Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Meet the five South African MIEExpert Educators attending the Microsoft E2 Education Exchange in Toronto

The E2 - Education Exchange is Microsoft in Education’s 3-day annual event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. The aim of the E2 is to encourage educators to be inspired, empowered, and equipped to make transformational changes to classrooms everywhere. The E2 is currently taking place in Toronto Canada.  Five South African MIE Expert educators were selected to attend this event accompanied by Angela Schaerer from Microsoft South Africa and Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNetSA who is also a Microsoft Fellow. Angela Schaerer refers to the five as "The Boys".
The 'Boys'from South Africa
We thought you might like to know something about the five from South Africa.

Amandla Vinjwa from Sivile Primary School in the Western Cape
Amandla believes that technology is like a bridge that could help you to cross a gigantic river. It has allowed him to use creative and innovative ways of teaching and learning. It allows learners to participate in their teaching and learning. It allows learners to be pro-active in creating a meaningful lesson. Amandla believes that due  to technology he is able to reach all the learners with different learning abilities. Sway is an example of app that promotes more engaging lessons. The learners collect, store and share their work electronically. As a teacher it is possible to reach and give individual support and group support as the learning objectives and outcomes are clearly visible. Microsoft's online resources make it possible for us as teachers to develop 21st Century skills, thus Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Problem-solving, and Self-regulative skills become part of learning. The offline resources such as Office packages apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, etc. are useful tools that support teaching, learning and administrative duties.

When asked what he is expecting from the E2 event Amandla said, "I have great expectations of the E2 Exchange event. I see the E2 as a life changing experience and an opportunity to learn from other like-minded educators, teachers and technology leaders across the world. I am hoping to learn about new Microsoft tools that I can implement in my classroom. I am hoping to participate in new ideas with the technological leaders I meet. I am planning to learn what they do and how they do things in their classrooms. I hope to gain more knowledge and skills about the integration of technology into teaching as well to collaborate with teachers across the world. I plan to gain a wealth of networking opportunities with the global community. I am looking forward to meeting other teachers and being able to connect with them after the event to create educational, professional continuous engagement."

Freddy Chireka from Vastratech
Freddy uses Sway to create quick and engaging digital storytelling presentations to introduce content. He uses OneNote for lesson notes, lesson plans and content banks for his audience. He uses SharePoint to share and store content for his team members. As a MIE Trainer he raises awareness and develops fellow educators both online, using Skype, and in face-to-face training using Office 365 for Education. He is also working on influencing many schools in Gauteng to migrate to the Office 365 platform

Freddy sees the E2 Exchange as a lifetime opportunity to meet over 300 Innovative Educators across the globe in a setting where we can learn from one another and find the best ways to combine content, pedagogy and blended technology to achieve greater student engagement that will lead to better student outcomes. He wants to see how other educators are integrating technology in their learning spaces and he plans to come back and share with his colleagues in South Africa.

Justin Harper, from SAHETI School, Johannesburg
At SAHETI School they have implemented BYOD as opposed to other schools introducing dedicated computers for the students. They believe the technology you introduce into your educational environment not only needs to be device-agnostic but also browser-agnostic. All their products that they have introduced can work on any platform. The teachers have taken to OneNote during the course of 2016 and will love the introduction of Microsoft Classroom when they introduce it. SAHETI has over 75 Smart Interactive Whiteboards, 50 Aruba iAP 225 access points, state of the art HP 3PAR and SAN technology and fibre break out. With the introduction of Office365 to the students and teachers, they have enjoyed the interaction in their third term SAM project, whereby students and staff needed to interact with any form of technology. Teachers not only use technology to interact with the student via our movie creation, but also enjoy having a fun quiz on their LMS SharePoint environment.

Justin believes that one of the exciting prospects of the E2 is the various educational opportunities offered at the conference. Everyone can learn no matter how experienced they are. He is looking forward to networking with peers and feels the best way to approach it is with collaboration. But best of all he is looking forward to having fun. All work and no play can make you old too fast! This conference can add a layer of enjoyment to managing your career growth by mixing a social aspect into your learning efforts.

Matthew Hains from Crawford College, Sandton
Matthew, who was also the 2016 ISPA teacher winner in the technology section, likes to integrate technology into every lesson and empower students to do more, more efficiently! he says that the most exciting technology advancement that he has seen is the advancement of tablets becoming more commonplace in the classroom and the increased access to online resources via the Internet.

Matthew hopes to gain inspiration from other teachers. He also hope to gain knowledge he have not yet obtained in my teaching with technology. He hopes to form links with other teachers and perhaps collaborate with them across international borders.

Peter de Lisle from Hilton College, Pietermaritizburg

Peter's aim is to teach his students to use the thinking and problem solving tools which are built into the various Microsoft products. Peter's learning activity that he presenting on at this eventt is called The Learning Journey. It is a year-long programme that teaches Grade 8s the academic and ICT skills and tools that will carry them through their High School years. By learning how to use the built-in academic and thinking tools in Office 365, students develop their ability to read, write and think. 

Peter says he is hoping to meet many innovative colleagues from around the world, and to learn from them at the E2 Exchange. He hopes to stay in touch with them, and create links between their students and his. He hopes to experience what is cutting edge in education and see how he can apply those ideas in his own practice.


Megan Rademeyer and the five MIEs from  SA



Tweets from the E2 Exchange











Get involved in the Microsoft MIEE program in 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. You can learn more about the program at this link: http://bit.ly/1H4gKcB on the Microsoft Educator Community.

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