Wednesday, 11 May 2016

MIEExpert Spotlight #13: Mabore Lekalakala speaks on using the Microsoft Educator Community to access professional development


This is the thirteenth post in the series "MIEExpert Spotlight for South Africa". The tab with all the posts can be found at: http://bit.ly/1ZYy8Z7. Today we focus again on Mabore Lekalaka from Limpopo who is one of our Microsoft's #MIEExperts for 2016.

More about Mabore
Mabore Lekalakala, a Mathematics and Computer Literacy teacher at Toronto Primary School in Limpopo Province, South Africa is passionate about using technology in the classroom on a daily basis. She says, “My passion is developing young minds; helping them to develop positive values and be the best at what they do. Introducing them to technology is an essential part of this process.”

Mabore and Mathematics
Mabore has received numerous accolades for her efforts to teach mathematics in an exciting and engaging way, despite limited resources. She received a coveted National Teachers Award for Excellence in ICT Enhanced Education in 2013 and Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 2016. One of the achievements she is particularly proud of was her selection as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in 2015. She says, “After submitting my learning activity to the Microsoft Educator Network, I was selected by Microsoft in 2015 to be a member of the MIE Expert program, and as part of the package I earned an all-expense paid trip to the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Redmond, Washington 2015.”




The learning activity that Mabore submitted as part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program was entitled “Innovative Content Creation through Interactive Mathematics Learning”. This learning activity allowed Grade five learners to construct their own contextualised Maths games, songs, flashcards, PowerPoints, Popplets, iBooks and posters using Pages.




The Microsoft Educator Community
Mabore loves to help upskill teachers in the use of technology and has run numerous training sessions providing teachers with an orientation to the Microsoft Educator Community and the professional development opportunities availible through this portal. The Microsoft Educator Community is a platform that teachers can use to access professional development, lesson plans, digital tools, oppurtunities for growth and interaction with other teachers across the globe.

The Teaching with Technology course
Mabore offers Teaching with Technology Professional Development training sessions to educators. The Teaching with Technology course is an online course that is available anytime and anywhere to educators, without the expense of travelling to a face-to-face training session. Nonetheless, Mabore has found that teachers are unlikely to find and complete the course on their own, and that a face-to-face kick-off session is a good way to get teachers started on the course.
“I present this course three to four times a month. I approach Circuit managers and Principals who then invite me to their schools at different circuits. I also train teachers in their groups and individually over weekends and after school hours. So far I have trained over 250 principals and teachers. I would like to see the Department of Education making it compulsory for all educators to take online digital courses like this. The Department could also employ full time technology experts and field trainers in every school to train, monitor and support technology integration into curriculum.”
                                 

Empowerment through the E2 Educator Exchange

Mabore felt extraordinarily honoured to attend the E2 Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington in 2015. “The theme of bravery, courage and leadership empowered me and made me rethink my role as a teacher and a person. I learned not only to be a brave and courageous leader but to also instil the bravery, courage and leadership theme into my learners. Presently our school is having a connectivity challenge which limits me somehow, but with the passion and the new strength I regained from the E2, I am able to overcome it in one way or another. I create Office Mix and TED Ed lessons at home using my own Internet connection and use them in class to deliver my lessons. I see it working perfectly well as as I wait for our Internet connectivity to be upgraded sometime in the future.”

Find out more about the teaching with Technology course: SACE accredited (15 points)
This course is free and it can be found on the Microsoft Educator Community at http://bit.ly/1S1YYQl. It is SACE accreddited for South African educators and is worth 15 points. The Teaching with Technology (TwT) curriculum is designed to help educators understand how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can enhance the teaching and learning experience and enable students to acquire 21st century skills. Among many benefits, Teaching with Technology is free, aligned with the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. Successful completion of Teaching with Technology will prepare you to pass the Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam.

                                         
Get involved in the Microsoft MIEE program in 2016/2017
If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, think about entering Microsoft's Innovative Teacher MIEExpert program in 2017 when applications reopen later in the year. You can learn more about the program at this link: http://bit.ly/1H4gKcBon the Microsoft Educator Community. You won’t regret it!

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