Monday, 31 October 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #75

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. (The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 




 Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #75 http://bit.ly/2faS0d0 

Why not tune in to our free SchoolNet webinar on Thurs 3.30pm - 'Tech-ing Additional Languages' with Bronwyn Desjardins


We are pleased to announce that our next webinar, Tech-ing Additional Languages, will be held this week on Thursday 3rd November at 3:30pm. Our speaker will be Bronwyn Desjardins, an Educational Technology Coach at St Stithians Girls’ Preparatory in Johannesburg. Bronwyn is an Apple Distinguished Educator with 18 years of teaching experience. We will be using the Adobe Connect webinar platform for the webinar. Please join us if you can. (note: If you would like to present a short webinar on a topic of interest to teachers, please let fiona@schoolnet.org.za know!)


Webinar details
Webinar title: Tech-ing Additional Languages
Summary: In this webinar, Bronwyn will show us how to use numerous applications to assist with teaching additional languages. These will include Book Creator, Futaba, Spell Board, QR Codes and others. She will draw from her years of experience as an EFAL and French Additional Language teacher to provide time-saving examples of how to effectively integrate technology into teaching additional languages. These tips help make language learning personal, exciting and effective.
Date: Thursday 3rd November, 2016 at 3:30pm, online
Duration: 15 - 30 minutes
Presenter: Bronwyn Desjardins is an iTeacher (2012) winner, MIE runner-up (2010) and Apple Distinguished Educator who has presented at numerous IT conferences. She has 18 years of teaching experience including teaching oversees as an EFL/ESL teacher.
Host: Fiona Beal (SchoolNet)
To join the meeting:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/additionallanguages/

Note
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

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

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #78

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #74

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. (The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 




Monday, 24 October 2016

Tips for Foundation Phase reading lessons using a Windows 10 tablet offline - as inspired by the IkhweziLesizwe Foundation Phase teachers

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Tablets are revolutionary devices that hold great potential for transforming learning. In the hands of skilled teachers and interested learners, tablets can be used to create some fantastic learning opportunities.
Learners at IkhweziLesizwe Primary School
Western Cape Microsoft Windows tablet devices
Recently Microsoft and the Western Cape Education Department delivered 99 Windows 10 tablets, in three cabinets, to 42 Western Cape Schools that would otherwise never be able to afford such devices. Selected Grade 1,2 and 3 teachers from each school, along with teachers from other schools in the vicinity, were provided with a day’s training presented by SchoolNet facilitators. These teachers shared what they had learned with the rest of their staff when they returned to their schools; and then, a few weeks later, each school was visited by a SchoolNet facilitator to see how the teachers and classes were managing with the tablets.Mostly, no Internet is available in the classrooms at these schools, so the teachers have to use offline apps in their lessons. The Windows 10 tablet is well-suited to offline use as it is very similar to using a Windows 10 computer offline.

My visit to IkhweziLesizwe Primary School 
I was privileged to visit IkhweziLesizwe Primary School situated in Khayelitsha, one of the poorest areas of Cape Town, as part of this visitation programme. The minute that I stepped out of my car I knew I was in a happy school environment. People greeted me and smiled and I could hear the happy buzz of children learning in the classroom. 

IkhweziLesizwe Primary School, Khayelitsha
Generally, like in most Khayelitsha schools, the class sizes are large, ranging from 40 - 47 learners. The principal Mrs Mayeye is a very pleasant person who is extremely proud of her school and its achievements. 
Mrs Mayeye showing photos of the school's hockey and drama achievements
As we talked in her office and I told her of some of the exciting things that are happening in technology around the world in classrooms, such as the ever-popular mystery Skype sessions, she grew very excited and begged me to come back once Internet has been installed at their school, to get them involved in these opportunities. I found that teachers at the school had developed a tablet timetable from Grade R to Grade 3 and and they were well into using the tablets routinely every week. They mainly used an offline program called Talking Stories on the tablet, for reading lessons; but they were very keen to hear more about how they could use the other apps in their lessons when I presented the coaching session after school. As I watched the teachers using the tablets, whilst observing them in their classrooms, I had the idea of writing a post about using the tablet offline for reading in a Foundation Phase classroom.

How the IkhweziLesizwe teachers use the tablets for reading
Some teachers use the tablets for group reading sessions while others use them for whole-class reading. The reading app installed on the tablets, Talking Stories, has been installed in such a way that it can be used offline; and since there is no WIFI in the classrooms at the school, this is a great advantage. Although the teachers enjoyed this app with its English stories they really longed to also have isiXhosa stories on their devices especially as Grade 1-3 learners learn in their mother tongue. Since the classes are so big the learners have to use the tablets in pairs.
Grade 2 learners

Grade 3 learners
Different ways to use tablets for reading
Here are a few ideas for reading:

1. Read aloud
The teacher reads to the whole class, modeling fluency, thinking processes, and the type of expressive reading necessary for comprehension and engagement. The read aloud often builds upon the learners' existing knowledge and skills, but it also serves as a useful way to introduce new types of text and reading strategies. In the read aloud the teacher often thinks out loud so that students can learn they techniques they use to make connections, visualize stories, make inferences, use fix-up strategies when they don't understand what they read, determine unknown words, and formulate questions about the text.

2. Paired reading
It really helps when learners can read to someone. A reading partner, sometimes called a reading buddy, is a good choice in the classroom. The learners can read to one another and help one another.

Two learners doing paired reading
3. Shared reading
Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience that occurs when all the learners join in or share the reading of a big book or other enlarged text while guided and supported by a teacher or other experienced reader. Students observe an expert reading the text with fluency and expression. The text must be large enough for all the students to see clearly, so they can share in the reading of the text. I noticed that the teachers had the BIG Book versions of the Talking Stories which would enable shared reading to proceed smoothly. (If one didn’t have a Big Book available a data projector projecting on to a screen could work,) The Department of Education developed an excellent booklet called Teaching Reading in the Early Grades some years ago. It explains the process of shared reading really well. It can be accessed at https://goo.gl/oXKP4V .

4. Group-guided reading
Group-guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of learners who demonstrate similar reading behaviours and can all read similar levels of texts. (The challenge to a teachers is always what to do with the rest of the class while group-guided reading is taking place.) Very often, the teacher will begin a session by introducing the text and modeling a particular strategy. The teacher and student engage in meaningful conversations about what they are reading, and the teacher can build on their use of different reading strategies over time. This time of classroom reading instruction is essential to promoting essential reading skills.

5. Independent reading
Independent reading gives learners the opportunity to practice the strategies they’ve learned through group-guided reading, shared reading, and teacher read alouds. In independent reading time the learners choose their own stories.

Components of a successful reading lesson
There are said to be five components to a successful reading lesson, and teachers need to incorporate these into their lessons; namely phonemic awareness, word recognition of both sight words and phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. Teachers will use various activities during their reading lessons to develop these components. For example, to develop comprehension teachers might use 'retelling'. The learners retell the story in different ways to a partner, a group or the teacher.


Reading strategies
A reading strategy is a plan of action designed to help learners understand the material and direct their attention to the details.. Strategies usually combine a number of skills simultaneously. It is important that teachers are aware of different reading strategies. The essential thing is that teachers have a plan of what they will do to start the reading lesson, during the reading lesson and after the reading lesson. A post by Teachthought ‘25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area’ https://goo.gl/XlFA5G shows some useful reading strategies such as:
Finding digital isiXhosa reading material for Grades 1-3
When the teachers mentioned that they would dearly love digital reading material in Isixhosa, I immediately thought of the African storybook project http://www.africanstorybook.org/ developed right here in South Africa for Grade 1-3 learners.

Isixhosa books on the African Storybook website - all free

The stories are all free in the languages of Africa, and they are downloadable, with beautiful illustrations. The project has an app for Android and iTunes but I don’t see one for Windows devices. The only way I can imagine downloading these lovely stories in isiXhosa to the tablets, with my limited understanding, is as follows:
Download the stories to a computer using WIFI and then:
a) Transfer them to a SD card and store them in a Windows device with a link on the home screen
OR
b) Transfer the stories via Bluetooth to another Windows device.

Download the African Storybook Project app from the African Storybook website

Further Reading lesson resources for teachers

Friday, 21 October 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #77

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.


Useful Google posts this week #77
View more lists from Fiona Beal

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #73

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. (The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 




Friday, 14 October 2016

Ideas for using the Microsoft Paint app on a Windows tablet in Foundation Phase lessons


Submitted by Fiona Beal
Tablets are an attractive device to use in the classroom because they are halfway between laptops and mobile phones. This means they are big enough to work on for a period of time, on a desk, in a classroom. Their touch screen capability allows them to be used with a stylus which is similar to using a pen or pencil. The use of touch-screen tablets can bring many advantages to the classroom. One such advantage is that learners become more enthusiastic in their lessons. The big challenge to teachers is to consider not only the apps and the technical side of the tablet devices, but to be aware of pedagogical considerations as well.

Recently Microsoft and the Western Cape Education Department delivered 99 Windows 10 tablets, in three cabinets, to 42 Western Cape Schools that would otherwise never be able to afford such devices. Selected Grade 1,2 and 3 teachers from each school, along with teachers from other schools in the vicinity, were provided with a day’s training presented by SchoolNet facilitators. These teachers shared what they had learned with the rest of their staff when they returned to their schools; and then, a few weeks later, each school was visited by a  SchoolNet facilitator to see how the teachers and classes were managing with the tablets.Mostly, no Internet is available in the classrooms at these schools, so the teachers have to use offline apps in their lessons. The Windows 10 tablet is well-suited to offline use as it is very similar to using a Windows 10 computer offline.

I was privileged to visit five schools in one of the poorest areas of Cape Town, Khayelitsha, as part of this visitation programme. In this post  I’ll refer briefly to my visit to Isikhokelo Primary School in Khyalitsha. In Khayelitsha, generally, the class sizes range from 40 - 47 learners.


The Grade 1 class at Isikhokelo Primary using their tablets
I found this visit very inspiring, as the teachers who were trained had shared what they had learnt with the other Foundation Phase teachers after the training, and the school had drawn up a timetable and a plan for using the devices. When I visited some of the classes I could see that both the teachers and learners were feeling comfortable using the tablets. One of the apps I noticed them using when I visited their classes was the Paint app. This post will focus on some ideas for using a painting app such as Paint in the classroom.


10 ideas for using Paint in a Foundation Phase class Microsoft Paint doesn’t appear in the alphabetical list of apps on a Windows tablet, but it shows up when one types 'Paint' into the search bar. This is a very useful app, especially in Foundation Phase, as it can also be used as a whiteboard with colour pens and an eraser.
Benefits of using the Paint app in the classroom
  • The learners can identify different colours, shades of colours and sizes of pens. They can develop their fine motor skills when they use a stylus with this app.
  • The nature of this app taps into a learner's creativity.
  • The Paint app can be used as a whiteboard in a lesson.
  • Learners can manipulate different shapes.
  • Learners can use a text tool to type words. 
  • The work can be saved if desired.
Using the Paint app in the classroom
Paint can be used in a number of different ways in a Foundation Phase classroom. Here are ten ideas.
  1. In reading lessons learners can paint a favourite scene from the story just read. They can describe what they have drawn, and why it was their favourite part of the story.
  2. Learners can illustrate sentences from the story. The teacher could highlight a sentence and the learners draw what they visualise. 
  3. Learners can redraw a picture that appears in the story.
  4. Learners can also complete an unfinished story in the form of a picture.
  5. In phonics lessons learners can listen for the beginning sound of a word spoken by the teacher and they can write it in Paint. The teacher could also call out some of the phonics they have learned and the learners could practise writing the sounds on their tablet devices. 
  6. Paint is useful in Life Skills lessons. For example, when learning about dental hygiene, learners can draw a picture of a beautiful smile that demonstrates healthy teeth. 
  7. Learners can easily draw diagrams and label them. For example they could draw a body and label the body parts when learning about the body.
  8. In Maths lessons that involve using shapes, Paint provides a great selection of shapes that can be manipulated and coloured in.
  9. In Maths lessons Paint can also be used for writing the Maths sum and working out the answer by means of a sketch. The learners could be asked to explain their thinking to a partner.
  10. Paint can be used in an Art lesson especially when art resources are limited at a school.
An example of a lesson using Paint
Topic
Draw a picture showing a new end to a story.

Objective:
The learners will create their own story ending after listening to a story.

Before class begins
Locate an interesting story for the class. You will either read the story to the class or tell them the story, but remember to leave out the ending.

Opening activity
  • Read or tell the story to the class modelling as much reading expression as possible. Do not mention the end of the story.
  • Discuss possible story endings with the class.
  • Tell the learners they will draw a picture showing their own ending to the story.
Task: Draw an ending to the story
  • Introduce the Paint app to the learners if they have not used it before. Talk about the paintbrush sizes, the colour palette, the paint pot for colouring in, and the eraser for rubbing out mistakes.
  • Let the learners use the stylus when using Paint to have better fine motor control. The stylus in this instance is their paintbrush.
  • Walk around and help those learners who require assistance. Be quick to compliment the learners on their drawings.
  • Let the learners use the A icon in Paint to type their name. They could also type their own sentence about the picture they have drawn.
Ending the lesson
  • Let the learners discuss their story endings with one another.
  • The image can be saved to illustrate how to save, but this will need to be erased after a while to save space on the tablet. 
A tutorial on using Microsoft Paint



Whatever tablet you use in your classroom, make sure that you have a similar app to Microsoft Paint that can be used as a whiteboard as well as an art programme. You'll be surprised how often you'll use it in your lessons. 

Useful Google in Education posts this week #76

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.











Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Africa Code Week coming up (15th October - 23rd October) Invitation to register


Are you ready to CRACK THE CODE! Africa Coding Week 2016 is going to be the largest coding event in Africa with over 30 countries participating in coding from 15 October – 23 October 2016. Organised by SAP, this event invites youth in the following age groups (8-11; 12-17; 18-24) and has customised coding programme for each group. Coding is fun and all yours to learn! Why not try your hand at creating your own interactive games? For more information visit this link:
http://africacodeweek.org/activities/live-events

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Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #72

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. (The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 




Monday, 10 October 2016

Apply to be part of the Microsoft Schools Program in South Africa - closing date Friday 28 October

Is your school actively using technology to improve teaching and learning? Is your school using (or considering deploying) Office 365 for use in school administration and the classroom? Are your school leaders using technology to assist with school transformation? Would your school like technical support and professional development from Microsoft to make better use of your Microsoft technology for education?

If you have answered “yes” to these questions, consider signing your school up to be part of the Microsoft Schools Program by Friday 28 October 2016.

When we receive and approve your application to be a Microsoft School – you will receive Microsoft School status for demonstrating commitment to embracing technology to transform education and improve learning outcomes for students.

Through the Microsoft Schools programme your school would receive the following:

  • Technical support for getting Office 365 successfully deployed at your school
  • Teacher professional development to ensure that it can be used effectively to provide a 21st century teaching and learning environment
  • Opportunities to connect and share ideas with other schools in your region, across the country and globally
  • Invitations to Microsoft in Education events
Please apply to be part of the Microsoft Schools Program by completing the application form here by Friday 28 October 2016.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #75

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers.



View more lists from Fiona Beal

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Educator Spotlight #2: Sarietjie Musgrave – Peer Coaching for Staff Development

This is the second 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 Sarietjie Musgrave, Head of head of ICTISE at the University of Free State. The link to this series of posts can be found at http://bit.ly/2cSfEwG


Sarietjie Musgrave has had a long association with Microsoft. Whilst still teaching at Eunice High School for Girls, a Microsoft Showcase School, Sarietjie won the national and regional Microsoft Innovative Teachers competition in 2008 for her “Spread the Sunshine” project which she presented at Microsoft Forums in Ghana and Hong Kong. Now a Microsoft Mentor, Sarietjie has continued to attend Microsoft Global Forums, frequently as a judge or a presenter. “These global forums always influence my thinking in the local context. They give one a bench mark. It’s about broadening your own horizon and your own thinking. You meet people who are passionate about learning and who makes things happen through integrating technology in the classroom. This helps you to get away from an island existence.”

Whilst she is no longer a school teacher, as the head of ICTISE (ICT Innovation in School Education), a unit of the University of the Free State, Sarietjie continues to encourage and mentor teachers to use technology in the classroom. One of the ways that Sarietjie acheives this is by running the Microsoft Peer Coaching Program which is designed to train teacher leaders to serve as peer coaches for their colleagues. Sarijetjie feels that peer coaching plays a vital role in getting teachers excited about technology and that it can have a positive effect on university faculty too. At the time of being interviewed Saarietjie said, “We’re in our sixth round of the Peer Coaching course now in the Free State, and I have also done it with the different faculties in the University of the Free State”.


What is Peer Coaching?
Peer Coaching can be offered as a face-to-face course, comprising eight workshops over a nine month period or as a blended course with online interaction and activities – depending on the needs of the participating teachers. Both versions of the course require the principals of participating schools to attend some sessions to see what the program is about. Sarietjie says, “In our last group we had 24 schools attending, and 21 of the principals attended session one. The moment a principal attends session one we know that this will be a principal who will support the teacher who attends the eight sessions."

Teachers who have been identified as their school’s peer coaches are encouraged to focus on themselves and then to take what they have learned and share it with three others. “The important thing is to get the right people attending the course so as to impact the next generation of schools. In a Peer Coaching course one finds all the different types of schools – High Schools, Primary Schools and Special Needs Schools and this adds to the depth of the conversation.”


Showcasing how tools can be used
Sarietjie likes to use as many Microsoft applications as possible in a Peer Coaching course because of the flexibility of using applications offline and online. In sessions they focus on OneNote and OneDrive to start with, but also have opportunities to use other tools so that peer coaches see how easy these are to use and gather ideas for incorporating them into their own lessons. “We ask the teachers to create a Sway to share with their principals on what Peer Coaching is and what it can do for the school. They all create PowerPoints and use Movie Maker. We also use other applications such as Doodle, Today’s Meet and Kahoot to get the teachers excited about technology. We hold QR scavenger hunts. Our idea is to give teachers hooks to take back to the schools to catch the staff and draw them in.”

OneNote
One of Sarietjie’s favourite applications is OneNote which she uses every day in different ways: to take notes in meetings, to reflect on and record ideas and to communicate with schools. “I love One Note but I actually love all the Microsoft tools and I am always looking for ways to use them with learners.”


Getting (and staying) inspired
Sarietjie loves the way Microsoft listens to teachers, providing professional development and taking note of their needs in the classroom. She appreciates their free offline offerings for teachers in a country such as South Africa where connectivity is not always available. “I’d like to see Microsoft continuing to listen to teachers and to continue offering as much as possible free of charge to teachers.”

As someone who continually encourages and inspires others to use technology in new and exciting ways Sarietjie finds it important to stay up to date with new tools and trends and to also be inspired by others. “Social media is the river that fills my dam enabling me to go and give to others,” she says.


Aspirations for ITC technology use in South African schools
Sarietjie has many aspirations for the spread of the use ICT technology in South African schools. “ I would love for schools to have good connectivity at a low rate so that all learners can have access to technology and information to bridge the digital divide. I would love to see teachers being proud of what they are doing and being willing to share. I would like to see a bigger focus on ICT skills in early childhood learners. Schools need to do their homework well and think it through to avoid expensive mistakes. Training is vital. “

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Useful Microsoft posts this week #71

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.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Internet.org by Facebook and Free Basics in South Africa – offered by Cell C


 
Free Basics by Facebook partners with mobile operators in different countries to provide people with access to useful services on their mobile phones in areas where internet access may be less affordable. In South Africa, Cell C has thus far partnered with Free Basics and has a number of websites available for free without data charges (zero-rated), and include content such as the news, employment, health, education and local information. By introducing people to the benefits of the internet through these websites, Free Basics hope to bring more people online and help improve their lives.

Are you a Cell C subscriber? If you are why don’t you try Free Basics? 

Follow the steps below or via the link https://www.cellc.co.za/cellc/free-basics-by-facebook




What kind of content is available?
Intel’s She will Connect programme is part of the zero-rated offering which aims to provide digital literacy to women and girls in rural areas. This programme offers women an opportunity to learn about digital safety, thinking through online profiles, planning online interactions and ways to marketing small businesses online. Other sites include Bing Search, Wikipedia, Money Matters...and the list keeps growing.

Try it out and let us know your thoughts info@schoolnet.org.za