Sunday, 29 October 2017

Teacher Spotlight: Violet Ramokoni Shadung from Ruabohlale Secondary School

Submitted by Mathapelo Sehume from SchoolNet
This month’s spotlight is on Ms Violet Shadung, a Grade 8 -11 English, Maths and Technology teacher from Ruabohlale Secondary School.

Ms Shadung started basic ICT skills training in 2016 along with her colleagues from Ruabohlale Secondary. Back when she started her journey, the “only thing she could do on her computer was type”. Since her participation in basic ICT skills workshops, she has improved her technology skills and now considers herself an advanced participant in her own learning. She reports that she has learnt how to e-mail, which is useful for communication and she is now learning how to extend her professional network by communicating in online forums which she finds very exciting.

When she speaks of ICT integration she says her idea of integration involves creating knowledge with her learners using a range of curriculum resources for teaching and learning. This strategy helps because learners are exposed to learning in a variety of ways, and more importantly their learning is not solely reliant on her as the teacher. Her learners are experiencing methods for how to do research and engage with online tools to broaden their own learning.

Ms Shadung loves ICT because she can create her own worksheets, re-use and adapt existing resources and manage her administration more efficiently. which helps with marksheets and creating budgets. She is able to make her lessons more interesting for her learners and she does this by finding resources online where she is able to find existing worksheets customize and share with her learners. This saves her some time allowing to work more efficiently.

The senior leaders of Ruabohlale have attended Change Leadership for ICT integration workshops and one of the key activities was to create a vision for ICT integration. Ruabohlale’s vision is “Aiming to enhance knowledge and bring about positive change by integrating ICT in curriculum delivery.” Mrs Shadung speaks very highly about this vision and how it came about. For her it so much more than words because it speaks to every teacher and how they should strive to gain these skills for use in their classroom to help learners be more digitally savvy.

Ms Shadung is positive about her colleagues she mentioned that they are very capable and she has seen teachers who have moved from being complete novice users to being able to do their own typing. When she looks at them she sees herself a year ago and knows that they will all improve over time provided they are willing to change. “We know that the journey of a thousand mile start with a single step.”

Mrs Shadung has also learnt that using technology in the classroom can be daunting at the start; teachers are fearful of looking ill-prepared for lessons; unstable connectivity; classroom management and technical glitches with the smartboards not connecting to lessons.

Violet in her grade 8 class
Mrs Shadung also believes that some colleagues don’t see the potential of ICT- “teachers don’t have the patience to see how ICT could make their work easy- if they only gave it a chance they would learn to work smart and not always so hard.”

Her parting words were, “This article is about a teacher in the local neighbourhood who started using a laptop just for typing and is now at a point where she can create an online platform for assessment by just attending professional development workshops. I’ve attended all the SchoolNet workshops and I’m prepared to attend even more because I’m not where I want to be. Only with a positive attitude, desire to grow and to acknowledge that you don’t know everything, can we learn from others and become the best. It is only then when you can achieve your dream.“

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