Wednesday, 28 June 2017

MIEExpert Amandla Vinjwa advocates upskilling yourself on the Microsoft Educator Community

We have written about MIEExpert Amandla Vinjwa before when he was selected to attend the Microsoft E2 Global Forum in Toronto Canada earlier this year. He was featured in our series "MIEExpert Spotlight" for South Africa. The tab with all the posts can be found at: http://bit.ly/1ZYy8Z7We focus on him again how as a teacher who initiates his own professional development on the Microsoft Educator Community. Amandla is a primary school teacher at Sivile Primary School in Cape Town, Western Cape. 

Amandla Vinjwa from Sivile Primary School in Khyelitsha, Cape Town, believes in upskilling himself in professional development. He is a Social Sciences, Maths and Technology teacher who makes the most of the online courses on offer to teachers free of charge on the Microsoft Educator Community. To date he has earned over 29 badges. Amandla believes that "ICT technology. and especially the use of Microsoft tools, are like a bridge that can help you to cross a gigantic river.” It has allowed him to use creative and innovative ways of teaching and learning. Amandla believes that, aided by using ICT technology in his lessons, he is able to reach all his learners who have different learning abilities.

Amandla had an opportunity to be part of the MIEExpert team from South Africa that headed to Toronto in March 2017 to attend the Microsoft E2 Teacher Exchange annual event. He regarded this as a once-in-a-life time experience that afforded him opportunities to connect with other educators around the world. He loved being exposed to the new ideas and views about different ways of teaching, and to the teaching and learning strategies and the resources used to enhance the learning process. Since returning he has been given the position of ICT co-ordinator at his school.


Sivile Primary has its challenges in limited ICT resources as well as limited internet connectivity r but this doesn’t hold back Amandla. He likes to share his knowledge with other teachers. “I initiate both formal and informal trainings and coaching sessions. My hands, heart, and head are always open to help and assist whenever help is needed.”


He learns how to use these by doing the courses provided by the Microsoft Educator Community. He has found OneNote to be his most effective and favourite tool. “Ï like to use OneNote because it can include different forms of media such as text, videos, audios and images, and it can be used collaboratively as well.”

Amandla uses Office 0365, OneNote, Skype in the Class room, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office Sway most often in his lessons. He learns how to use these by doing the courses provided by the Microsoft educator Community. He has found OneNote to be his most effective and favourite tool. “Ï like to use OneNote because it can include different forms of media such as text, videos, audios and images, and it can be used collaboratively as well.”


Amandla has been familiarizing himself with Microsoft Forms. He believes this tool could be very useful. “I have found Microsoft Forms a suitable tool to use for assessment," he says. "Microsoft Forms make it possible for us as teachers to design tests, questionnaires and quizzes. Thus the learners can be assessed, and a teacher can diversify an assessment and easily detect the areas needing more intervention and support. What I like about Microsoft Forms is that multiple choice questions, short discussion questions and the labeling of pictures and text information can be used. The beauty of this application is that marking is made so much easier and quicker. You create your own memorandum, and Microsoft Forms matches the responses and your anticipated answer or whatever input you inserted in advance. It then marks the answers. The marks are calculated automatically by the program.”


Amandla would like to see all the learners in South Africa having access to ICT resources. He believes the effective use of technology can help learners develop to their full potential in spite of their socio-economic backgrounds and personal circumstances.

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