Monday, 18 February 2019

Celebrating Excellence at the 19th National Teaching Awards

On Saturday 16 February 2019 the Department of Basic Education honored teachers who are doing exemplary work at the 19th National Teaching Awards at a celebration held at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

Whilst we commend and celebrate the achievements of extraordinary teachers in a range of categories, SchoolNet SA is especially proud to support the Excellence in Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning category. SchoolNet believes in improving existing pedagogies by providing innovative classroom activities that harness new technologies, that promote higher order thinking skills and ignite a spirit of enquiry among learners. The teachers who won the Excellence in Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning Category are teachers who have demonstrated that they have embraced digital learning and are using this to the benefit of their learners.

The provincial winners of this category each had an opportunity to present their strategies for using digital tools and resources in their classrooms to a panel of adjudicators that included SchoolNet SA's Megan Rademeyer. Based on these presentations, the following teachers were identified as being the winners in this category:
  • 1st Place - Linford Molaodi (Limpopo),
  • 2nd Place - Tshegofatso Matjila (NorthWest) and
  • 3rd Place - Kim Ranwell (Eastern Cape)

Each of these teachers will receive a SchoolNet SA SACE accredited professional development course of their choice for themselves and colleagues at their respective schools. The three winners will also be sponsored to attend the SchoolNet SA Digital Learning Conference, taking place in NorthWest province in June 2019.

Hearty congratulations to the winners - we look forward to hosting you at our conference and supporting your professional development.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Check your security status this Safer Internet Day

Chances are you are online every day. However, Safer Internet Day is a good time to reflect on your digital footprint and to take some steps to make yourself safer online:

  • If you have a Google account - take the security check and instantly see which third parties have access to your data, which devices are listed as safe and what your verification details are. Change any details that are out-of-date or suspicious.
  • View your location history in Google maps to see where you (or your mobile phone) were on a particular day - and decide whether you actually want to be tracked. Whilst being able to identify your location allows Google to foreground relevant news and local places to shop, you can turn the tracking off if you would prefer to move around without leaving a digital trail.
  • Consider using DuckDuckGo - a privacy-focused search engine that doesn't track your behaviour. You can continue to use your regular browser with the DuckDuckGo app and browser extension to prevent your online activities from being tracked by third-parties. 
  • Check out the Digital Civility Microsoft Virtual Academy in which SchoolNet SA's Megan Rademeyer and TechTeachers Matthew Hains talk about the darker side of the internet and what teachers can do to make their learners safer online. 
  • Take the Microsoft Digital Citizenship course on the Microsoft Educator Community to teach learners about the benefits and risks of the online world and to learn how to use technology to keep them safer online. Why not get your learners to become more aware of their online presence by investigating the tools mentioned in this post?