in your hangout."

8. 15 Gmail Tips Every Teacher Should Know About by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
The writer says: "Over the past few months Gmail has witnessed the addition of a lot of interesting features and functionalities that enhanced its overall performance. Gmail also provides several hidden gems to users who are willing to dig a bit deeper and take their email experience to the next level. To help you make the best of Gmail, we have gone through Gmail help documentation and handpicked these wonderful tips for you. These are simple hacks that you can use on your Gmail to increase your productivity and be a Gmail savvy teacher."

9. Three Important Google Calendar Tips Every Teacher Should Know about by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
The writer says: "Google Calendar can be of tremendous help in enhancing your teaching productivity and facilitating your overall instructional workflow. As a teacher, you can use Calendar for different purposes. For example, you can use it to create events and share them with your students and parents; or  use it to share important dates and information with students. You can also create reminders about assignments and share them with your class. Check out these video tutorials to learn more about how to use Google Calendar.""

10. A Great Pairing: Google Chrome and DocentEDU  by Steve Goodgame


Steve says: "As you have undoubtedly figured out, Google Chrome is incredibly flexible and powerful, especially when paired with the right extensions.  The quest for going paperless appears daunting at first. Many teachers are reluctant, as they don’t know how to get good resources for their paperless classrooms. At first, it was a task to gather resources, and make it usable in a classroom setting. Not any longer. DocentEDU has made this task relatively painless, and for that, we thank them. After a brief discussion on Twitter last night with someone who has never heard of DocentEDU, I decided it was time to share the greatness of it."

Thursday, 17 September 2015

African Storybook update - 91 books have been translated into French

The African Storybook Project is one of the most amazing Literacy websites with its wide range of stories from Grades 1-3 learners in a multitude of African languages. These stories found at www.african each with beautiful illustrations, can be read online or they can be downloaded as PDFs and made into books. They use the Creative Commons licensing which enables the books to be free to use and adapt if so desired.

This month the African Storybook project is celebrating its French translations! Ninety-one ASP storybooks have been translated into this important language of wider communication in Africa, and they'll be adding more soon. They give particular thanks to Translators without Borders volunteers for contributing most of these translations.

Here is a small selection of the African Storybook Project’s French storybooks. Kalabushe, the talkative
Kalabushe, la bavarde Monkey and the hunter's wife
Maman Singe et la femme du chasseur Counting animals
Compter les animaux Girl called Norah
La fille du nom de Norah Crushed louse
Le pou écrasé Jaaka the fisherman
Jaaka le pêcheur Goat, Dog and Cow
La chèvre, le chien et la vache Pam-Pam bird
L’oiseau Pam-Pam Rabbit under the tree
Le lapin sous un arbre

Join the world’s largest lesson on September 28th – loads of resources provided

 On September 25th the leaders of 193 countries will agree and announce the new United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development - 17 goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. This plan for people and planet aims to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequalities and combat climate change. If every school in the world teaches children about these goals, we will help them become the generation that changed the world.
In the week of the 28th September The World’s Largest Lesson is asking teachers to share a lesson about the Global Goals with children throughout the world.

All the resources needed can be found at: The site has some amazing lesson ideas to get involved in.


The goal of the world’s largest lesson is to encourage children to feel part of the wider world and empowered to contribute to their community and globally. Why not participate? 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Can an individual start the change process towards embracing ICT at a school? Some ideas…

The new technologies that are developing rapidly in our digital world require a change of direction in education. We are preparing our students for an unknown future, one where employers will appreciate employees who know not only how to access information but also know how to analyse and evaluate what they find.  After looking through the videos mentioned in a previous post I thought about the fact that very often an individual at a school may have the vision for change before the management catches on. 

Very often, in a school, there is one person, a champion teacher almost, who has a vision for change but everyone else seems to want to just carry on in the same vein. Ultimately the only way real change can happen is if the leaders take the challenge and create, lead and manage an effective change management policy. In this post we’ll look to see how an individual can start the ball rolling.
Consequently it was very interesting to watch these two videos on Mr Kemp’s blog outlining the change process.

1) The Three Carriage Train
Craig Kemp likened a school to a three-carriage train  and shows how every school has people in each carriage. The front carriage has the early adopters, the middle carriage has those who could be interested and the back carriage has those who are not interested. He says “I always start by investing about 80% of my time and energy into the people in the middle carriage, because the back carriage will sap all of my energy initially (they can wait) and the front carriage people are already doing amazing things with technology. The idea behind this is simple, get your first follower and start a movement!”

b) First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy
The second video shows the change process, as initiated by an individual, in action. It demonstrates the dynamics of how individuals can start inspiring others around them.  It is about getting the first follower and starting a movement! Below you can view this interesting video followed by Craig Kemp’s takeways from the video.


Be sure to read Craig Kemp’s original post here

Generally speaking, as mentioned,  the change process can start with an individual, but to be really effective it needs to be caught and developed by the school leadership. The challenge to individuals is to continue making the difference – it could start a movement!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

DBE National #ICT Core Training Team workshop underway at Microsoft in Johannesburg this week

If you are following along on the Twitter hashtag #dbeicttrainer you’ll notice that some great training is taking place this week. The DBE National #ICT Core Training Team workshop is underway in Johannesburg, led by Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft and Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet.  50 core trainers from all provinces are building skills and learning about tools and courses to take back to their teachers.

DDG Themba Kojana set the scene for the week of learning ahead.


Nadia Albino from @UNICEF_SA addressed the workshop.


Takeaways from Day #1
Here are some of the takeaways from the first day that are being tweeted about:
  • NCTT (National Core Training Team) members get to grips with the @MicrosoftEduSA Math platform
  • Skype in the classroom, OneNote , Microsoft Math, 2Enable are all eLearning Game changers
  • Still going strong after nearly 7hrs of ICT training
  • Mike Matthews is giving an introduction to the 2Enable App.
  • Megan and Victor introducing OneNote at Microsoft Head Office
  • Did you know that you can send a big document to your friends through Skype as big as it is
  • Megan is taking us through Teaching with Technology courses with lots of benefits. This course has SACE credits for Professional Development.
  • One of the participants tweeted out the image of the white paper on e-education.
  • 63 Teacher Centres are going to be converted into Microsoft IT Academies as hubs for employability skills for the youth
  • Young graduates will be identified to train youth in our EDCs .
  • SA is one of the nominated countries where Microsoft will be focusing on Education
  • MEC's, Districts & Provincial Heads to be trained by Microsoft
  • Glued to OneNote presentation with Victor Ngobeni and Megan Rademeyer. Teachers will love this, all work in one place.

One of the quotes that was tweeted out by several participants is:
"If you want to go fast go alone. But to go far we go together. Changing the education landscape needs all"
Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet wrapped up the day’s training:


We’ll follow the #dbeicttrainer  Twitter hashtag through the week to find out more about this important training.