Wednesday, 31 July 2013

SchoolNet webinar today POSTPONED 'Mindmapping using iPads and other devices' (Carolyn Bruton)

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Unfortunately the webinar scheduled for today, Thursday 1st August at 3:30pm, on Mindmapping using the iPad and other devices has been postponed till further notice. Our speaker Carolyn Bruton had an accident with her laptop yesterday whereby the screen shattered and it has to be sent in for repair. We will let you know in due course when this webinar will take place. 

Details
Name: Mindmapping using an Pad and other devices
Summary: Carolyn says. "We will examine the development and use of mind mapping with toddlers through to senior students using freehand drawing activities and how they are constructed. I will discuss my journey with mind maps in a junior school (Kidspiration & Inspiration) and my search for iPad alternatives at the iStore. We will look at resources, blogs, articles and websites which summarise and compare mind mapping software and will conclude the webinar by considering those which worked best for the presenter and those attending the webinar."
Presenter: Carolyn Bruton

More about Carolyn
Carolynn Bruton retired from formal teaching in 2011 after teaching IT at Springfield Junior School in Cape Town for 18 years.  Her interest in mind mapping led to her receiving an Inspired Teacher Scholarship in 2006 which included a trip to the USA and Canada. She attended technology events and workshops using hand held devices there. Carolynn now runs her own company IT at Home www.itathome.co.za where she teaches adults to use their own laptops, iPads and other devices in a computer room in her home in Rondebosch.

Google #26: Read&Write with Google Docs-a useful Chrome extension for students

What I love about using Google Chrome as a browser is the way it makes browsing so efficient and easy.  There are so many very useful free Chrome extensions that you can add to your browser to have everything you need right at your finger tips. I installed a useful Chrome extension today called ‘Read&Write with Google Docs’. This is really designed for students, but I want to explore it and discover all its benefits.


What does Read&Write with Google Docs do?
This extension can only be used when Google Docs is actually open. It then becomes very useful because it can read the Google document to the students. Imagine how useful this could be to with dyslexia, learning disabilities, struggling readers, and English as a second language Learners.  I can also see a great use for this in a writing assignment when the student wants to review a piece of writing and hear what it sounds like.  However there are a number of other really useful features to this extension:

Features
- Text To Speech with Dual Synchronized Highlighting.



- Talking Dictionary
- Picture Dictionary
- Vocabulary Tool



- Study Skills tools to capture highlights


A video from the creators of Read&Write for Google Docs
The creators of this extension have made a video that explains the extension and elaborates on all its amazing features.  Here it is:



Access Read&Write for Google Docs at the Chrome Web store 
You can access this extension on the Google Chrome web store here: http://goo.gl/JNc3o


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Webinar recording ‘Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils (24/07/2013)


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Last Wednesday we were very fortunate to have a guest presenter from Belgium, Bram Faems speaking on our SchoolNet/Microsoft  webinar on ‘Changing seats: Quiz creation using Power`point and game coding using Kodu’.  



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Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils (Bram Faems)
Summary: Variation in teaching methods keeps students "awake" and concentrated. Playing games and quizzes can be a nice variation on the traditional lessons for your pupils  But what about taking it a step further? Why can't students create a quiz about a lesson subject or even code a game? In this webinar you'll hear Bram Faems talk about creating quizzes in PowerPoint and how to playfully teach young students the basics of coding with Kodu Game Lab.
Presenter: Bram Faems, Microsoft Teacher Trainer


Webinar recording
The recording of the webinar can be found at this link: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p3kprfi6rjf/

Webinar presentation
Bram has kindly allowed the presentation he used to be embedded on this blog and in this post. Here it is:

Webinar recording ‘Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils (24/07/2013)


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Last Wednesday we were very fortunate to have a guest presenter from Belgium, Bram Faems speaking on our SchoolNet/Microsoft  webinar on ‘Changing seats: Quiz creation using Power`point and game coding using Kodu’.  



image

Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils (Bram Faems)
Summary: Variation in teaching methods keeps students "awake" and concentrated. Playing games and quizzes can be a nice variation on the traditional lessons for your pupils  But what about taking it a step further? Why can't students create a quiz about a lesson subject or even code a game? In this webinar you'll hear Bram Faems talk about creating quizzes in PowerPoint and how to playfully teach young students the basics of coding with Kodu Game Lab.
Presenter: Bram Faems, Microsoft Teacher Trainer


Webinar recording
The recording of the webinar can be found at this link: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p3kprfi6rjf/

Webinar presentation
Bram has kindly allowed the presentation he used to be embedded on this blog and in this post. Here it is:

Monday, 29 July 2013

Free Virtual School Chemistry Resources for you

WE have an update from Frederic and Malik two of the international speakers at our SchoolNet Conference in July this year. They run the Virtual School in the UK 

"Dear teacher friends in South Africa,

We hope you are all doing great and, after having talked at length about #OER (Open Educational Resources) at the SchoolNet conference a couple of weeks ago we now want to start sharing with you the work that we are doing ourselves.

Some of you may not know yet what we are trying to achieve with our OER project 'The Virtual School' - we want to create 3600 free videos for secondary education in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, English and ICT literacy within the next 2-3 years. We have already created 300 videos accesible totally free here: http://www.youtube.com/user/virtualschooluk/videos

Currently and during the next two months, with our talented young design team [watch them introduce themselves here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZId1Jmwpz4] we are working on the chemistry curriculum, and we have a growing playlist of videos here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=edit_ok&list=PLW0gavSzhMlReKGMVfUt6YuNQsO0bqSMV. The other subjects will follow thereafter.

We are hoping that you can all share the chemistry playlist, which will be growing by over 150 videos in the next few months, with the teachers at your science department and at the science departments at fellow schools. 

It would also be fantastic if you could give us feedback on these videos, be it via email or with comments under the YouTube videos.

For those of you who want to download the videos for offline use you can use a download tool like Keepvid: http://keepvid.com/ [you can watch a tutorial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35myFjW_axY].

All the very best from London from Malik, myself and our team,

Freddy"






Gleanings from ISTE #2: Microsoft at ISTE 2013

It was such a great experience to visit ISTE in San Antonio this June. Microsoft was one of the Level 1 sponsors so I thought I would write a post especially about their generosity to teachers at ISTE 2013



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The BIGGEST thing about Microsoft at ISTE was their extreme generosity in giving out 10,000 Surface tablets (or was it 11,000) to the registered attendees. Can you imagine the excitement about this as the Surface is said to be a tablet AND a laptop – something really new! A great thing about the Surface tablet is that Office 2013 RT is freely available on it. Of course Microsoft wasn't just dishing these out randomly to anyone that asked for one - a lot of thought had been put into it, prearrangements had to be made,  and there were conditions attached. 
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1) The tablets were for the school that the attendee represented and this had to be pre-arranged before ISTE via a letter signed by the principal of the school.

2) The recipients had to be prepared to be involved in the Windows in the Classroom Experience Project whereby they discussed and contributed their classroom activities and lesson plans on how to use Windows in the Classroom  on the Partners in Learning Network, and showed the teachers at their schools what was available on the Partners in Learning network. The recipients would also join the Microsoft in Education newsletter and receive additional training resources.

In my mind I can see the Partners in Learning Network becoming an exceptional resource for teachers around the world with great technology integration activities of every type freely available. It is REALLY worth joining that network. 

During ISTE participants were invited to hands-on demonstrations and training in Microsoft’s Learning Lounge in Exhibit Hall D Room 1A during exhibit hall hours.  Those who were offered Surface tables were also pointed to the support offered. They could visit the Surface web site to download the Surface RT User Guide, register your Surface, and find support.)

I unfortunately didn't get to join one of the hands-on experiences on shows how to use Windows 8, Microsoft Office, and Windows Phone to enhance teaching and learning but I constantly took a walk to see what was happening in the Microsoft Lounge. I could see that it was interactive, experiential, and fun and there was a great, excited buzz. 


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Looking around – the new Surface Volunteers helping with setup
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Videos dotted around explaining Windows 8 People gathered in groups looking at their new Surface machines

Why don't you join the Partners in Learning Network today if you haven't already done so? You'll be amazed at the magnitude of the free resources, the ideas, the discussions, and the great network of educators from around the world that you can collaborate with. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Early bird rate for Google Summit in Cape Town closes in one week - have you registered yet?

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Are you keen to know exactly what Google can do for you and your students in the classroom? We invite you to join us for the first annual Google in Education South Africa Summit to be hosted by SchoolNet South Africa and Parklands College at Parklands College in Cape Town onSep. 26th and 27th, 2013. 

A first for Africa!
These Google summits are held all over the world, but this is a first for Africa! 
This high intensity two day event led by the Ed Tech team from the USA focuses on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education and other Google Tools to promote student learning from Grades R-12 and higher education. The programme features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, solution providers, Google engineers, representatives from the Google education teams and local teachers who are Google enthusiasts. 


Register for the early bird rate before end of July! 
We encourage you to register soon because the early bird rate of $199 per person is only on offer for another seven days till the end of July. Thereafter the fee of $249 applies.  

Who should attend? 
This summit will benefit teachers, administrators, technology integration facilitators, library media specialists, technical support staff, lecturers, and in fact anyone who is interested in finding out more about using Google Apps for Education to support student learning. Invite you to make this event known to your colleagues and friends and also those who might be interested from neighbouring African countries.

We offer:
  • FREE parking and WiFi
  • Early bird registration for only $199 as mentioned
  • Teas and lunch with networking time each day.
  • Direct access to Google employees and world-class educational technology leaders.
  • Two days of excellent professional development
This really is an event not to be missed in beautiful Cape Town.  Please take a look around the website created for the event http://za.gafesummit.com. The website gives links to accommodation in the area. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Join our SchoolNet webinar on Weds 3.30 on quiz creation in PowerPoint and simple game coding in Kodu - Bram Faems.

On Wednesday of this week we are privileged to have Bram Faems, the teacher who was the European winner of the Microsoft Innovative Teacher competition in 2012 presenting for us. Bram is from Brussels in Belgium.


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2) Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils (Bram Faems)
Summary: Variation in teaching methods keeps students "awake" and concentrated. Playing games and quizzes can be a nice variation on the traditional lessons for your pupils  But what about taking it a step further? Why can't students create a quiz about a lesson subject or even code a game? In this webinar you'll hear Bram Faems talk about creating quizzes in PowerPoint and how to playfully teach young students the basics of coding with Kodu Game Lab.
Presenter: Bram Faems, Microsoft Teacher Trainer
Start Time: 3:30pm on Wednesday 24th July 2013
Duration: 30 mins
URL:http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/gaming3/
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room


About Bram Faems
Bram Faems looks back on a very diverse carrier as teacher, ICT Coordinator and deputy school leader in Jonatan Berkenboom. This school for special needs education for children with learning difficulties has a long standing reputation in helping these children by using technology.  At the school he started the Jonatan Academy Project 2011. This project takes a different approach to e-learning. For children both watching online educational movies and creating them is part of the learning process.  For his work on this project he was awarded by the Queen Paola Foundation for Education award and he also won the award for Teacher as Innovator and Change Agent at the European Microsoft Partners in Learning forum.
Bram Faems got the opportunity to broaden his horizons thanks to the internationally acclaimed teachers’ portal KlasCement. There he moderates the teaching materials that teachers submit and he coordinates several projects. He leads the Media Literacy project. He tries to engage and inspire teachers to use, think critically about and create (digital) media in their classrooms.

On his blog, http://www.leesvoer.be/en/  Bram writes about his passion to blend emerging technologies with education.

Bram has also been featured in Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Microsoft’s blog, Daily Edventures as a Global Education Hero – http://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2012/07/02/bram-faems/.


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Teacher selected to accompany the African Storybook Project team to Nairobi!

Submitted by Fiona Beal
We are very pleased to announce that a teacher has been selected to accompany the African Storybook project team to an African Storybook project workshop as well as a Reading Conference in Nairobi in August.  The teacher is Yolandi Ferreira, the English teacher,  from Laerskiool Helderkruin in Johannesburg.

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Yolandi was competently aided by the computer teacher, Noeline van Wyk, and they sent in 63 very good stories written by different grades in their school.  They asked every child from Grade 3 - Grade 7 to develop a story using PowerPoint and a drawing application on the computer to write and illustrate their stories.


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Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet was invited to attend one of their lessons and she writes ‘They did a session launching the project in the hall using two of the videos from the course videos and said how useful the webinars have been. Yolandi showed a PowerPoint while I was there using some course examples that seemed to get the class excited for the task. As a class they also used the Smartboard to collectively brainstorm one example story so they could get used to the terminology like "theme", "character", "plot" etc.

The kids are very excited about writing a story for a genuine audience and purpose.  They have been told that only the best ones will make it to the website - so they are really keen to make sure that their stories are good.

This is a really exciting project. The portal of stories will be great - but
the African Storybook Project is also doing worthwhile work in terms of encouraging good writing.”


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We say well done to Yolandi. At the pre Conference African Storybook project in Nairobi Yolandi will be sharing what she did with the African Storybook team from the four pilot countires in Africa. After that she will attend the Pan African Reading Conference in Nairobi. Again we say well done Yolandi and Noeline and congratulations to all your students!

Schoolnet and the African Storybook projectIt has been a great privilege for SchoolNet to be involved in this wonderful project by creating and running a four week free online course for interested teachers in South Africa in digital storytelling from 15th April to 15th May. There were several teachers who, like Yolandi, did a sterling job in coming up with a wonderful selection of stories from themselves and their classes. I am sure the African Storybook team had a difficult time selecting who would be the winner of their incentive prize.

Ways of illustrating storiesWe had a number of really excellent stories from teachers who discovered their writing gift within them. Something that fascinated me during this course was the ingenious ways that teachers used to illustrate their stories. Take a look!

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Fabric with felt cut outs which were then captured with a camera as shown in 
‘Emily and the Seagull’.

Own photos with words at the side and a colourful background as shown in ‘There’s a zoo in my school’.
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Some used royalty-free images from 
the Internet such as in ‘The sheep who wanted to knit’.

Some asked different learners in their class to illustrate each page as shown in ‘Sisipho signs away’.
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Some teachers asked their students 
to create their own illustrations using Microsoft Paint such as in ‘Bunny 
tells the children’.

Some asked their own family to do their illustrations
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Some created templates and coloured 
them in such as in ‘Khotso goes to the 
zoo’.
Some asked a talented friend to do their illustrations for them such as in ‘The noise in the night’.

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Some used royalty free pictures from 
Pixabay such as ‘Angus the Dinosaur’.

Some created tasteful collages made from different materials such as in ‘Nonyane’.
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Some used whole, original photos and pasted the words in a convenient spot 
as in ‘On Safari’.
Some used commercially obtained illustration programmes owned by their schools such as in ‘Monsters under my bed’.

We are looking forward to the launch of the African Storybook Project website later this year.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Webinar recording ‘Spice up your classroom with Games’ (17/07/2013)

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Yesterday we were very fortunate to have a wonderful guest presenter, Arjana Blazik from Croatia speaking on our SchoolNet/Microsoft  webinar on ‘Spice up your classroom with games’.  


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Arjana is well-known in many different international circles. I met her at the world finals on the Microsoft Innovative Teacher competition in Cape Town in 2010 where she represented Croatia with her winning project entitled Greetings from the World. After that I met Arjana again at the inaugural Partners in Learning Institute in Seattle in July 2011. Since then Arjana along with Bart Versvijel from Belgium have been involved in running four online Internationl Teachmeets as well as a number of online activities for the European SchoolNet’s e-twinning project. You can read Arjana’s blog ath ttp://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/ Arjana has been featured on Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Microsoft’s blog, Daily Edventures as a global Education Hero – read about her here:ttp://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2012/06/28/arjana-blazic/. Arjana has a great interest in games in education and was privileged to attend a European workshop run by Ollie Bray from Scotland (who is known as THE games in education person). 

The presentation, website links and the recording link
Here is the presentation link:
  


Here is the link to the various sites that Arjana referred to:
http://instablogg.com/joj1DOv


Here is the recording link from Adobe Connect: (33 mins)
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p3wrmova9gu/
(sound problem in one or two places)


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Intel’s Promotes an Inclusive Society - MC Kharbai School for the Deaf

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo from SchoolNet
MC Kharbai (MCK) is a special public school situated in Lenasia, Johannesburg-South. The school caters for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing as well as mild-moderately mentally challenged learners. MC Kharbai offers the full GDE curriculum to Deaf learners and a skills curriculum for learners who experience moderate to severe learning barriers. Learners hail from the following areas in the South: Vlakfontein, Orange Farm, Lenasia, Kliptown, Eldorado Park, Ennerdale, Lawley and Soweto. 
MC Kharbai School
Intel® SA worked with the principal, Ms Michelle Batchelor to decide on the most appropriate ICT training course for her teachers and decided on the Intel Teach Getting Started programme.

The Intel® Teach Getting started course is an entry level ICT skills course that includes activities focused on computer skills and 21st Century teaching which deals with learner-centred approaches to teaching and learning.

The MC Kharbai School for the Deaf has an excellent staff that is eager to grow professionally and to teach in more engaging ways. The school has recognized that using ICTs can help learners with special needs and are taking the right steps to encourage 21st century learning.

SchoolNet continues the Journey with tablets at Lakeview Full Comprehensive Primary


clip_image002Submitted by Omashani Naidoo from SchoolNet

The aftermath of Tudor Clee’s visit produced much excitement around the Google Nexus tablets.  If you remember Tudor Clee secured  the sponsorship of 10 Google Nexus tablets to thank our two South African schools, Isibongo Primary and Lakeview Primary, for participating in the creation of his Touchable Earth World Atlas. SchoolNet SA agreed to continue working with the sponsored schools to ensure that the tablets were used for their intended purpose.



Ms Omashani Naidoo, facilitated training with Foundation Phase teachers at LakeView Full Service School. Ten teachers spent the afternoon learning how much fun playing with tablets could be. They started with finding their way around the tablet and finding useful tips and tricks for working with the tablets and then discovering that there are apps that could be used to teach concepts to their Foundation Phase learners. Their homework was to play and find more apps that could be directly linked to their teaching schedule.

You can view a video abut Touchable earth called ‘Jona in Soweto learns about the Internet with Touchable Earth below:

SchoolNet Conference 2013: Resources from the Virtual School

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At the recent SchoolNet Conference our two UK International presenters, Frédéric Kastner from The Virtual School in the UK and Malik Wilson, a media professional, gave a couple of presentations on OER (Open Education Resources) that were very popular, and not everyone could get into their sessions. They have kindly created resources for all the teachers who could not attend their session and have sent us the links to pass on. They have created the video tutorial on how to create your own resources. They have also captured the speech in video form and have created an update video on their time in South Africa. They hope that we find these videos useful in creating our own resources for our learners all over South Africa.

Create your own educational videos workshop tutorial:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87SZjsHvqSo&feature=youtu.be
(Look at the description for a step-by-step process with links to where you can download the software.)

The Virtual School South Africa Update:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKgEcJvPWuU

Here is the full 25-minute speech:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKr8DJ0FxE8

Please follow their blog for more information on OER that we'll be updating all of the time.http://thevirtualschool.wordpress.com/

Thank you for forwarding these links to us Frédéric and Malik!

Cofimvaba ICT4RD Project graduation ceremony

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo of SchoolNet
SchoolNet SA has been appointed as the training service provider for the ICT4RD Cofimvaba Initiative. The ICT4RD training in the capable hands of the lovely Maggie Verster and Adele Botha has been very successful at the Arthur Mfebe Secondary School. This training programme culminated in a gorgeous graduation ceremony for the 16 staff members of Arthur Mfebe at St. Marks hall on Friday 14 June 2013. Amongst the shining stars were the following who needed special mention:

Lwando Rwayi is a supportive and motivating principal who also teaches Maths and Life Sciences.

Gara Obert is a keen and avid Tweeter and eager teacher using 21st century skills (creativity, collaboration, communication,  critical thinking ). Look out for Obert at our Bloemfontein conference - he will be Maggie's sidekick :)

Nobubele Matamo is the Head of Maths and Science and teaches Agricultural Science and Maths using tablets.

Monosh Vasudevadunni teaches Life and Agricultural sciences and uses games based learning and video and other media for teaching and learning.

Nomhlubhi Moni teaches physical science and life orientation and uses tablets to get learners to do research and send her voice notes of answers to phrased questions which she then grades.

Sakayi Nobantu is a product of Arthur Mfebe and  is now proudly teaching hospitality and IsiXhosa.

Hillary Pachena  is a young teachers who has learnt how to use the Jigsaw method as a teaching strategy with tablets.


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The next phase in the project is to scale this project to include 11 additional schools:
· Bangilizwe Junior Secondary
· Gudwana Junior Secondary
· Khwaza Senior Secondary
· Mgcawezulu Junior Secondary
· Mtimbini Senior Primary
· Mvuzo Junior Secondary
· Ntshingeni Junior Secondary
· Siyabalala Senior Secondary
· St Marks Junior Secondary
· Zamuxolo Junior Secondary
· Gando Junior Secondary


We at SchoolNet say 'Well done' to these teachers at Arthur Mfebe. We are looking forward to working with the next eleven schools. 

An Exciting Pedagogical Opportunity for 11 schools in Cofimvaba

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka from SchoolNet

ICT4RED has partnered with SchoolNet SA to further improve the Professional Educator Development from eleven schools in Cofimvaba who will be receiving tablets next month when the school re-opens. Each teacher will receive a 10” Android device, a 3G option, HDMI and additional preloaded educational content.

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SchoolNet SA will provide onsite training and support interventions to teachers and principals in all target schools starting in July 2013 for the next twelve months. Teachers will be thoroughly prepared and confident to implement learning experiences in class. The mentoring and support that is planned as follow-up activities will ensure that this happens effectively. Training and support delivered to teachers is aimed to empower teachers realise their teaching innovative potential and stimulate them to develop and share own content.

Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School was the first to participate in the project, teachers and learners from the school have witnessed an understanding of digital citizenship and digital footprints.


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Monday, 15 July 2013

Two international speakers on our next two Microsoft webinars on using Games in Education

We have two SchoolNet webinars coming up on the topic of Gaming in the classroom’. We are very pleased to announce that we have two distinguished overseas presenters for these webinars, Arjana Blazik from Croatia for the first one and Bram Faens from Belgium for the second one.

Arjana Blazik from Croatia

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Arjana is well-known in many different international circles. I met her at the world finals on the Microsoft Innovative Teacher competition in Cape Town in 2010 where she represented Croatia with her winning project entitled Greetings from the World. After that I met Arjana again at the inaugural Partners in Learning Institute in Seattle in July 2011. Since then Arjana along with Bart Versvijel from Belgium have been involved in running four online Internationl Teachmeets as well as a number of online activities for the European SchoolNet’s e-twinning project. You can read Arjana’s blog at http://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/ Arjana has been featured on Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Microsoft’s blog, Daily Edventures as a global Education Hero – read about her here: ttp://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2012/06/28/arjana-blazic/Arjana has a great interest in games in education and was privileged to attend a European workshop run by Ollie Bray from Scotland (who is known as THE games in education person).    

Bram Faems from Belgium

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Bram Faems from Belgium is another educator who is well-known in International circles. I first met Bram at the Partners in Learning Institute in Seattle in 2010. Last year Bram was first the begium winner and thereafter the European winner of the Microsoft Innovative Teacher competition, and he represented Europe in Prage in November 2013 with his project that involved Stop Motion movie making with his class. You can read about Bram in his blog http://www.leesvoer.be. Bram has been featured on Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Microsoft’s blog, Daily Edventures as a global Education Hero – http://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2012/07/02/bram-faems/. He has also been honoured by the Queen in belgium for his innovative teaching.
Bram is a keen user of games in Education.

Details of these two upcoming webinars

1) Spice up your classroom with games (Arjana Blazik)
Summary:In this webinar we introduce educational games as a means to engage learners and to create an inspiring learning environment. You'll be shown how to integrate playful learning in your classroom and how to motivate students to create their own games. Not only that, but we also want to encourage you to become a game designer and create engaging games which will help your students develop their 21st century skills.
Presenter: Arjana Blazik from Croatia
Starting Time: Wednesday 17th July 2013: 3:30 PM
Duration:30 mins
URL: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/gaming2/
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room

2) Changing seats: quiz creation and game coding to activate pupils  (Bram Faems)
SummaryVariation in teaching methods keeps students "awake" and concentrated. Playing games and quizzes can be a nice variation on the traditional lessons for your pupils  But what about taking it a step further? Why can't students create a quiz about a lesson subject or even code a game? In this webinar you'll hear Bram Faems talk about creating quizzes in PowerPoint and how to playfully teach young children the basics of coding with Kodu Game Lab  
Presenter: Bram Faems, Microsoft Teacher Trainer
Start Time: 3:30pm on Wednesday 24th July 2013
Duration: 30 mins
URL:http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/gaming3/
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room

Gleanings from ISTE 2013 #1: What exactly is ISTE?


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Submitted by Fiona Beal
Recently I had the great privilege of attending my very frst ISTE Technology in Education Conference in San Antonio Texas. It is said to be the biggest EdTech conference in the world!.  In South Africa a big conference numbers around 600, so to be thrust into the midst of a conference of 20,000 delegates inclusive of exhibitors, with well over 700 sessions and 150 additional workshops on technology trends, tools, and much, much more WAS quite overwhelming at times but always exhiliarating!  I thank SchoolNet for contributing to this trip and for giving me time off to attend. It was four days of professional development par excellence!  


This is the first in a series of posts on what I learned at ISTE.  In this post I will express some of the wonder I felt at being at such a large conference. In the next post I’ll write a reflection on this unforgettable experience.

Where was ISTE held?
This year the Conference was held in the beautiful city of San Antonio in Texas. It is the 7th largest city in the United States, but it has a country feel with a river winding its way through the city, birds chirping happily in the trees as one walks along the roads, and exquisite flowers in full bloom everywhere. (My hotel was a ten minute walk from the conference centre.) The conference itself took place in the most enormous Conference centre I have EVER seen with a river running through the middle of it. Everything is bigger and better in Texas it seems.


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I was sure glad to see these ‘Ask Me’ volunteers dotted around the Conference halls. I think they worked pretty hard directing everyone to the multitude of venues.


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The ISTE App

I loved the idea of an ISTE App to download on one’s tablet prior to the conference taking place. This had everything one needed to know on it including a conference planner. One thing that I found quite fascinating is that there were no rooms with computers in them at the conference. EVERYONE had their own device. One could book for three free BYOD sessions and any of the paid sessions. I avoided the paid sessions with the exchange rate between rand and dollar being so AWFUL but there were hundreds of free sessions of every kind to attend.


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Types of sessions
The organisation at ISTE was quite unbelievably amazing!  As a delegate from Africa you can imagine how awestruck I felt most of the time. Such a choice of sessions! These were some of the the unbelievable options:


Three keynote sessions
BYOD workshops either paid or free
Special focus group sessions
Poster sessions
Start up pitches for new companies
Global collaboration spoltlights
Unconference on the day preceding ISTE
Corporate spotlights
Aspire sessions
Sessions Learning 
Technology Playgrounds 

Bloggers cafe sessions
Events of all kinds
Parties at night
Food centres
Research papers
Gatherings
Photo and QR code walks
Panel discussions
Bookstore of Iste books.
ExhibitorsStudents show cases

Actually there were many more opportunities than this…too many to mention! Basically one had to mark off a list of choices on the conference planner and make one’s choices before the conference started in order to stay on top of things.


Photo walk
I loved the photo walk on the first day where we explored the river walk area with a tour guide and pooled all our photos. This was such a highlight.


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Keynote Speakers
The three keynote sessions were such a highlight. One hard to start queing an hour or two before to get a seat inside the 6000-seater auditorium.  There were also viewing rooms allocated in different places.


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The opening keynote was from Jane McGonical on the gamification of education. Wow, this session was SO thought provoking. Jane McGonical quoted an enormous body of research showing how students learn from games in education and why. I’ll do a report back in another post.

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The ten positive emotions that gamers feel
Steve Johnson was the keynote speaker on the second day of the conference on ‘Where do good ideas come from?’. This session was very enlightening. He explored the concept of where and how good ideas originate. Drawing on examples from both inside and outside of education, he identified real-life learning environments that operate as incubators of creativity. He showed how innovative learners solve problems by borrowing ideas from multiple fields of thought, and how both educators and students leverage peer networks to mobilize as agents of change. Basically we learn from others and build on shared knowledge. 

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The enormously popular Adam Bellow, creator of Educlipper, gave the closing keynote where he invited us to change the world.’You’re Invited to Change the World.’ Adam showcased stories of inspiration from classrooms around the world and invited us to challenge ourselves to make a difference in our schools with creativity and kindness.Adam wore his Google glasses throughout his presentation!



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All three keynote speakers influenced my thinking enormously.  All three have published books. 


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Conference house band
The conference had a house band for the keynotes – an awesome band of students from some of the local high schools called ‘The Dara Niemi Band’. I just LOVED their music and their talent!   (And I bought their CD)


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The band in action
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Signing CDs
This is them singing one of their original songs. 



Publishing with ISTE
Teachers can publish their technology passions in hard cover with ISTE! I think this is an amazing feature of ISTE.  There were all kinds of books written by teachers available at the ISTE book store – I was really tempted to buy some of them.


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Bloggers’ Cafe
This was SUCH a popular spot at ISTE where folk could sit and chat, and meet friends and blog etc. Sue Waters from Educblogs organised regular blogger speakers at the Cafe.


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Special Interest focus groups
These were plentiful. I joined quite a few, my number 1 being the Digital Storytelling group and no 2 being the Literacy group. We joined these well before the conference and started receiving emails of events and happenings that would take place at ISTE. As you went around looking at the offerings of the different Special Focus groups and at the Expo, you collected ribbons to add to your name tag – there was a prize for the most ribbons at the end of the Conference – sponsorship to ISTE 2014!


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Learning Sessions
What a choice! You had to know what you wanted so as to rush there and get a seat. Sometimes there were lon.n.n.g queues. These are just a couple of examples of some I attended.


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Networking
Of course this was a highlight of note! There were so many ‘big names’ at the Conference that it felt great to put names to faces to virtual names. On the Monday night I met up with some of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Institute group for supper, and later I met up with the Google Certified Teachers group….it was marvelous reconnecting with friends from all over the world. I loved attending the Ignite sessions where teachers were given five minutes and 20 slides to talk about something. Imagine how excited I was when one of the teachers from New York spoke about her global collaboration projects and mentioned how Karen de Stadler from Cape Town’s rhino project had captured the hearts of her students and had developed a life of its own right there in New York! Here are some of the friends I reconnected with:


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Wernad and Nina Adams from St Cyprians, Cape Town who now live in Denver
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Friends from the Partners in Learning Institute in Seattle in July 2011
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Microsoft Innovative Teacher friends from the USA
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Google Certified Teacher friends from
the Google Teacher Academy in New York
 in 2012
Boat trip along the River Walk
I was lucky enough to be allocated one of the 40 seats in Powerful Learning Practise’s boat trip along the river walk on the Tuesday evening. It was just SO beautiful - another one of the highlights of the trip. 


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What an INCREDIBLE experience ISTE 2013 was. It was definitely worth the 2 days of tiring multi-stop air travel each way that it took to get there and back!  I’ll be writing a number of posts about this experience in the next couple of weeks, especially highlighting the amazing things I learned in some of the sessions.


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