Thursday, 30 April 2015

The benefits of downloading and using the free Microsoft Math with your Grade 8-10 Mathematics students

image
If you are a High School Maths teacher in South Africa, with Grade 10-12 maths students, you don’t want your students to miss out on using the free, online service, Microsoft Math, after hours! The servive is globally available at https://math.microsoft.com 

It’s like having your own tutor at home! Students can can download Microsoft Math on their smartphones or tablets, and can even use it on their home laptops or desktops. Microsoft Math makes the learning experience personal, engaging and exciting. Students can do CAPS-related Maths exercises, read theory, learn from examples, and take tests.

Microsoft Math also adds a social dimension to education, making it possible to collaborate and compete with other students. Students can form groups and compare answers.

Teachers like yourself can use Microsoft Math to motivate, monitor, and track learning and skill levels, giving more specific and individual feedback to students.
Microsoft Math is a great tool for enriching the learning experience, engaging students even after school hours and outside classrooms.


Microsoft Math and the Microsoft competition in South Africa

Microsoft is holding a great competition in South Africa currently. See our blogpost entitled ‘Microsoft tools competition “Use IT – Share IT – Like IT” for South African Teachers announced today… why not enter?’.  Microsoft Math is one of the tools you can use to enter this competition.

Step 1: Use a Microsoft tool as part of a lesson
Use one or more of the following new free tools from Microsoft in a lesson. In your case you would select Microsoft Math.

Step 2: Share your lesson on your own Facebook page using the following instructions so that we know about it
Create a post on your own Facebook page. Save it as PUBLIC and add the hashtag to your Facebook post #MSToolsInEdu15 - this will enable us to find your entry. In your post describe how you have used  Microsoft Math to create a great lesson. Tell us what impact the tool has had or how it has enhanced your teaching. Your post should not be longer than 2 sentences and should contain two or three sentences.  Closing date is 29 May 2015.

Register your students for Microsoft Math today.

10 Great Google Posts #12

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions recently, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far...

Useful Microsoft posts for teachers this week #4

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

SchoolNet Conference in July - Early Bird rate closes tomorrow 30 April! Register today…

conference2We would like to invite you to register for our upcoming 2015 ICT in the Classroom Conference taking place in Durban from 1-3 July 2015. The venue is St Mary's DSG in Kloof. Thisconference has always been very popular with educators, school leaders and ICT coordinators in the past and we are expecting another very successful three-day event this year.  If you are keen to learn more about using technology in engaging ways in and beyond the classroom, this conference is for you! Our conference website, which is part of our SchoolNet website, can be accessed at  http://www.schoolnet.org.za/schoolnet-conference-2015/

Register today! Early bird rate closes tomorrow!
Register immediately to take advantage of the early bird rates which close TOMORROW on 30 April 2015.
*Book on or before 30 April: R750
*Book after 30 April: R850
Group rates are also available! For group registrations, custom invoices, or registration queries, please contact Kumari at kumari@schoolnet.org.za

Special offer to SchoolNet members
All SchoolNet members get a $5.99 discount available only when registering! If you haven't registered as a member (free membership) follow the instructions below. All SchoolNet members need to do is use the promotional code option of M3MB3R which will re-link them to discount options.
To register as a SchoolNet member:
Three International Speakers
We have three first-class international speakers - Holly Clark, Stuart Ball and Shelley Shott as well as a host of great local presenters. 

speakers


Stuart Ball
Stuart Ball manages the UK Microsoft Partners in Learning Programme. He is a former Primary School Deputy Headteacher and ICT Adviser. He has written a number of books for teachers and currently authors the Microsoft UK Teachers blog. In 2005 he won a Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award and attended the first ever Innovative Education Forum in Seattle. He has developed an expertise in the use of technology to support learning, and challenges how we think about everyday devices, software and apps. He is responsible for Kodu winning a BETT award in 2014. 

Holly Clarke
Holly is a technology and innovation specialist from San Diego, California. She has been helping teachers redefine instruction in their classrooms by overseeing 1:1 tablet pilots and helping schools implement digital literacy programmes. She is a Google Certified Teacher and holds an MA in Technology in Education from Columbia University. Presently she consults with schools internationally on improving their iPad integration and use of Google Apps for Education to empower learning.

Shelley Shott
Shelley is well known to South Africa because she was the first Intel facilitator to visit us back in 2003 and has been a frequent visitor since. As Intel's Global Education Specialist, Shelley now drives the development and strategy for K12 education around the world. A former middle school teacher, and current university lecturer, Shelley understands the impact quality teacher professional development can have. She is passionate about working with teachers and education leaders world-wide in order to create change in classrooms from teacher-centric to learner-centric models, and about preparing students globally to be successful in the 21st century. 

Become a SchoolNet member
If you are not yet a SchoolNet member (a free membership), please join us here to be kept in touch with our various offerings from time to time. We hope you'll visit our blog and our Facebook page regularly. Please follow us on Twitter (@Schoolnetsa). 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My #MIEExpert15 Greatest Moments to Date by @folklind from South Africa

image

This is another guest post from Linda Foulkes one of South Africa’s Microsoft MiE Experts for 2015. Linda has contributed a number of blog posts on this blog in the past the most recent encouraging teachers to enter their students for the Microsoft Office Championships 2015 . Linda’s blog can be found at: https://folklind.wordpress.com. Linda is currently attending the week-long 2015 E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond washington along with three other South African teachers!

Being chosen as an Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator for 2015 has provided me with the most amazing “learning” MOMENTS to date. Support and involvement from Microsoft South Africa and Globally has been absolutely phenomenal.

Did you know that Microsoft provides such “directed learning” pathways for teachers, students and individuals to professionally develop themselves?
2015-02-22 19.59.38
It is extremely important for teachers to engage in their own PD in order to engage students. Every single day I am learning new technologies, new updates, gaining new collaborations and so on.
Often I start to put my technology away, after being stared at over the top of my laptop by my beautiful jack russell [Laila] who reminds me that it is time to play ball, and “plup” goes my Facebook page with just another burst of learning…so one really needs to be strong and “park” it for a little later…the reason for this comment is that one needs to keep the balance between work and family to remain healthy, happy and productive!

Maybe I should introduce a “no technology evening once a week”!

This video highlights my journey of only some of the learning MOMENTS which I have been exposed to on my journey thus far as an MIEExpert for 2015:



I am so thankful [and beyond excited] to Microsoft for affording me the opportunity to attend the Redmond Global Forum at the end of April – counting the days till I am able to meet some of the most inspiring teachers in the World, be an agent of change on my return to South Africa, and source opportunities to continue my learning pathway with the newly found knowledge which Redmond instils in me.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Webinar recording and downloadable presentation from Weds 22nd April at 3:15pm ‘How to do a Technology and Pedagogy Mix’ by Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft South Africa

 image

On Wednesday afternoon 22nd April 2015 at 3:15pm we held a webinar  presented by Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft in which Victor aimed to show us how pedagogy and technology can work really well together as a mix.

The Webinar description
Victor advertised the webinar in the following way: “In this webinar, I would like to focus how Technology and Pedagogy mix as one of the units of the Teaching with Technology course, but I want to do this rather differently in a way of making it more interactive. I would like to make sure that the participants share strategies/ideas amongst each other of how they are able to “marry” the methods that they are using in the classroom with the relevant technology tools.”

The webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from Victor which is available online in SlideShare at this link: http://bit.ly/1b7OHz9



The webinar recording

The webinar recording can be listened to on the following link:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p6vh4szyy66/

SchoolNet South Africa provides a short, free webinar on most Thursday afternoons during the school term.

Friday, 24 April 2015

10 great Google posts this week #11


After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions during this week and last week, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far.  I have saved these using Listly (http://list.ly.com) which is a great way to present a list of sites

Useful Microsoft posts for teachers this week #3


The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:
Useful Microsoft posts for teachers this week #3

View more lists from Fiona Beal

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Enter the Microsoft tools competition “Use IT – Share IT – Like IT” for South African Teachers. Closing date 1 June 2015...

Microsoft in Education - South Africa and Lesotho
We have exciting news for you. As of today Microsoft and SchoolNet will be launching a competition for teachers who are using one or more of the Microsoft tools mentioned below as part of their teaching.

You could win a trip to the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference or a Teaching with Technology Kick-Off session for your school by sharing your idea for using one or more of these Microsoft tools with other teachers and creating a Facebook post about it. More details about prizes are given in the Prize section below.

HOW TO ENTER
(includes the
Use IT – Share IT – Like IT” Contest Terms & Conditions)

Step 1: Use a Microsoft tool as part of a lesson

Use one or more of the following new free tools from Microsoft in a lesson. If you have not used any of these tools before, use this as an opportunity to try one or more of them out.
Step 2: Share your lesson on your own Facebook page using the following instructions so that we know about it

- VERY IMPORTANT Create a post on your own Facebook page. Save it as PUBLIC and add the hashtag to your Facebook post #MSToolsInEdu15 - this will enable us to find your entry. Once you have done that if you have any queries you can inbox the Microsoft-South Africa and Lesotho page and let us know.

- In your post describe how you have used a Microsoft tool to create a great lesson. Tell us what impact the tool has had or how it has enhanced your teaching. Your post should not be longer than 2 sentences.

- Please include 1 to 3 photos in your post. These could be screen grabs of the tool in action or a photo of the lesson in progress. Remember to get permission from learner’s parents to include photos of them if you show their faces or take photos in such a way so that learner’s identities are protected.

- Alternately create and share a short video (no longer that two minutes) describing how you have used the tool. You can create a video that shows off your creation as a screencast – or it can just be a simple video shot with your cell phone in which you explain what you did.

Step 3: Encourage your colleagues and social network to Like your lesson idea on the Microsoft in Education – South Africa and Lesotho Facebook page

We would love people to see your great lesson idea. Ask your colleagues, professional network, Twitter followers and Facebook friends to like your lesson idea on the Microsoft in Education – South Africa and Lesotho Facebook page.

Step 4: Stand a chance to win a prize by being in the draw with the best lessons shared

- This competition is open from 23 April 2015 to 1 June 2015 – so you can put up your post anytime during that time period.

- Prizes will be awarded to the most popular lessons as measured by the number of “likes” they receive as well as the lessons which the Microsoft and SchoolNet panel of judges believe to be the most creative and engaging uses of the Microsoft tools.

- Microsoft is not responsible for lost, corrupted or delayed entries. No purchase necessary. Entry constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Microsoft reserves the right to disqualify anyone in breach of these Terms and Conditions.

TIMING:

This contest starts at 08h00 hours GMT on Friday 24 April 2015 and ends at 17h00 hours GMT on Monday 1 June 2015 (inclusive).

USE OF DATA:

Personal data which you provide when you enter the draw may be used for future Microsoft marketing activity.

SELECTION OF WINNERS

The winner will be notified in the form of a direct inbox on Facebook or Twitter. The winner will also be announced on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The winner may be required to participate in further publicity or advertising.

PRIZES: 

- An opportunity to attend the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference being held in Durban to present your Learning Activity (Microsoft will cover travel and accommodation costs and conference fee)

- A Microsoft Teaching with Technology Kick-Off session for teachers at your school
The Prize is not transferable. No cash alternatives are available. Microsoft reserves the right to substitute the Prize for another prize of equal or greater value. The Prize will be issued to the winner within 2 weeks of notification.

WINNERS LIST:

The winner’s consent to their names being made publicly available. Winner’s names may be available on Microsoft’s Facebook page – Microsoft South Africa for a period of 3 months after the final draw date by email.

OTHER:

No correspondence will be entered into regarding either this Contest or these Terms and Conditions. In the unlikely event of a dispute, Microsoft’s decision shall be final. Microsoft reserves the right to amend, modify, cancel or withdraw this promotion at any time without notice.

Microsoft cannot guarantee the performance of any third party and shall not be liable for any act or default by a third party. Participants in this promotion agree that Microsoft will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, costs, damage or disappointment of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly from acceptance, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in this promotion. Nothing in this clause shall limit Microsoft’s liability in respect of death or personal injury arising out of its own negligence or arising out of fraud.

CONTEST SPONSOR:

This Contest is sponsored by Microsoft South Africa (Pty) Limited, 3012 William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, 3091. The Contest will be facilitated by SchoolNet SA.

ELIGIBILITY:

This contest is open to any educator in South Africa or Lesotho that uses a Microsoft tool in a lesson and shares the idea through the delegated Facebook Page. This contest excludes Microsoft employees, their agents and their families, and anyone else professionally connected with this contest.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Webinar recording and downloadable presentation from Thurs 16th April at 3:15pm ‘How to use Windows Live Movie Maker to simplify the content of a lesson’ by #MIEExpert Phuti Ragophala

image
On Thursday afternoon 16 April 2015 at 3.15pm we held a very informative SchoolNet webinar entitled ‘How to use Windows Live Movie Maker to cimpolify the content of a lesson’ which was presented by Phuti Ragophala a #MIEExpert from South Africa.  Windows Live Movie Maker is a free resource from Microsoft that can be used to drive the lesson in class. This tool could be free on your PC or laptop. If not it can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Educator's Network. (We encourage you to join this amazing network with all its free resources and offerings.)

The Webinar description
Phuti gave us some  ideas on using Windows Live Movie Maker in the classroom to narrate the lesson, summarize the lesson, sing the lesson,  converse about the lesson and rap the lesson. She used four videos in the session as well as her presentation. Unfortunately viewers couldn’t hear the videos so Phuti talked us through them. I have added the videos below since they are available on YouTube.

The webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from Phuti which is available online in SlideShare at this link:http://goo.gl/HC4qje

The webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to on the following two links (unfortunately there was a break in the recording so please listen to the first one and then the second one):
1) http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p5jmehwfopw/ (2 mins)
2) http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p6g8epp2n9y/ (25 mins)

The YouTube videos that accompanied the webinar

1. A poem to Phuti Ragophala by Grade 7 learners
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKaXiDWGghM


This poem was created during their medicinal herb making project

2. Techno reading project from Pula Madibogo Primary School in Limpopo South Africa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUCxHCO7Th4


This was a skype literacy project.

3. Today’s learners! Tomorrow’s great thinkers and scientists
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-ljNs5lc-I

  This video is  summary of their food production project. 

 

4. Planting seeds! Changing lives!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1j_jxRfQsw  

 

This video is a song about planting seeds

  5. My Movie Maker on EMS presentation by Lerato Komanahttp://youtu.be/s8iyOfN7rMU

 

This was a presentation and narration by one of Phuti’s students

SchoolNet South Africa provides a short, free webinar on most Thursday afternoons during the school term.

SchoolNet free webinar on Weds 22nd April at 3:15pm ‘How to do a Technology and Pedagogy Mix’ by Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft South Africa

Technology is a tool, a platform, a tactic, a strategy, and a space, but unless you’re teaching a technology class it's never an end.” (Teachthought).  The webinar by Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft which will take place on Wednesday 22nd at 3:15pm aims to show us how pedagogy and technology can work really well together as a mix.

recite-zkwqh7

Webinar details

Meeting Name:  ‘How to do a technology and pedagogy mix'
Summary: Victor says: “In this webinar, I would like to focus how Technology and Pedagogy mix as one of the units of the Teaching with Technology course, but I want to do this rather differently in a way of making it more interactive. I would like to make sure that the participants share strategies/ideas amongst each other of how they are able to “marry” the methods that they are using in the classroom with the relevant technology tools.
Presenter: Victor Ngebeni from Microsoft
WhenWednesday 22 April 2015 at 3:15 PM
Duration: 30+ minutes
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Pretoria
To join the meeting:http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/techped/

Note
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Monday, 20 April 2015

Google Educator Group Meetup at Rondebosch Boys’ High School on Friday 3-5pm – why not join us?


This is a message from Glenn Jones, a GEG leader for Cape Town Central about a GEG meetup that is taking place on Friday this week.

The event
"I’m Glenn, for Western Province Preparatory School, and I’d like to invite you to a Google Educator Group meetup at Rondebosch Boys’ High School on Friday 24th April 2015.
Google Educator Groups is an informal initiative by like-minded professionals looking to sharing best practices with integrating technology for teaching. We are going to have an introductory Google Apps session getting the basic introduction to using Google Drive, Calendar and Gmail for collaborating with peers and students.

The training session will commence at 15h00 and will run until approximately 17h00 at the latest. We’ll end with some light snacks and refreshments. Please feel free to stay afterwards to chat about technology integration in a relaxed, social environment."

The venue
Training Venue: Rondebosch High School E1942 Centenary Cricket Pavilion.

Please register here
bit.ly/ctgeg

The focus
Take a look at the great programme http://geg.wpps.org.za/

image


See you there – should be a fun and informative event.

A great competition for Apple users in South Africa…Apple in education competition 2015

Recently we had an email sent to us from Think Ahead about their upcoming competition with the closing date in September.  This looks really exciting! The actual website http://www.aecza.co.za/ gives a selection of curriculum challenge categories to choose from:

image


In the email the first challenge called Shape of My World had some tips and ideas attached as follows?


To inspire your students:
Here are some tips and ideas for one of the curriculum challenge categories. This challenge can be applied across grades and subjects..

Design an animated interactive tour in your area that will highlight all tourists attractions. Your tour should include cultural activities, sight seeing, local tips etc.

Who are you? What defines you? Your culture? Your religion? Your choice in music? What are your challenges as a teenager? Share this in the most creative way possible. A jigsaw puzzle of your life?

Exploring different languages in South Africa and your community.Which words are uniquely South African? Explore languages, slang associated with specific cultural groups. How has social media changed the way we communicate?

What shapes make up your world? (Triangles , circles , squares) Look around your class, home, playground and garden. What shapes can you see? Express this in the form of a story book; a film; poster or creative drawing.

What newsworthy item has shaped today’s world? Explore current affairs, the news headings - how has it affected me?
Suggested apps for this particular challenge:

image


Visit the website today (http://www.aecza.co.za/) and find out more!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Online places to find royalty free books or Creative Commons licensed books for children to read

Nowadays there are so many wonderful places to find free reading material on the Internet. Here are just a few...

Public domain sources
Every year new publications enter public domain. That means their intellectual property rights have expired or are not applicable any longer.

1) Complete Library of Children’s Books online: Rosetta project
http://www.childrensbooksonline.org/library-complete_index.htm 
The Rosetta Project is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers working to build a publicly accessible digital library of human languages.

image

2) Project Gutenberg
http://www.gutenberg.org/ 
Project Gutenberg offers over 46,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. 

3) The International Children's Digital Library
http://en.childrenslibrary.org/
"The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children. The ICDL Foundation is a non-profit corporation." -The ICDL Foundation


4) 7 Places to Find Children’s Books in the Public Domain
http://diyhomeschooler.com/7-places-to-find-childrens-books-in-the-public-domain/
This post outlines seven places to find free books for students to read.

7 Places to Find Children's Books in the Public Domain

  1. Baldwin Online Children’s Literature Project
  2. 19th Century Schoolbooks
  3. An Old-Fashioned Education
  4. Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
  5. Timeless Truths Free Online Library
  6. Classic Reader Young Readers Collection
  7. Complete Library of Children’s Books Online
5) 25 sources of free public domain books
http://ebookfriendly.com/free-public-domain-books-sources/
e-book friendly.com has collected links for 25 sites that offer free public domain ebooks.


image

Creative Commons sources
Many books are placed online under a Creative Commons License.  That means the original creators allow the books to be read and used but require acknowledgement of the original author or publisher as well.

1) The African Storybook Project http://www.africanstorybook.org/
The African Storybook Project (ASP) is a wonderful project that is currently creating and encouraging the use of a multilingual, digital library of stories for the first few years of reading (Grades 1-3)

2) Pratham Books http://www.prathambooks.org/
Take a look at their free resources

Thursday, 16 April 2015

SchoolNet Conference in Durban in July – three great international speakers lined up…


We would like to invite you to register for our upcoming 2015 ICT in the Classroom Conference taking place in Durban in July 2015.

Three first-class International Speakers
We have three first-class international speakers - Holly Clark, Stuart Ball and Shelley Stott as well as a host of great local presenters!

Holly Clarke

Holly is a technology and innovation specialist from San Diego, California. She has been helping teachers redefine instruction in their classrooms by overseeing 1:1 tablet pilots and helping schools implement digital literacy programmes. She is a Google Certified Teacher and holds an MA in Technology in Education from Columbia University. Presently she consults with schools internationally on improving their iPad integration and use of Google Apps for Education to empower learning.

Stuart Ball
Stuart Ball manages the UK Microsoft Partners in Learning Programme. He is a former Primary School Deputy Headteacher and ICT Adviser. He has written a number of books for teachers and currently authors the Microsoft UK Teachers blog. In 2005 he won a Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award and attended the first ever Innovative Education Forum in Seattle. He has developed an expertise in the use of technology to support learning, and challenges how we think about everyday devices, software and apps. He is responsible for Kodu winning a BETT award in 2014. 

Shelley Shott
Shelley is well known to South Africa because she was the first Intel facilitator to visit us back in 2003 and has been a frequent visitor since. As Intel’s Global Education Specialist, Shelley now drives the development and strategy for K12 education around the world. A former middle school teacher, and current university lecturer, Shelley understands the impact quality teacher professional development can have. She is passionate about working with teachers and education leaders world-wide in order to create change in classrooms from teacher-centric to learner-centric models, and about preparing students globally to be successful in the 21st century.

Visit our Conference website
You can now access all the details, register and submit a presentation application via our Conference website. The early bird discount ends on 30 April and the closing dates for exhibitor and presenter applications is 15 May 2015.

Watch this space for an offer for SchoolNet members
The most important news is that we would like you to watch out on the conference website for the upcoming discount that is going to be available for SchoolNet members - a free membership that will keep you in touch with all our wonderful offerings for educators. Join immediately if you haven't already done so!

To register as a SchoolNet member: 

See you at the conference!

The free Google Education on Air conference – speakers and sessions announced

This all sounds very exciting! This is a free, international online conference created by Google. Why not add this Google online event to your dairies for May 8th, 9th and 10th! This post with the latest announcement was recently posted on the Google for Education blog

image


Last month Google announced their Education on Air conference — a free online conference taking place May 8-9, 2015. They have now released the schedule of sessions, based on suggestions from those who sent in ideas. They’ll emphasize innovation since 44% of respondees voted for this — as well as how to empower students and use Google tools effectively.From their second poll they deduced respondees want practical examples, so the speakers will go beyond theory and share their specific advice for enacting change.

Here’s a look at what to expect over the two-day conference:

Friday, May 8: Leading for the future
Tune in from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET to hear from educators, business and policy leaders, students and researchers, whose keynotes will challenge you to innovate and improve education. In our kickoff session, panelists will tackle the question “What are the skills of the future?” and will touch upon results from an Economist Intelligence Unit survey. You’ll also hear panels of different perspectives about some hot topics for educators, including how technology is transforming learning and how students are guiding their own learning.

In addition to these panels, our keynote speakers will share their personal passions for the future of education. You’ll hear from Actor, Education Advocate, and Host of Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton, Google Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock, education leader and Order of Canada honoree Michael Fullan, and Sir Michael Barber, chief education advisor to Pearson and former Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education during the first term of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Educators and school leaders like Ryan Bretag, education researcher and Chief Innovation Officer of Illinois’ District 225, and students like Brittany Wenger (2012 Google Science Fair winner) will also share their perspectives.

Saturday, May 9: Shaping the classroom today
Over 100 sessions will be led by educators from 12 countries and 29 U.S. states, all specifically designed to offer practical advice and examples. Whether you’re interested in the track for educators, administrators, IT or “anyone,” we invite you to join for the sessions that are most interesting to you.

Presenters will discuss tools and techniques that you can implement easily, affordably and immediately. Many sessions highlight how Google tools like Google Apps, Earth, Chromebooks and Android tablets can support learning and help educators save time. Others will relate to themes including collaboration and community, computer science and STEM, creation and creativity, digital citizenship, literacy and professional development.
Here’s a flavor of the range of sessions:
Visit the Education on Air site to see the full line-up of sessions and make sure to register; because even if you can’t join live, if you register Google will notify you when the recordings are available to view.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

10 great Google posts this week #10

Submitted by Fiona Beal
After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions during this week and last week, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far.  I have saved these using Listly (http://list.ly.com which is a great way to present a list of sites)

Microsoft Math – popular free tool for teachers and learners for improving the Grade 10-12 Maths experience

Image result for Microsoft Math

Microsoft Math is a popular application in many countries. In South Africa it has been adapted for the Grade 10-12 Maths curriculum. Other countries would have an adaptation  for their country.
In the video below high school students and teachers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, talk about on their experiences with Microsoft Math.

Microsoft Math adds a social dimension to education, encouraging students to collaborate and compete with each other, and makes the learning experience more personal, engaging and exciting. Students can do thousands of math exercises, read theory, learn from examples, take tests, and more. Teachers can set assignments and homework for their class directly from the service, with the ability to better track students’ skill levels and motivate them further.



Learn more at https://math.microsoft.com

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Useful Microsoft posts for teachers this week #2

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:

Monday, 13 April 2015

SchoolNet Webinar on Thurs 16th April at 3:15pm ‘How to use Windows Live Movie Maker to simplify the content of a lesson’ by #MIEExpert Phuti Ragophala

webinars3
If you think that creating a video with your photos or video clips is too complicated then you haven’t tried Windows Live Movie Maker! The only downside of this amazing webtool is that it may be too simple for advanced users! It really is very usable with great results. Windows Live Movie Maker is a free resource from Microsoft that can be used to drive the lesson in class. This tool could be free on your PC or laptop. If not it can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Educator's Network. (We encourage you to join this amazing network with all its free resources and offerings.)
image
Webinar details
Meeting Name:  ‘How to use Windows Live Movie maker to simplify the content of a lesson’
Summary: Phuti will give some  ideas on using Windows Live Movie Maker in the classroom to narrate the lesson, summarize the lesson, sing the lesson,   converse about the lesson and rap the lesson.
Presenter: Phuti Ragophala, principal of Pula Madibogo Primary in Limpopo and who is also a Microsoft #MIEExpert15 in South Africa. She recently represented South Africa at the Microsoft Global Forum in Dubai.
WhenThursday 16 April 2015 at 3:15 PM
Duration: 15- 20 minutes
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Pretoria
To join the meeting: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/moviemaker2015/

Note
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

The Norwegian online learning tool, Kahoot is in Cape Town this week – invite them to your school…

Here is an EXCITING message from Kahoot. If you live in Cape Town you don't want to miss this.  https://getkahoot.com/.  Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system

image

As of today we have 30 million Kahoot!-users around the world. I am in Cape Town doing research for Kahoot and would like to meet with teachers, students and others who are interested in the use of technology in education.

Kahoot is a free online tool, it is a writing tool that allows you to create a quiz or poll for educational use. When playing Kahoot, a quiz is shown on a main screen in front of the classroom and the players give their answers individually or in groups through their own device (a phone, tablet or laptop). It is easy to operate and creates great user-experiences for learners of all ages. As a teacher you can make a quiz, find a quiz on the Kahoot-page or have your students explore their learning content and create an engaging quiz for their classmates. It´s an effective and fun way of learning!

image


This short video (made by one of our users) explains the concept of Kahoot: http://youtu.be/zyPX6qP7FZU



Kahoot collaborates with the South-African project, The Global Classroom Project, led by Steve Sherman (also known from Living Maths). The Global Classroom brings together students and teachers from different parts of the world through the use of internet (shared classrooms in Google Hangout or Skype). In the coming week (13th-17th of April) we will run a few classes with Steve Sherman and his students, testing the use of Kahoot as part of a Global Classroom. We have time to do a couple of more meetings while we are here. 

It would be great to meet with you or a teacher at your school, come into a class, play a Kahoot and talk to students about the use of technology in education, meet a number of students during recess (maybe you have some that are particularly interested in technology or games who would enjoy talking to us?) or maybe we can exchange ideas in another way?
I hope to hear from you! Thank you!

Best regards,
Kaja Swensen
Cell phone in South Africa: +27 74 018 3902
Kahoot! -A game-based classroom response system
www.getkahoot.com

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Coming soon… Microsoft tools competition. Watch this space!

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
In the next few weeks Microsoft and SchoolNet we will be launching a competition for teachers who are using one or more of the following Microsoft tools as part of their teaching:

You could win a trip to the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference or a Teaching with Technology Kick-Off session for your school by sharing your idea for using one or more of these Microsoft tools with other teachers and creating a Facebook post about it.

Look out for details on the Microsoft in Education – South Africa and Lesotho Facebook page in the coming weeks. While you are waiting, why not download a few of the new tools and try them out.
image

Friday, 10 April 2015

ICT4RED Phase 3 Cofimvaba teacher graduation- celebrating our success!

Submitted by Maggie Verster
clip_image002
On Saturday 28th of March, the hills of Cofimvaba came alive with the sound of jubilation! After a whole year of intensive training and dedication on the part of facilitators and teachers alike, everybody (yes everybody-100% pass rate) graduated in grand style. This occasion was held at the Cofimvaba Senior Secondary hall and took the form of a banquet lunch. Representatives from the National Department of Education as well as the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Education were present to celebrate our success with us. Apart from all the teachers completing
clip_image004
all of their compulsory badges, 58% of them earned merit awards which means that they have achieved at least half of the challenge badges as well. This reflect the enthusiasm that the teachers have shown. Even though they were under severe pressure towards the end to find the time to implement each badge strategy, they came through with flying colours and now own their tablets as a result of their hard work.

clip_image006
As part of the celebration we had a cake that represented each of the 3 phases and ICT4RED cupcakes to make sure everybody felt part of this success story. The hall was dressed up in celebratory banquet fare and there was an atmosphere of achievement and joy.
Each school was represented by a champion who was chosen on the basis that they were recognised by their peers as being a model of implementation and a support to their colleagues. They had to do a presentation of their favourite strategy and tell the story of how they implemented each strategy in their classroom and school.
There was lots of singing. The facilitators and the teachers composed various ICT4RED songs to show how they have enjoyed this intervention and the ST James choir did a wonderful rendition of our beloved anthem. This graduation has special meaning to all present and this is what some of the teachers, district and facilitators had to say:

clip_image007
clip_image008
clip_image010
Apart from all teachers receiving certificates there were fantastic prizes in various categories for individuals who have performed exceptionally well. Prizes included Sponsorship to attend the SNSA ICT in the Classroom Conference (flights from EL-DUR; accommodation, conference registration, meals), Dell Inspiron i3 Windows 8 Laptop (with office 2013), Samsung Grand Neo Plus Smartphone and Nikon Coolpix 20 MegaPixel Digital Camera. To read more about the winners: https://docs.google.com/a/schoolnet.org.za/document/d/1zSluVzumUSn8m8DXXpR8MQSF9kubV-j_VQJpof3b0iI/edit

Some of the moments that were captured on the day:


The Learning Gains through Play project: Report on Presentation at the Microsoft Road Show in Durban

Submitted by Janet Thomson, CEO of SchoolNetSA
On 24 March three teachers from different Midlands Schools drove through to Durban to make a presentation at the Microsoft Road show being held at the Durban Yacht Club. The objective was to demonstrate how teachers in the Learning Gains through Play project are using the Xbox Kinect in their classrooms. The Xboxes had been donated to the project by Microsoft SA.

The event attracted a number of KZN teachers as well as a range of Microsoft partners. Four teachers from the Midlands project schools had planned the content of their presentation although Nthabiseng Hlela was not able to attend the Durban.
clip_image001
The teachers who presented were Thembisile Maphumulo (Triandra Primary) Joyce Ntuli (Thembelihle Primary) and Thabisile Nyide (Qhamukile Primary)

The programme consisted of a range of presentations. Jaye Richards-Hill presented on the many and varied uses of Office 365 as well as a range of new digital tools for teachers that Microsoft has recently released.

Joyce was the main speaker for the Learning Gains through Play team and she started her presentation by saying that even though they had only had the Xboxes for a few months they had already seen an overall improvement in performance from their learners. Joyce also explained the configuration of the Xbox Kinect in the project whereby the games are projected onto a wall or screen while the learners who are playing the games may stand behind the sensor.

clip_image002 clip_image003
clip_image004 clip_image005
clip_image006

“Play is automatically learner – centred; slow learners gain confidence…”






Joyce emphasised that using the Xbox was not an added burden but actually makes covering CAPS easier because Xbox games cover all the learning areas but particularly Numeracy, Physical Education and Language. She selected two examples of games, Kinect Adventures and 3 D Bowling to illustrate how the games address the following prescribed skills in CAPS: gross motor, fine motor, locomotor, perceptual motor, hand –eye coordination, balance, spatial orientation and laterality.

Joyce then summarised the benefits that she had noticed while using the Xbox Kinect with her learners: play is automatically learner – centred; slow learners had gained confidence, attendance had improved because none of them wished to miss out; learners disciplined themselves; Xbox games efficiently integrate across learning areas; our underprivileged children are exposed to the outside world; learners had become more focused. The Xbox also works well with a learning stations teaching methodology and no time needs to be wasted as learners move to take their turns with the Xbox corner.

Joyce showed slides with learners playing and enjoying themselves but also learning. Another big advantage she outlined is that teachers are able to understand their learners more holistically.

clip_image007
To illustrate this last point Thembisile Maphumulo told the story of a learner at her school who was partially blind but she had only discovered this by the child’s inability to follow instructions on the screen.

Thabisile Nyide then added to the list of benefits by summarising her experiences of the Xbox and what she had found the benefits to be: She listed the following: Encourages creativity, Develops young child’s problem-solving techniques and skills, Cultivates child’s intrinsic motivation, Regards the child’s active participation in the learning process as a major aim, Motivation gives the child the opportunity to develop positive self- concepts.

All three teachers thanked Microsoft for donating the Xboxes to their schools. They also thanked the D G Murray Trust for funding this three year project and SchoolNet for facilitating the process.
The remaining presentations included Karen Durandt from Vastratech, the agents for SMART interactive white boards. Her presentation mesmerised her audience because SMART has now developed revolutionary functionality and software that is specifically designed to assist teachers and learners and seems to have finally addressed the drawback with interactive whiteboards which is that lessons are inevitably teachers centred.
Other presenters included Brad Gerard from EDU365 who outlined how the school management software SIMS could vastly improve school administration.

The teachers from the Learning Gains project soaked up a great deal of new information about all the latest hardware and software. Their audience was additionally wowed by the images of Foundation Phase learners playing Xbox games in class and seemed to be surprised to hear that the games were helping learners achieve the skills prescribed by the national curriculum.

iEARN Youth Summit and Annual Conference to take place in Brazil – and a message to AYV teachers from South Africa…

image

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo
This is a message from iEARN about the upcoming conference in Brazil. A reminder that all south african AYV teachers who submit learners media projects have a chance of going to this conference and will have all conference, travel, and accommodation expenses paid…

The iEARN Brazil Conference team is working hard to prepare the programs for the 2015 Conference and Youth Summit which will be hosted in Brasília, Brazil, which will be held at the Centro de Convenções Ullysses Guimarães from July 26 to July 31.

Both programs offer dynamic workshops on collaborative projects, media creation and new pedagogies. The Youth Summit participants will enjoy local field trips, special art activities and cultural activities that will be planned in conjunction with the iEARN Youth Representatives.


Each year since 1994, around 600 educators and students from over 55 countries come together at the iEARN Conference and Youth Summit for a week to present and share models for using technology to build global understanding and advance teaching and learning.

Find out more
Conference Website: http://www.iearn2015.org/
Conference and Youth Summit Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/501945366574509/

Intel Easy Steps- Basking in the sun…Thlabane (Rustenburg)

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo
A couple months after the Intel Easy Steps workshop for women in Thlabane, we note that the project is already seeing gains.

image

The women highlighted below have reportedly found employment as a direct result of their training. The women of Thlabane are not just actively engaging conversations around women and abuse but are also developing themselves professionally.

image
Hilda
Hilda Moloana (right), a clerical assistant, used to be afraid of computers and constantly looked for her colleagues to assist with computer related challenges. Her participation in the Intel Easy Steps training has given her the confidence to persevere and is now capturing her own work and is working her way to being promoted.


Penelope Sakoor (below) was working on an adhoc basis as a cleaner and has now been appointed as a receptionist at Madikwe building materials services.
image
Penelope

Bokang Keikantseng (right bottom)) was unemployed and at the time of the training had been turned down for a job at the local Wimpy. She re-applied once she completed the course and is now a teller at the WIMPY due to her new found digital literacy skills.
image
Bokang

Louisa Putu (below) was unemployed and she has now been appointed as an admin clerk at LD Matshego Primary School. She works three days a week.
image
Louisa

These lovely ladies have shown that where there is a will there is a way! Your circumstance should not hold you back but rather fuel your way forward!