Friday, 28 October 2016

Educator Spotlight #3: Setshaba Mobe - The Magic of PowerPoint

This is the third post in a new series called ‘Educator Spotlight’ highlighting South African educators encouraging the effective using ICT Technology in a school setting. In this post we focus on Steshaba Mobe from Summerville Primary in Free State. The link to this series of posts can be found at http://bit.ly/2cSfEwG


Free State’s Summerville Primary School is situated in Welkom and is part of the Telkom Foundation’s Connected Schools Program. Our spotlight for this month is on Mr Setshaba Mobe who is an Economic and Management Sciences educator for Grade 9 learners at the school. The Free State Department of Education official, Mr Tyran Ferndale,  nominated Setshaba as a shining star due to his perseverance in making time to plan, prepare and implement in the classroom what he learns on a daily basis. “He is always keen to teach and learn from his colleagues," says Tyrone Ferndale..  

Setshaba has a great passion for teaching and learning. He believes that keeping up to date with technology brings life into the classroom for both himself and his learners. When asked about his plans regarding the use of technology, he replied, “I want to go paperless, I want my learners to be part of the change and I want them not to be limited by resources.” 

Setshaba's use of PowerPoint in the classroom
Setshaba says that when he first went for ICT training he had the bare minimum skills, which included typing in a word processor and saving documents. Today, he is always excited for his next lesson because he has learnt how to use PowerPoint as a great multimedia tool for presenting lessons in his classroom. He carries out searches for relevant images or videos with sound, and embeds these into his presentations. He says, “This use of PowerPoint creates a lively, learning environment for the learners and most of all keeps me on my toes as I cannot go to class unprepared.” Setshaba’s typical day ends with him using his personal laptop at home to create lesson plans and a PowerPoint presentation to accompany his lesson. He says that time and practice has made him a better user. Setshaba comments that, just like any other skill, the more you practice the better you become. He recalls that after the very first session of teacher training with SchoolNet SA, the school set up refresher lessons to provide teachers with the practice needed to master the skills that were taught. This really helped him. Setshaba now extends his own skills by continually thinking of new ways to use technology in his classroom. “Technology is everywhere, smartphones, banks and computers –if we not going to use it we are denying our learners great opportunities. Being unprepared is no longer an option, come to class well prepared because learners see it and appreciate it. Learners relate better to images and sound and technology does this very well.”


Motivating other educators
Setshaba is looking forward to participating in the next training session where he will have opportunities to share some of his lessons with other teachers. He reiterates that there are other teacher colleagues can also develop great lessons if they try. He would like each teacher to share a lesson so that collectively they can work on making more meaningful lessons for their learners.

PowerPoint is a valuable educational tool
The very popular PowerPoint is Microsoft’s presentation tool, often used for the creation of slide-based e-learning content. (Most schools in South Africa have access to PowerPoint as part of the Microsoft agreement.) Jane Hart recently published her well-known annual 'Top Learning Tools' list, which has grown from 100 in previous years to 200 in 2016 http://bit.ly/1E7NhhX . This list is put together from the votes of learning professionals worldwide. This year PowerPoint rose from 5th position in 2015 to 4th place this year!  Jane Hart lists reasons that learning professionals gave for selecting this tool as a favourite. Here are some of the reasons http://bit.ly/2f1MCc6:
  1. “This powerful piece of software is under appreciated and unjustly judged. Great for engaging and interactive presentations is done correctly. Also some good tools for picture editing.” Michele Brown, Trainer/Instructor, USA
  2. “An oldie but goodie and still used for presentation materials and notes for our courses.” Christine Garroway, Trainer/Instructor, USA
  3. “This misused tool is fantastic for image manipulation, poster creation and making short videos/digital stories (never for bullet point slides)” Clare Thomson, e-learning developer, Northern Ireland
  4. “use to create simple graphics for screencasts” Daniel Johnston, Instructional Designer, USA
  5. “because It makes a great storyboard tool, and also good for ILT Leader’s guides, Ted Villella, e-learning developer
  6. “presentations, documentation & storyboarding” Linda Wright, L&D Manager
  7. “great for storyboarding and, believe it or not, creating and editing graphics and photos!” e-learning developer, USA
  8. “good tool to create or manipulate basic graphics” Instructional Designer, USA
  9. “Hands down my favorite tool for doing much more than just creating presentations. As someone who started developing eLearning on a limited budget, I learned to flex PowerPoint to the max.” Stephen Naso, L&D Manager, USA
  10. “Use daily for creating presentations, complex graphics, photograph enhancement and removing backgrounds, greeting cards” John Thompson, University/College Teacher, Canada
  11. “Presentations, training videos & self-study skill builders” Ann Gall, Instructional designer, USA
  12. “I use it to create training presentations and facilitator guides, ebooks, infographics, narrated videos, and to create and edit simple graphics.” Daniel Jones, Trainer/Instructor, Switzerland
  13. “I work in PowerPoint every day for a variety of reasons. Although most don’t realize it, PowerPoint is an excellent option for: creating custom graphics,image editing,video creation, mobile friendly interactive learning content (mlearning),onine learning, and of course presentations” Mike Taylor, USA

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