Thursday, 27 November 2014

Exciting news - Two TeachMeets planned in Port Elizabeth in 2015 – save the dates!

If you have ever attended a TeachMeet you will know how exciting it is to hear everybody's 3-5 minute ideas. Drik Greeff who is from the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape in the eLearning sub-directorate has sent a,essage about two TeachMeets in Port Elizabeth planned for 2015. If yyou live in that area please save these dates.

"Dear Colleagues in the Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas

We have exciting news: There will be two Teachmeet events in Port Elizabeth in 2015! Please write these two events in your diaries.

What is a Teachmeet? A Teachmeet is a forum where teachers get together and share interesting ICT experiences. It can be a website, useful software, Excel applications...any ICT related experience. It is relevant to all teachers, all subjects, all phases, etc.

More details will follow in 2015. Remember to keep these dates for the Port Elizabeth Teachmeets."


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nokia MoMaths name changed to Microsoft Maths on 26th November…

Have you noticed? Today the name of the current Nokia Mobile Mathematics for Grade 10-12 Maths students changed due to the acquisition of Nokia Devices & Services business by Microsoft. The new name for the service is Microsoft Math

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The upgrade to the website consists of simply a new landing (log-in) page, where you will see the new name, Microsoft Math, as well as a new layout including images and an introductory text about the service. Microsoft Math has also uploaded an Overview presentation and a 1-pager leaflet in PDF format which is downloadable from the landing page.

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The URL of the service will also change from https://momaths.nokia.com to https://math.microsoft.com - however please note that this may not happen at the same time with the visual change on the website.

Get access to quality learning content 24/7, on any device!
Microsoft Math makes the learning experience personal, engaging and exciting. Students can do math exercises, read theory, learn from examples, and take tests.
Microsoft Math adds a social dimension to education, making it possible to collaborate and compete with other students.

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

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Some great ‘Top 10 posts’ showing great collections of useful, free web resources for the classroom

Every now and then you come across a great blog that shares really interesting resources and shows how to use them in the classroom. Today I came across such a blog called Raki’s Rad Resources and on this blog were a number of great posts I would like to share with you http://www.rakisradresources.com

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I really liked the Top Ten Lists that she has placed on her blog. These are collections of resources she has collected and feels they are worth sharing:

1. 10 best reading websites for the elementary classroom
http://goo.gl/ZR1GqG

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2. Top 10 Science Websites for Elementary students
http://goo.gl/jI9pon

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3. Top 10 Maths websites for the elementary classroom
http://goo.gl/jw8mzh

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4. 10 best writing sites for the elementary classroom
http://goo.gl/zwNJM8

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To top it all Heidi shares a lovely FREE e-book called ‘ on the TeachersPayTeachers site. http://goo.gl/CjsRMK  I have just doiwnloaded it and it contains great resources.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

The Google Educator Group (GEG) for Cape Town West Coast is being launched today at Parklands College at 3pm. Join us!

imageThe Google Educator Group (GEG) for Cape Town West Coast is being launched today at Parklands College in Table View from 3-6pm.  Please just arrive if you haven’t yet booked.  Here is a message that I received from the organiser yesterday:

"We're really excited to have you at our Google Educator Group Launch tomorrow. We can't wait to share the concept of the community with you. The programme for tomorrow is going to look something like this:

15:00 - Welcome and "What is a GEG and why should you be a part of it?"
15:30 - Google Apps for Education applied in Primary Schools and High Schools
16:00 - Some refreshments (because we know exam times are tough)
16:30 - How to solve real world problems through Education and Technology
17:00 - Create your own projects based on real world problems
17:40 - What's the next step to get more training from the GEG?
18:00 - Farewell

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow and growing our community of enthusiastic educators.
Yours in Education
Tiaan Lötter”
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Grade 3 Afrikaans Quiz using PowerPoint – a guest post from @BothmaDeidre

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This is a guest post from Deidre Bothma who is the Digital Learning Coordinator at Elkanah House Junior Schools.  Deidre does very exciting lessons in her Grade R - 3 classes using a wide range of technology applications. In this post she uses Microsoft’s PowerPoint and Slideboom. This post also featured on Deidre’s blog http://technoboffins.wordpress.com/grade3/ Thank you for allowing us to use your post as a guest post Deidre!
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Our Grade 3′s had so much fun creating an Afrikaans PowerPoint Quiz about ‘My Klaskamer’ (My Classroom). We first wrote our sentences and then took photos with the iPads of various objects in and around our class. We introduced the learners to the PowerPoint Action Buttons – the correct answer to their quiz would hyperlink to the next slide. They even added sounds to the Action Buttons! Take a look at Ross, Kabelo and Brendan’s end product….




technoboffins

SchoolNet says: Thank you very much Deidre - we really appreciate you sharing your knowledge via the SchoolNet blog.  

Nokia MoMaths competition participants – winners announced!

Have your Grade 10 – 12 students signed up for the great, free online Maths help service,Nokia Mobile Maths? This service is available on a web browser as well as a smartphone. The first thing to do is to register at https://momaths.nokia.com. It’s free of charge.

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Recently Nokia Mobile Mathematics held a competition with great prizes, and the winners have been announced. This announcement can be found in the news section of the Nokia Mobile Maths application

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The announcement says,
“Congratulations to the winners and the most active practisers!

All 10 questions correct in the Competition:
Teboho Makhalemele (Grade 10), Claire Foster-Archibald (Grade 11), Rashia (Grade 12)

Most practice questions completed in the Maths Challenge overall:
Palesa Mofokeng, Teboho Makhalemele, Thato Daphne Mashao, Tlotliso Jonas, Mpho Mollo, Temosho

Lumia smartphones and MTN data bundles go to the above prize winners. Many users came very close to maximum points, which just proves that practice does make perfect! Huge thanks to all contestants and participants. We hope you enjoyed it, look out for future competitions, and keep up the good work!!!”

Thursday, 20 November 2014

You are invited to an exciting Google Educator group launch in Cape Town on Monday afternoon (24th Nov )!! Join us…

This invitation comes from Tiaan Lotter a Google Educator Group  (GEG) leader who teaches at Parklands College in Cape Town.

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‘Google Educator Group?’ you ask. ‘What are they?’ Google Educator Groups (GEGs) are being established all over the world. They offer (free of charge) training to enhance the technical abilities of teachers and establish a platform for teachers in a community to collaborate and learn from one another.  Here in South Africa SchoolNet is Google’s Education partner to enhance the growth of Google educator groups around the country.

Details of the launch
If you would like to find out more and even join such a group, and you live in the Cape Town area, you are invited to join the Google Educator Group launch event for the GEG West Coast at Parklands College on the 24th of November from 15:00 - 18:00 to find out more.  All schools in and around the West Coast, Blouberg, Table View, Edgemead, Parklands, Melkbosstrand and beyond are invited to join us. Feel free to send this on to colleagues that may be interested even if they fall outside these areas - we want the reach of this community to stretch as far a possible. This group is being established by Tiaan Lotter of Parklands, Arthur Preston of Elkanah House and Lindsey Durell of Parklands.

For more information and to sign up for this free, fun and informative event, please follow this link: goo.gl/uiOJrA

 
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Read more about GEGs in South Africa
You can read more about GEGs on the SchoolNet blog as follows:
Join GEG South Africa in the meantime...
GEG South Africa is a Google+ community for South African teachers. Please join us and be part of the greater community where we share photos, ideas etc. Currently we have 321 members. http://bit.ly/GEG-SouthAfrica 

Office 365 #14: Invite a guest expert into your classroom using Office 365’s Lync video conferencing application



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Office 365 core service for this post: Lync
You can use a Lync video conference to invite a ‘guest expert’ into your classroom - or even a grandparent to read to your class at story time.


Simply add your guest as a contact in People, and then schedule an online meeting with them using the Schedule meetingtool under their name. Your guest will get a link to the meeting and if they don’t have Lync on their computer they will be able to download it or use the Web App.

You will have a video and audio connection, and when projected onto your screen or whiteboard, it’s almost as if your ‘guest’ is there in the classroom with you.

Your students can ask questions and interact with their guest without the need for expensive and time-consuming trips and visits.

Lync is a really fantastic way of bringing the world into your classroom… and your classroom into the world.

Online Global Education Conference Day 4 – tune in to more great sessions…

Global ed conf


A message from Steve Haragon, Co-Chair of the annual online Global Education Conference
“Thursday, November 20th, is day four of the fifth annual Global Education Conference.  We had yet another great day of sessions and keynotes on Wednesday, and the recordings of any sessions that have taken place are accessible on the conference recordings page (which includes the ones listed below up until you get this note).

The list of today's sessions, in US-Eastern Standard Time, is below. To see the the full conference schedule in your own time zone, with the direct links to session rooms, go to the conference schedule page. Follow the conference through Twitter using the hashtag #globaled14. Session recordings are posted immediately following each session.

Special thanks today to the overnight Australia volunteer team (Julie, Anne,and Sue) who are allowing me and Lucy to get some sleep! We do always need more volunteers to help moderate sessions, join us here.”

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Create a Google site: some great tutorials to get you started…



Submitted by Fiona Beal
Thinking of creating a simple 
website without any knowledge of HTML? Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages. Basically, you would follow this sequence:

Log into your Google account and go to http://sites.google.com
  1. Click the Create button
  2. Choose the Blank Template
  3. Name your site. You'll notice it creates the URL based on the name but you can change that if you wish. The name you choose must be unique in your domain.
  4. Select the Themes section, and choose a theme (i.e. iceberg)
  5. Choose the More Options section, and write a short description of your Site.
  6. Type the captcha code (if you get one)
  7. Click the Create button at the top of the pageIt is as simple as that!
I came across some great tutorials on creating a Google site by Mike Raveneck and thought I would share them here.

1. Creating a Google Site - Sites Tutorial 1 of 5



In the first tutorial of this 5 part series, Mike shows how to create a Google Site.
  • He shows how to log in to Google, then to Google sites and choose ‘Çreate sites’.
  • You can choose a template which can be changed later. You could end up with a site that looks like this one:
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2. Basic Editing Features of Google Sites - Sites Tutorial 2 of 5



This tutorial reviews some of the basic editing features of Google Sites, including inserting and formatting options. To get to your newly created site, log in to Google and type in Google sites and navigate to the site you have created. 
  • Mike shows the essential editing features which are common to most word processing documents.
  • He explains Insert, Format, Table and Layout
  • He shows how to insert a YouTube video
  • He demonstrates inserting a Google document. This will be a live document that incorporates any changes made in the document in Google Drive.
  • He demonstrates uploading an image and inserting a Google map
  • He demonstrates inserting a horizontal line, Google +
3. Page & Site Settings of Google Sites - Sites Tutorial 3 of 5



This tutorial illustrates a number of the page and site settings for modifying pages within a Google Site. This is the third tutorial in a five part series on using Google Sites.
  • Click on More in the right hand corner.
  • Mike looks at page settings and demonstrates the various options of website, file cabinet, list or announcement.
  • He discusses page templates and site actions
  • He talks about changing the navigation bar to a horizontal navigation bar; and aslo about managing the site.
  • Mike discusses the Google Help section also available under the More button.

4. Adding a New Page to Your Google Site - Sites Tutorial 4 of 5



This tutorial reviews some how to add new pages and subpages within a Google Site.
  • Click on the new page button on the top right.
  • Create your pages first. Afterwards add them to your navigation bar.
  • Mike also discusses how you go  about nesting pages under the horizontal navigation bar.  Once can change to a sidebar if required,
5. 'Managing' Your Google Site - Sites Tutorial 5 of 5



This tutorial reviews how to manage a Google Site using the features within the 'Manage Site' area of the Site. It is the final video in a five part tutorial series on using Google Sites.
  • There is only 100MB of storage available in a Google site
  • Under the Manage sites hyperlink under ‘More’ you can create a copy of the site.
  • You can change the theme of your site under manage site – change theme.
  • Further problems can be ironed out by looking through the Site Help section under More.

Office 365 #13: Share your calendar with colleagues using Office 365

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Office 365 core services for this post: Outlook.com, Calendar 

Did you know you could share your calendar? Office 365 makes it easy, and you can choose how much of the information is shared - all of it or only some.

In Outlook.com you can add multiple calendars of other users who have shared their calendars with you to view on one screen. This is extremely useful when it comes to scheduling tutorials, meetings and other events as you can overlay many people’s calendars to see when the most suitable time would be to arrange something. No more lengthy email threads trying to work out when everyone can make it!

Simply click on the share icon, choose who you’d like to share your calendar with and then set the level of information sharing.

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Online Global Education Conference Day 3 – tune in to some great sessions…

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Wednesday, November 19th, is day three of the fifth annual Global Education Conference. We had another great day of sessions and keynoteson Tuesday, and the recordings of any sessions that have taken place are accessible on the conference recordings page.
The list of Wednesday's sessions, in US-Eastern Standard Time, is below. To see the the full conference schedule in your own time zone, with the direct links to session rooms, go to the conference schedule page. Follow the conference through Twitter using the hashtag#globaled14. Session recordings are posted immediately following each session.

(US-Eastern Time)
1:00am
  • Globally Connecting Classes through Interactive Learning Objects - Ezra Samantha M. Mancenido (Undergraduate, Bachelor of Elementary Education - Special Education)
2:00am
  • Connecting Education to the Cloud for Digital Citizenship - Chryssanthe Sotiriou, High School EFL Coordinator
3:00am
  • Democratization: Stuctural Change of Regimen and of the Living Experience at Schools - Olek Netzer, Ph.D.
  • Speechcraft Online: Connecting the Speakers' Trainers Globally - Carole McCulloch
4:00am
  • KEYNOTE: Omashani Naidoo
6:00am
  • "El Camino de la Praxis en la Aldea Global del Siglo XXI" - Prof. Stella Maris Berdaxagar
  • Connecting Students to Language and Culture through a Culture Cafe - Dr. Thomas Moncrief
  • Flipped Classroom para la asignatura Informática - Mrs Silvana Salica
  • ¿Informática sin computadoras? - Alba Silvana Salica
7:00am
  • Global Education Coalition-New York City: Organizational Collaboration to Support Local Educators Develop Globally Competent Youth - Alice Forsythe, Director of Partnerships
  • Increase Global Collaboration and Recognize Achievements with Digital Badges - Michael Boll
  • Integrating Science Teaching with 21st Century Skills - Dr. Purnendu Chatterjee
  • MAD Day from Syria Makes A Difference - Samah AlJundi
  • Maintaining Bridges to Swaziland Via Social Media - Susan Jacques Pierson, Ph.D.
8:00am
  • A global social enterprise empowering underprivileged women through photography to overcome structural constraints of women empowerment - Bonnie Chiu (Director and Co-Founder of Lensational Limited)
  • Global Outreach Through Skype - Katie Wampler
  • Making and Learning - A Global Connection - Don Buckley, Co-Founder
  • Speak First: Shifting Modern Language Programs from Writing and Grammar Toward Genuine Global Connection - Jason Cummings Ph.D. Modern Language Department Head
  • Teaching First Year Library Research Experience in China: Strategies, Assessments, Challenges and Opportunities - Raymond Pun, Reference and Research Services Librarian
9:00am
  • KEYNOTE: Thomas Röhlinger on "Global Education strategies for a world at an historic 'tipping-point'"
10:00am
  • Casting the net wider: How can we encourage new participants in global learning? - Heidi Gibson, founder, Learning is Global
  • FlippingPD - Pre-Service Teachers Teaching Teachers Globally - Eva Brown, Instructor/Developer
  • Fostering Societal Consciousness through Soft Skills Training - Dr. Revathi Viswanathan
  • Ideas and Tips for Enhancing and Nurturing your Global Competency - Bonnie Koenig
  • The Global Understanding Program: Preparing Students for the Global Society - Dr. Jami Leibowitz, Interim Director of GlobalAcademic Initiatives and Director of Global Understanding
11:00am
  • Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classroom Designs for the 21st Century - Jennifer Williams, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Go and Smell the Roses! - Kathy Beck, Instructional Technology Coordinator
  • How American Higher Education is Missing Out on the Global Pie - Anatoly Lezhen - Entrepreneur+Enthusiast
  • Talking Kites all over the world in the footsteps of j.Korcak - Ruty Hotzen
  • Teaching Global Competency Through Skills-Based Learning - Amanda Stamp, Global Education Director
12:00pm
  • KEYNOTE: Tonya Muro on "100 Years: 100 Countries - AFS' Intercultural Learning in Teachers Colleges as a Pathway to Peace"
1:00pm
  • How do we fit global education within our curriculum at various grade levels? - Paul Loranger educational Consultant
  • KEYNOTE: Paul Salopek & Liz Dawes Duraisingh on "Out of Eden Learn: Slowing down and exchanging stories in the digital age"
  • TIG's Free Educational Games - Tania Rashid, Global Education Program Administrator
  • Tips on Designing a Global-focused Class - Adam Carter
2:00pm
  • KEYNOTE: Leslie Paynter on "Developing Empathy, Collaboration, and Reflection in Elementary Children: Voyager Academy Elementary~an Ashoka Changemaker School"
3:00pm
  • KEYNOTE: John Mergendoller on "From Packets to Gold Standard Project Based Learning"
4:00pm
  • A French and American Classroom Connection: Improving Linguistic Cultural Proficiency through E-Learning - Fabrice Fresse, VIF Cultural Exchange Teacher at Hopewell High School Lauren Oswald, English Teacher Assistant of TAPIF
  • Bringing the World to our Classroom: Connecting and Communicating on a Whole New Level - Susie Oh - Director of Information Resource & Technology Integration Specialist
  • Developing A Global PLN - Akevy Greenblatt
  • La aplicación de la teoría de las inteligencias múltiples en la educación virtual - Lorena Jiménez
5:00pm
  • "Eso que HACEMOS Ahí (en Presencia Del otro maléfico) del nuestro de estar-en-Siendo en disciplina" con "Humanidad Hacia otros", Ubuntu. - Pedro Néstor Ibáñez Lic. en Psicología
  • ACCESS Program's Enhancement activities: honing students' collaboration, leadership, and communication skills. - El Baida Marouane, EFL and ACCESS Program Teacher
  • Going Global: Facilitating and Designing Collaborative Classroom Projects at Home and Abroad - Lindsey Myers, Library Media Specialist
  • Increasing Student Achievement Through Nonlinguistic Teaching Strategies - Patricia J. Davis, Ph.D.
  • Library Beyond Borders: Fostering Global Learners by Connecting Libraries around the World - Cintia Bastos - k-12 Librarian
6:00pm
  • KEYNOTE: Lisa Parisi, Donna Roman, Toni Olivieri Barton, Emily Roth, Maire O'Keeffe, Betsey Sargent and Robyn Thiessen on "Our Global Friendships"
7:00pm
  • Going Global at Home - Kathleen McInerney, Ph.D.
  • Hearin the Silence Behind Learning Goals and Success Criteria - Mrs. Najwa Chalabi
  • One World: Many Stories - Patricia Davis, Ph.D.
  • The Value of Values in Transformative Learning Framework. How student values/experiences impact learning and instructional design methods. - Richard C. Close CEO
  • Using Facebook and Twitter as Online Classrooms: Connecting Educators and Learners Around the Globe - Pierre Moncal and Katrina Ingco - BEEd Special Education Undergraduate
8:00pm
  • A Student-Led Virtual Technology Conference? A New Model for Collaboration! - Student Technology Leadership Team
  • Examining methods for promoting college student engagement in course-based collaborative projects online - Leon James, Dr.
  • The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Building Global Relationships that Endure - Middle School Math Teacher and Co-leader ofGlobal Initiatives
  • The Global We : Middle School Pedagogy for Global Engagement - Will McDononough: Social Studies & English teacher; History Department Co-Chair
9:00pm
  • KEYNOTE: Mayus Chavez on "Common Core Global Standards"
10:00pm
  • Linking Leaders with Communities - Moderation Best Practices - Ian Murray - Facilitator
  • Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology - Marshal Conley Senior Consultant
  • SPOTLIGHT: From Empathy to Action: Assessing your Social Justice Impact - Noble Kelly, President & Founder
11:00pm
  • Exploring the Middle East through video conferencing - Terry Godwaldt, Director of Programming
  • Pedagogía de la autoridad - John JairoGarcía García; Psicólogo, Docente.
  • Using Adinkra Symbols from Ghana to Explore Universal Values and Student Identity - Sue Ron-Gonzalez, Literacy Specialist

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

South African Teachers – register your blog in the SA Blog Awards competition – by 21st November 2014


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Submitted by Fiona Beal
The SA Blog Awards is a competition that is said to showcase the very best of South African blogs. Please visit http://www.sablogawards.com for information about this. I received an email to say that the registration phase for the 2014 Blog Awards is now open but ONLY UNTIL Friday 21st November…

Teachers, enter your blogs
Teachers, think about entering your blog in this showcase because there is a Best Educational Blog award. Take the chance and enter! Bloggers may enter their blog into any two categories.

The different categoriesThis years categories are
  • Best Arts & Crafts Blog
  • Best Business Blog
  • Best Educational Blog
  • Best Entertainment Blog
  • Best Environmental Blog
  • Best Fashion Blog
  • Best Food or Wine Blog
  • Best LGBT Blog
  • Best Lifestyle Blog
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best Parenting Blog
  • Best Photographic Blog
  • Best Religious or Spirituality Blog
  • Best Science and Technology Blog
  • Best Sport Blog
  • Best Travel Blog
Register this week!The registration phase is open only until Friday 21 November 2014. The public vote phase will run from 25 November 2014 until Friday 31 December 2014. Winners will be announced on 31 January 2015.

Click here to register your entry now


Monday, 17 November 2014

‘GEG South Africa...and all it's branches’ - a guest post by @ajegbers

[image%255B3%255D.png]This is a guest post from Anthony Egbers who is Head of Technology at Dainfern College Prep School. Anthony has had the opportunity to run a BYOT programme over the past two years. He is a firm believer in the opportunities that technology provides teachers in terms of personal development and classroom opportunities. In this post he shares on launching GEG Dainfern and  the current Google Educator groups (GEG) movement in South Africa   This post is also featured on Anthony’s blog on 22 October 2014http://technoschooljourney.blogspot.com/ . Thank you for allowing us to use your post as a guest post Anthony!

Whoop, Whoop! GEG Dainfern launched today, October 22nd 2014.

GEG Dainfern founder members

'Google Educator Groups. Learn. Share. Inspire. Empower.' is the calling cry of GEG's all over the world.

GEG groups in South Africa
Recently the GEG (Google Educator Group) program was launched in South Africa. With local partners SchoolNetSA and a group of enthusiastic and dedicated leaders and trainers Google hopes to establish and maintain a training and development program that could change the way teachers and schools approach technology.

What are GEG groups?
According to Google: Google believes that the best inspiration to educators are other educators. It is for this reason that Google helped start a community of passionate educators, who bring the benefits of technology to schools, classrooms, and communities across the world.

GEGs provide a platform for educators to collaborate with one another, allowing them to pick up new creative ideas from one another, and to help each other best meet the needs of their students with Google solutions. GEG activities take place both online and offline. Online GEGs provide a space for educators to discuss together and learn about one another through Google+; offline, locally run events and workshops are a way to learn and share face to face.

Who can join a GEG?
Anyone is very welcome to join GEG. You may be a principal, a school administrator, a professor, a student, or just someone interested in using Google products to help people learn. Each group is organised by a local volunteer (GEG leader) and is entirely independent from Google, the corporation.' This means that although Google provides resources, in terms of tools and training, it has no influence on the direction and thoughts of the GEG participants.



But what does this all mean? Does a GEG just talk Google, are they limited to what Google provides. In short, no, I do not believe this. GEG's are device and platform agnostic (although GAFE helps), they admit anyone who is interested and do not look at background, means or even connectivity. The idea is to embrace #edtech and run with it.

What Google have foreseen is a rapidly changing world in which teachers and schools need to adapt to changes on an ongoing basis. The GEG is designed to be a place where teachers receive training and advice that provides the tools they need to cope in a modern classroom. One where knowledge is empowered by the use of research, analysis and critical thinking around any given topic. A place to share ideas on teaching philosophy, on networking (both physical and social) and on being in the classroom.

The best thing so far about the process of establishing a GEG is:

  • the training I have had the opportunity to receive. A mad weekend of getting to know 25-30 passionate teachers and administrators from around South Africa (Abrie Pepler, Nomusa Keninda, and so many others), 
  • a Google+ community that is growing fast and provides solid advice and discussion on a variety of topics 
  • and a local group of teachers from Crawford's Fourways, Lonehill and Italia, St Peters School,  Dainfern College, Cedarwood School and Rivonia Primary.

What I look forward to is getting more schools involved. The more the merrier. No-one 'owns' a GEG and they can evolve, split and reconvene, as long as the needs of the teachers are met. Over the next few months a network of GEG's should be established around South Africa, take the opportunity and join one. It might change the way you teach!

Join our Dainfern GEG
Thanks to all the teachers who were present. If you are interested please contact me to join. We are especially keen for government schools to join us. So far there is only one.

Read the profiles and see the learning activities uploaded by South Africa & Lesotho’s 16 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts class of 2014

Microsoft_Innovative Educator 2

Our congratulations go to the following sixteen Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts who are teachers from South Africa and Lesotho. If you would like to see their profiles or learning activities, please look them up on the Microsoft Educator Network. You will need to log in to the Microsoft Educator Network first.

From Brescia House School in Bryanston, Gauteng:


From Elkanah House in Cape Town, Western Cape:

From Pula Madibogo Primary in Polokwane, Limpopo:

From other schools across South Africa:


And from Lesotho:

Well done to all of these Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. We salute the efforts you are making to create engaging and innovative learning experiences for your students and for then sharing these great ideas with a community of teachers from around the world.

The Nokia Mobile Maths programme for Grade 10-12 Maths students a success story. Register today!

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This project looks at the issue of how to harness mobile phones for learning mathematics in formal and informal learning environments with the objective of finding a sustainable, scalable, replicable, and affordable service for learners. You can register for the programme free of charge at https://momaths.nokia.com

Here is a SlideShare explaining about the programme.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts and Showcase Schools announced in South Africa and Lesotho

Microsoft_Innovative_Educator

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
From the online applications that were received and the more than 50 learning activities that were uploaded to the Microsoft Educator Network, sixteen teachers from South Africa and Lesotho were selected to be Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEs) for 2015. These teachers join a group of 800 educators from more than 100 countries around the world who will enjoy a year long experience with Microsoft as they learn more about creating an environment of innovation in education using technology. Of the sixteen MIEs who have been selected from South Africa and Lesotho, a further selection will take place in January 2015 to determine who will represent these two countries in at the Microsoft in Education Forum in Dubai in February 2015, and who will get to attend the Global Microsoft in Education Forum taking place in Redmond, Washington in April 2015.

Microsoft_Innovative Educator 2


Our congratulations go to the following sixteen Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts from South Africa and Lesotho. If you would like to see their profiles or learning activities, please look them up on the Microsoft Educator Network.

From Brescia House School in Bryanston, Gauteng:


  • Jilian Cederwall
  • Lyneth Crighton
  • Tracy Heath
  • Anne Sugden

From Elkanah House in Cape Town, Western Cape:

  • Simone Crous
  • Linda Foulkes
  • Jacky Louw
  • Karen Stadler

From Pula Madibogo Primary in Polokwane, Limpopo:

  • Tinny Molepo
  • Phuti Ragophala

From other schools across South Africa:

  • Mabore Lekalakala - Toronto Primary School – Polokwane, Limpopo
  • Mokhudu Machaba - Ngwanamago Primary – Polokwane, Limpopo
  • Yolande Peter - Byletts Secondary School - East London, Eastern Cape
  • Kathryn Riva - Micklefield School – Rondebosch, Western Cape
  • Warren Sparrow - Rondebosch Boys' Preparatory School - Rondebosch, Western Cape


And from Lesotho:

  • Tlali Mabusane - Matikoe High School – Maseru, Lesotho

Well done to all of these Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts as well as the teachers who shared their learning activities on the Microsoft Educator Network. We salute the efforts you are making to create engaging and innovative learning experiences for your students and for then sharing these great ideas with a community of teachers from around the world.

2014-2015 Microsoft Showcase School

Congratulations also go to Brescia House School which was selected by Microsoft as a 2014-2015 Microsoft Showcase School for its excellence in transforming its learning environment to deliver more personalized education to students, using mobile and cloud technology to better prepare students for success in the workplace. Brescia House School joins an exclusive community of over 150 premier schools from around the world, recognized to celebrate their truly pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment in order to drive deep 21st century competencies.  The fact that a quarter of the South African and Lesotho Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts come from Brescia House School is an indication of the scale of innovative teaching practices happening at this school. Well done Brescia House School! Read more about this achievement on the Brescia House School blog:
http://www.brescia.co.za/brescia-house-primary-school/primary-school/ps-blog-menu/brescia-house-school-selected-as-a-2014-2015-microsoft-showcase-school

Teaching Poetry with Prezi - Poetry in motion! by @MrLotter

imageThis is a guest post from Tiaan Lotter (@MrLotter), a Google Certified Teacher from South Africa. Tiaan is a very innovative Afrikaans teacher from Parklands College and he frequently presents at conferences around South Africa. Visit his website at bit.ly/MrLotter. In previous guest posts Tiaan shared about his experience at the Google Teacher Academy in London; he also contributed Gone Google? Now go Advanced...; and the last post was Teaching with Twitter in #AfrikaansThanks for sharing so freely with us Tiaan and Parklands College.
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Teaching poetry
I have used preset works of poetry, set my own, paper and coloured pens, projectors (the old-fashioned and modern kind), PowerPoints and Keynotes to teach learners poetry.
“Why do we need to do poetry, sir?” I often hear the cries. The response is simple: If we have an opportunity to learn from those that do it the best we must take it, including poetry. Poets are skilled wordsmiths and it is their job to be best at using a language, they then serve as our tutors to using new vocabulary, figurative and literal speech as well as other language devices.

The manipulation of information to learn
To enhance engagement of learners, retention of information, the acquisition of new knowledge abilities and skills. To cause change in our learners: movement in their intellectual capacities, we dance, act, discipline, play, give and take freedom for the benefit of our learners.
“As we move into the next century and more technologically sophisticated industry and service sectors, work becomes more abstract, depending on understanding and manipulating information rather than merely acquiring it.” (Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice, Jack Mizerow)
Learning has many definitions which all contain an element of change on the part of the learner. This usually includes the acquisition of a new ability or being able to prove this new ability was gained. The latter we term “assessment” and some frown on the heavy emphasis that is placed on it. However, learning remains the foundation of what we aim to achieve.

"Tell me, and I'll listen. 
Show me, and I'll understand. 
Involve me, and I'll learn."

This quote has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, a Teton Lakota Indian and as a Chinese Proverb, I do not know which is true, but in my experience the quote holds truth. It speaks directly to the principle of learning through the manipulation of information, circumstances and one’s environment.

Using Prezi to Teach Poetry
Teaching and learning what poetry has to offer through the manipulation of a poem using Prezi has changed my entire outlook on teaching verse. Instead of being bound to a static image / page (it doesn’t matter how cool the picture is) there is only so much interest it will awaken in a learner. But what if an entire poem about making contact looked like an iPhone and the learners are able to manipulate the information around it. Here is what I came up with to teach my first Grade 12 Afrikaans First Additional Language poem, Kontak by Theo de Jager:
(Click on this link to be taken to the full prezi - http://prezi.com/g5hf8usv5sfu/kontak-theo-de-jager/# 


My learners'responses
Apart from the initial “Wow, sir! This is awesome,” I was told by learners, they universally agreed it is a clearer and more concise version of what we did before, except now they can take control of the wheel. I explained various parts of the poem - was able to jump from one part to the other effortlessly - and when a learner wanted to review what I said before or work ahead they could easily do so on their own devices. I choose to share all of my work with my learners - you can do the same.

Transforming all the Grade 12 Afrikaans FAL setworks using Prezi
I immediately went on a quest to transform all the Grade 12 Afrikaans FAL set work poems into manipulable pieces of information using Prezi. You can find them all and more here: http://prezi.com/user/ym_nywyiwcj6/ I did not stray too far from my old approach - the learners were allowed to make notes on paper, keyboard or tablet. Learners with their laptops or tablets with them were able to take in information visually, audially and through manipulation of the information - kinaesthetically. I did not end the lesson there. I used Google Docs to have each class collaboratively in groups answer questions adding peer learning into the mix. We then reviewed the questions and answers, each group being responsible to answer and justify their questions - attaining the highest form of learning: explaining it to someone else. Of course, some learners will take full advantage of this, while others need to be pushed and motivated to do so.



                                       
What I didn’t do...
Teaching poetry again I’ll definitely add in something I added in when we revised our novel: creationism. Although the learners were engaged and were assimilating knowledge, I strongly believe that modern day education should address the main curriculum of teaching learners how to learn. I also believe this is achieved through involvement. Having learners create their own Prezi’s (or other forms of presentations) and questions and answers (using a guide based on some kind of Educational Taxonomy - there seems to be quite a few going around lately).

What we shouldn’t do...
Technology is a wonderful tool that has revolutionised everything that it has touched including teaching. But, we must be aware of something that Michael Fullan, in his book Stratosphere, calls the seduction of technology. We must be careful that technology does not outstrip our ability to learn how to use it effectively. In this sense we recognise our own abilities to learn how to learn. Technology will not teach for us. Before pens and paper we taught on stone walls and stone tablets. Today we are teaching on electronic walls and electronic tablets. “The more things change the more they stay the same.” (Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr) is an old adage. What matters most is the way in which we adapt to use our tools and toys to prepare learners for a world that does not exist yet.

SchoolNet says: Thank you very much Tiaan for this explanation of how you teach Grade 12 Afrikaans poetry using Prezi. Your learners are very fortunate to have such an innovative teacher!  We really appreciate you sharing your knowledge via the SchoolNet blog.  

Nokia Mobile Maths – this is a must for all Grade 10-12 students who are studying Maths





Advantages of the Nokia programmeOne of the great advantages of this program is that learners can set up their own study groups with friends and see how they are doing or compete with each other! The program is also accessible from a PC.  If you are a Grade 20-12 Maths teacher and your students haven't yet signed up - encourage them to do so this week. 

How do you sign up?
Register at https://momaths.nokia.com. It’s free of charge

What will I find on the site?
9000+ quizzes. Exercises are divided into levels of difficulty. When you master a set of quizzes you will move up on a level. There is 10 levels in each sub-topic. There is plenty of theory to help one along and examples to work through.

Register your students today!


Friday, 7 November 2014

Upcoming Adobe Youth Voices Webinar on 11 Nov. Join in to take a look at the Adobe Premiere Elements workspace!

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Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere are two great programmes to use in the classroom for media making activities. This is an  invitation to join a guided tour of the Adobe Premiere Elements workspace by joining in a series of webinars. The sessions are open to all and will be held online in the iEARN Adobe Youth Voices Connect Room at http://iearn.adobeconnect.com/ayv.

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How to join the webinars
To convert the times below to your local time zone, see: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html. To enter the room, choose the first option "Enter as a Guest," and then enter your name and country. The sessions will be led by Mali Bickley and Jim Carleton

When?
Webinar 1
Tuesday November 4: 4:30 - 5:30 PM (New York City time)
Wednesday November 5: 6:30 - 7:15 AM (New York City time)
An Overview of the Adobe Premiere Elements Workspace: Part Two

Description: Using Advanced Editing Tools: Premiere Elements offers some incredible editing tools that will help you add flair and interest to your media. We will explore some of the new tools such as time mapping, audio balance, quick editing. These editing tools can help you in your final revisions and edits as you prepare to share your AYV projects.

Webinar 2
Tuesday November 11: 4:30 - 5:30 PM (New York City time)
Wednesday November 12: 6:30 - 7:15 AM (New York City time)
Adobe Premiere Elements: Exporting/Publishing a finished project

Description:
Exporting, or publishing, your final video can be confusing since there are so many possibilities. Here we will look at and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular formats today. We will then go through which setting you should use in order to publish your project to the media gallery.

Recordings of Past Webinar Sessions:
  • An Overview of the Adobe Premiere Elements Workspace: Part One.  RECORDING
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements Basics - A Walk Through of the Media Mashup Activity Webinar - RECORDING.

News about the upcoming free, online Global Education Conference. Get involved!

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This is a message from Lucy Gray the Global Conference Co-Chair.

"If you are new to the Global Education Conference Network, we are a 19,000 member strong community of educators and others interested in connecting classrooms and furthering educational opportunities for all. My conference co-chair, Steve Hargadon, and I strongly believe that educators need to connect with others globally in order to establish the foundation for collaboration; our community is designed to foster these professional relationships. Please read our mission so that you fully understand our purpose.

So what can you do here year round in the Global Education Conference Network? You can explore our resources, participate in our discussion forums, share an event, or join an affinity group. Please post resources, events, questions etc related to global education in these areas. Relevant posts will be broadcasted on our social media channels in order to promote connections. For example, if you have a project that you are running and would like other classrooms to participate, post a detailed description in our discussion forum. Then, I will post it to our Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. Hopefully, this will help you get participants for your project! 

We are now gearing up for our fifth annual free, online conference which takes place every November. The call for proposals is now open and we encourage educators and non-profit organizations to submit proposals that relate to our mission. Do this early rather than later so that you can book your presentation at your time of choice; the schedule gets rather full as we get closer to the conference. Check out our accepted proposals and our keynote speakers as well; more are going to be announced shortly. Also, we are looking for advisory board members, partner organizations, and volunteer moderators for the conference. 

For your convenience, we've developed a few digital flyers that we hope you will post to social media and send to potentially interested colleagues:
  1. 10 Ways to Connect Globally - suggestions for getting involved with our community
  2. 5th Annual GlobalEdCon - a general explanation of the conference inviting people to participate
  3. Call for Proposals - a flyer designed for those who might want to present
In other news, GEC Leadership Team member Julie Lindsay is going to be coordinating our student strand of the conference. Look for more information on this in the next couple of weeks and start thinking about how you can involve your students. We also will be convening our advisory board for meetings in September; dates to be announced soon.

Many thanks to our core sponsors,iEARN and the Global Campaign for Education - US Chapter for making this community and conference possible. We also are grateful for our amazing leadership team featured on the front page of our web site. We are very appreciate of all of your support! 
Visit The Global Education Conference Network at: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network"

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Google Educator Groups (GEGs) are springing up around South Africa...

Recently Google launched the Google Educator Group (GEG) program in South Africa with SchoolNetSA as the local education partner. The establishment of GEG groups along with the free GEG workshop training on offer are part of Google’s worldwide strategy to help teachers enhance the use of technology in their teaching. In late July around 25 educators met at a location in Johannesburg for a Train the Trainer weekend run by Wendy Gorton from the USA. As a result of this, GEG workshops are being offered around the country and GEG launches are springing up. As these workshops and launches take place they are recorded in the GEG South Africa community http://goo.gl/2fDXtN. The GEGs highlighted below were launched either as a result of a workshop that took place OR as a launch with a number of founder members by an recognised GEG leader. There are several others that are planning their launches early in the new year.

Recently established GEGs

GEG Emalahleni


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This was the first GEG to be established in South Africa and Nomusa Keninda (Senior Education Specialist for Computers in Education, SchoolNetSA Google Trainer) gave this report back. "Emalahleni gave birth to a new exciting, passionate and committed group of teachers who want to turn their classrooms into Google classrooms. The Google Education Group was launched on the 20 September 2014 at DM Motsaosele Secondary School in KwaGuqa ext 10. GEGemalahleni consists of 45 teachers from 15 schools in eMalahleni. They met for the first time in the Google Education Group Workshop where they were trained on Google tools for education.
'We are excited about this programme, it will empower us on web literacy and we will get lots of resources in the internet' says Ms Phindile Skosana from DM Motsaosele School.
'GEG will teach us a lot, technology is great dear. Thanks for our time, I can’t wait for the course in Google' says Fiky Kwanda after creating her Gmail account.
'Thank you Sisi Nomusa for organizing this training workshop, I trust that it will help us in advancing our tech skills' saidwrote Mr Micheal Mushangwe.  Ms. Jabulile Msomi  from Blackhill Primary School also bragged about her school excelling in GEG lesson activities.

The group was fantastic and they are looking forward to other Google Education Group events."

GEG Metro East


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GEG Dainfern


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Anthony Egbers, the Dainfern GEG leader wrote a great blogpost 'GEG South Africa...and all its brancheson his ICT blog after the launch of the Dainfern group.

GEG East London


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GEG Parktown

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Imminent GEG launches in Cape Town

There are two definite launches taking place in Cape Town this month and you are invited to attend if you are in the vicinity.

GEG Metro Central
Glenn Jones, a GEG leader, will be launching this GEG at an introductory workshop at Western Province Prep School, on Wednesday 12th of November from 3pm - 5pm. If you would like to attend please sign up at tinyurl.com/gegctrsvp

GEG West Coast
Tiaan Lotter, a GEG leader, will be launching this GEG at an introductory workshop at Parklands College on Monday 24th November from 3pm – 6pm. Keep watching the GEG South Africa community for further details.

GEG worldwide

Google is currently populating a Google map to keep a record of the GEG groups that are springing up world-wide.

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