Friday, 18 August 2017

Useful Google in Education links this week #106

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/QJ8C8p. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)


Ollie Bray from Scotland confirmed as keynote presenter for the SchoolNet SA ICT in the classsroom' conference 5-7 October

We are thrilled to announce that Ollie Bray from the UK, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the SchoolNet SA conference.


Ollie's career in education spans over twenty years. During this time he has been a teacher, head of department, senior government adviser and school leader. In recent years this has included a four year secondment to the Scottish Government as their National Adviser on Emerging Technologies for Learning. He is currently Headteacher at Kingussie High School located within the Cairngorms National Park. He is also a Member of the Board of Management at Inverness College: University of the Highlands and Islands as well as well as serving on several other advisory boards including the BBC’s Educational Broadcasting Council for Scotland. Under Ollie's leadership Kingussie has been rated one of the most improved schools in Scotland. At a systems level, most recently, he has been responsible for co-designing the deployment of 22,000 Chromebooks across his education district. For over a decade Ollie has worked regularly in schools and school systems around the world advising about whole school improvement, technology for learning and learning space design (both digital and physical). When he is not working he enjoys riding his bike (very long distances), paddling his canoe and wandering in the mountains.

In his keynote Ollie will reflect on new trends in learning, teaching and school leadership and talk about how technology can improve outcomes for children and young people by transforming the learning landscape.

Register here, on our Conference page, for the SchoolNet SA conference – taking place at Brescia House School in Bryanston, Gauteng between 5-7 October 2017. If you register before 31st August you qill qualify for the early bird rate.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ideas for using Canva in your classroom this term...

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Canva (canva.com) is a graphic-design tool website which has both free and paid elements. It is web-based and is available for iPads and Chromebooks. You can also use it as a Chrome extension when using the Chrome browser. After spending some time exploring Canva I found that it has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. There are free and paid elements but I found there are sufficient free elements for one to use the program very creatively. When you explore Canva for the first time a feeling of great delight comes over you! You suddenly realise that Canva could be great to use in the classroom for various design projects. There are so many useful free Canva tools available. In this post I will give you some classroom ideas.


What can you do with Canva?
As I looked around Canva I found so many ways I could bring it in to my teaching. You can create professional presentations, posters, multi-page documents, invitations and cards, infographics and so much more. There are just so many different templates. 


Popular design types


Documents


Events


Blogging and e-books


Social Media Posts


How do you  access Canva?
But first, how do you access Canva in the classroom? The process is simple.
  • Sign in with your Google account. 
  • Select one of the over fifty-six categories shown above such as presentations, posters,greeting   cards, infographics, cover pages and more..
  • Replace the text and images. Optionally change colors, size, layering, and more.
  • Alternatively create your own project with a blank template. 
  • Save/publish/share.
My students signed in with their G Suite accounts. Recently I read in a blog post that you have to be 13 or older, but we never saw any restrictions when signing in. Perhaps with my younger students I will create one school account for the class and let them all sign in to that.

Here is a Slideshare on how I used Canva with a class for the first time:



Ideas for the classroom
Presentations
Students will be used to creating presentations using PowerPoint, Google Slides or Keynote. Canva also has a great presentation tool and students could use it to create really attractive presentations on the topic they are working on in any subject. They could show their presentations using Canva's present tool. Get some ideas from this post: How to Make a Presentation With Canva

Brochures
Often one wants students to use tri-fold brochures for their classroom projects and Canva can assist here with a six-sided brochure template/

Greeting cards
Students love to create cards for their family and friends. They could create and download attractively designed cards using Canva.

Posters and fliers
Poster-making in class is a long time favourite with teachers. Posters can be used to demonstrate a summary of extensive research and reading around a topic. They also facilitate creative thinking and provide an opportunity to learn by doing. Watch this short video to see how to create a poster using Canva, Make a poster in Canva. To find out more about using posters in your classroom read:
How Can I Use Poster-Making to Facilitate Learning in the Classroom?

Reports
Students often need to compile reports for various subjects and Canva is great to use for this task. For ideas on how to do this read: How to Design Your Report for School Projects With Canva's Free Alternative to Photoshop.  If your students have written their reports or e-books using another program, they could then design the cover for their project using Canva..

Infographics
Infographics area great visual way to view and absorb information. Some neuroscientests say that the use of stories and the use of images, pictures, and visual tools get students to pay attention more easily. Creating an Infographic as a summary of findings makes the information not only eye-catching but also readable and memorable. To find out one way of using Canva to make an infographic watch this short tutorial: How to Create Infographics in Minutes (Canva)

Certificates
One can use certificates in a variety of ways in the classroom. Students love to be recognised for their hard work! One way to do this is to create certificates. Canva has a great collection of pre-made certificate designs that can be customized for any achievement. Students themselves can create certificates for a variety of purposes. i.e. for Mother's day or Father's Day. Watch this short video: How To Canva Certificate

Badges
Badges are becoming a popular motivation tool in the classroom and for teacher professional development. Teachers can easily create badges to acknowledge their students’ achievement. Watch this short video: Creating a Badge in Canva

How I am currently using Canva 
1. I used Holly Clark’s ‘Think-Pic-Share idea recently in several ways. This makes use of the Twitter template and one can use it for summarising. One class used it to write about their favourite book since it is book Week at school. Another class used it to summarise what they had learned in a History lesson.



2. Our Grade 7s are busy with a ‘Flour Baby’ project in Life Orientation. We are using Canva to create a Stork party invitation, thank you cards, a baby announcement and a final report on the project. The Grade 7s love using Canva.

If you haven't already tried using Canva, give it a go. You'll love using this program!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #116

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a 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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2x1RJQYThe link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Peter Rafferty confirmed as keynote presenter for the SchoolNet SA ICT in the classsroom' conference 5-7 October

We are thrilled to announce that Peter Rafferty from the UK, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the SchoolNet SA conference.


Up until 2016 Peter Rafferty was a primary school teacher and digital leader at Green Park Primary School just outside Liverpool in the UK. As well as being a successful and enthusiastic teacher, he was at forefront of educational blogging in the UK starting the www.greenparkschool.org.uk blog in 2005. This early adoption of technologies to support teaching and learning continued with the introduction of G Suite (then Google Apps for Education) in 2010.

With a strong background educational digital strategy, Peter moved from being a full time teacher to teaching part time as well as using his skills and experience to work with schools and teachers in the UK and across Europe. He still supports Green Park on their technology adventures as well as Redgate Primary School in Formby.

The continuing and infectious enthusiasm for technology and digital skills to be at the heart of teaching and learning have helped Peter to have a creative and innovative network in many different regions of the world.

Register here, on our Conference page, for the SchoolNet SA conference – taking place at Brescia House School in Bryanston, Gauteng between 5-7 October 2017.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Useful Google in Education links this week #105

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/hSbnM4. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)



Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #115

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a 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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2up3a8pThe link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Register for the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference before 31 August 2017 – and pay the early bird fee

The SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference is just over two months away. If you have not registered yet, please do so as soon as possible to get the discounted price.


Please note:
Delegates who register before 31 August 2017 will pay R1 000 per person including VAT.
Registrations from 1 September 2017 will be at a rate of R1 140 per person including VAT.
Presenters, whose speaker proposals are accepted for the conference, will have their conference fee waived. So if you would like to apply to present a session at the conference, please do so as soon as possible as we will be finalising the program by the end of August 2017.

Register or apply to be a presenter
Don’t delay - register or apply to be a presenter for the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom Conference here.



Stephen Reid confirmed as keynote presenter for the SchoolNet SA conference 5-7 October

We are thrilled to announce that Stephen Reid, director and creative genius of Immersive Minds has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the SchoolNet SA conference. 



Stephen ​will be presenting the keynote address entitled “Emerging Technology in Education” at the conference opening on 5 October 2017. This session will explore how teachers can use a range of tools including Minecraft: Education Edition, Sketchfab, TinkerCAD, 3DPrinting, VR, 360 cameras, OneNote, 3D Paint and more in creative and engaging ways. Across the three day conference, Stephen will also be offering a number of breakaway sessions including the Problem-Based Learning Course which encourages students to think more critically and to work collaboratively through being faced with solving ill-structured, open-ended, messy problems. Minecraft novices and experts will also have opportunities to explore Minecraft: Education Edition and the “Small South Africa” world which Stephen created for use by teachers and learners who want to build solutions in Minecraft that relate to a South African context.

Stephen is the Mind behind Immersive Minds. He has been pioneering the use of technology as a tool for learning for almost twenty years, and has dedicated his career to exploring, piloting and advocating its use in schools around the world. He leads the Immersive Minds team of educators, coders and builders in creating innovative, transformative learning experiences and resources.

Teachers who attended the Minecraft: Education Edition launch in Johannesburg or Cape Town, or the E2 Africa Forum for Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts can attest to what an engaging, knowledgeable and insightful presenter Stephen is. We are delighted that he will be able to share his sessions with a wider audience of teachers at the SchoolNet SA conference.

Register here for the SchoolNet SA conference – taking place at Brescia House School in Bryanston, Gauteng between 5-7 October 2017.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

SchoolNet webinar recording and downloadable presentation link 'Trending in I.T. - Reflections from ISTE' by Tracy Heath


On Thursday afternoon 27 July at 3:15pm we held a free SchoolNet webinar entitled 'Trending in I.T. - Reflections from ISTE'. Our speaker was Tracy Heath, a Microsoft MIEExpert Educator from Joburg. She is the ICT teacher for the Primary School at Brescia House School, a Microsoft Showcase School, in Johannesburg, Gauteng. She has been teaching ICT for more than 13 years. Tracy was one of three teachers in South Africa selected to attend the Microsoft E2 Global Exchange in Budapest in 2016.

Webinar description
Tracy recently returned from the ISTE conference which is the  biggest Ed Tech conference in the world. This year it was held in San Antonio in TExas. Tracy says that she learnt a huge amount. One of her big take aways from ISTE is taking responsibility for personal learning and belonging to groups that can help one's learning path. Tracy was eager to share some of what she learned in the upcoming webinar which she has titled, " Trending in IT." She said, "I was privileged to attend ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, Texas and was blown away by the positive and excited educators that I met there. There were over 1100 sessions to attend and so much to see and learn. My presentation will be on the general trends in education that I saw while at ISTE.  I will cover coding, AR, VR, libraries and the maker movement as well as touching on professional development."


The downloadable webinar presentation

Here is the downloadable presentation from the webinar available online in SlideShare from this link: http://bit.ly/2tMeDeb




The webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to on the following link 
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p692gfsms8s1/ 

SchoolNet presents a free webinar once a month.

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #114

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2tLIX8EThe link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Eversdal Primary School – a Microsoft Showcase School where OneNote rules!

The first thought that goes through your mind when you visit Eversdal Primary School in Durbanville, and you see the amazing technology integration that is taking place in the classrooms, is, ‘Why haven’t I heard about this school before?’ The school has been selected as a Microsoft Showcase school and the badge is proudly displayed on their website. Arno Pienaar, a teacher at the school says, “We first heard of this program when we met Elsabe Hart from Microsoft. We were encouraged to join the program and this has been a great way of getting to know people and sharing our ideas with fellow educators as well as learning new skills and being updated with global trends.” Both Gys Burger and Arno Pienaar are current Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts.

The school leadership team fully on board
The interesting thing about Eversdal Primary is that not only are the school leadership team members all fully on board with the school’s ICT vision, but they are leading the way. Their vision is to equip the staff and supply a one-to-one learning experience to all their learners, without the need of individual attention. “This can only be achieved when our children are actively involved during a lesson and creating their own content, thus creating their own understanding of what has been taught,” says the principal Henk Arangies.

Henk Arangies, Principal

Gys Burger, Deputy Principal and MIEExpert Educator
Office 365 and OneNote
Microsoft programs are used extensively throughout the school with Office 365 and OneNote in the forefront. Henk says “Our school uses Office 365 for every part of our production day with OneNote being the base on which we are building our curriculum.” The teachers at Eversdal are provided with training sessions every second morning and afternoon of the week. “In these sessions, we address all the issues experienced when using the various technologies, and we explain new ideas about the technology the school is about to implement.”


Regular staff professional development
Gys Burgher and Arno Pienaar are responsible for training the staff. Gys describes himself as “a young, aspiring leader with high standards and goals to achieve at our school. My role as Deputy is to develop a Digital Curriculum and to train our teachers to use the new technologies and tools we are able to supply them with.” Arno Pienaar’s role at Eversdal is to help develop 21st century learning and thinking, and train the staff members in the use of the new technologies. Combined with the assistance from Elsabe Hart, the Microsoft Teacher Ambassador for Cape Town, they make a formidable team. When the school leadership first wanted to get to grips with the potential of OneNote they found that Elsabe gave invaluable assistance. “We asked Elsabe if it would be possible for her to give training to our staff members to introduce us to what OneNote could potentially become for our school. We were fortunate enough, that she was able to spend two days with us to do training. Since then we have given over 20 hours of OneNote and Microsoft Classroom training.”

Bring your Own Device (BYOD)
The school is equipped with a state of the art computer lab, but they also have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy in operation. They allow the Intermediate and Senior Phase learners to bring their own devices to school. Because of the large number of learners in these phases, they first had to get their infrastructure in place so that it would support the number of learner devices in use. This is a vital step in any 1:1 program. 
















Learning digitally

The Intermediate and Senior Phase learners at Eversdal use OneNote in their lessons. OneNote works particularly well on BYOD devices. “OneNote is the answer that we’ve been waiting for. It allows us to create content and share this with our learners. It also allows our learners to create content and share it with us. Working collaboratively with learners and encouraging them to be active participants in the learning process is a very successful approach. OneNote also allows us to work offline and sync changes and not be bound by online work,“ says Gys. In a typical OneNote lesson the teachers either distribute content and the learners follow and make notes on digital content, thus empowering them to be in charge of their own content; or, the teachers ask the learners to create content through gathering, analyzing and presenting work. This new active way of learning digitally also facilitates collaboration between learners enabling them to work on challenges and solve problems together.


STEM projects being planned
The Eversdal team are finding that integrating learning with the use of technology in the classroom is empowering their learners to become creative, analytical and critical thinkers. They are already making plans to take their digital learning forward by introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) projects into the curriculum.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Useful Google in Education links this week #104

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers http://bit.ly/2v98vjD. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #113

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2v8DRqs The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Six Microsoft in the classroom ideas to try out this term...


As the third term springs to life in our classrooms, have you thought of adding any new technologies to your lessons or your professional development? Here are some useful Microsoft in the classroom ideas to try out this term.

1. Bring in some problem-based learning


Think about introducing problem-based learning in your classroom... based on a real South African problem. I experienced a project like this recently where we had to think about a South African problem to solve using the problem-based approach.  It was such a great way to tackle a problem in a group settting. If you want to know more about how to go about using the problem-based approach, there is a really good problem-based learning free course waiting for you on the Microsoft Educator Community. Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
  • Understand the essential elements that make up a problem-based learning experience
  • Articulate the importance of problem solving in relation to higher order thinking and 21st century learning
  •  Describe the need for PBL to allow for self-led learning and self-determination in students
  • Recognize and implement each of the five PBL design principles in your planning
  • Identify the characteristics of authentic assessment and understand why these are better suited to assessing authentic learning
  • Apply theoretical assessment models to plan assessments that target the domains of knowing, thinking and doing

What could be better than that!

2.  Use Minecraft: Education Edition in your classroom


There are many ways to use Minecraft: Education Edition in the classroom. Go to https://education.minecraft.net/ for loads of ideas and lesson plans. But what I noticed recently is that a problem-based group project works really well when you have the opportunity to demonstrate the solution using Minecraft Education Edition! Apart from all the critical thinking, creativity and collaborative skills that come in to play, the use of Minecraft: Education Edition in a project brings an excitement with it because the learners are making something using a product that 21st century learners love! You can read about a problem-based project that was done using Minecraft: Education Edition here.

3. Get your  class doing the Hour Of Code on code.org 


Another idea is to get your class to try out the Hour of Code. Coding is one of the vital future skills that our learners need. The Hour of Code usually happens on a day in December as a world-wide event, but it can actually be done at any time of the year. It is part of www.code.org which has amazing free offerings for all age groups of students. There are a number of different Hour of Code games to choose from. Your students will love them!

4. Try out Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams is one of Microsoft’s newest offerings for Office 365 users. Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. Educators can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff – all from a single experience in Office 365 for Education. Microsoft describes Teams as a 'chat-based workspace in Office 365'. Marius Pretorius on the Computer studies email group  highly recommends Teams. He says:says, “In particular, I would suggest that you test drive Microsoft’s new collaboration software called Teams – which is part of Office 365 for Education. The education version of Teams, which has some extra features, has just been released. It is replacing Microsoft Classroom and what a replacement! You’ve got to experience it yourself. It is totally different and yet makes use of all the skills you already have. It will revolutionise communication in your schools!” You can find out more about Microsoft teams on the Microsoft Educator Community here http://bit.ly/2uSZ9Zd

5. Get started with Microsoft's Story Remix on Windows 10


Many of us who use Windows 10 miss Windows Live Movie Maker. But all is not lost! Microsoft has brought out Story Remix, a new app that makes it easy for teachers and students alike to create videos in the classroom using photos, video clips, and music. Use it to show how a project came together, encourage collaborative storytelling, or inspire your students to present their findings in a new way. Then save your video, share it with the class, or add finishing touches like animated special effects or Windows Ink. Watch a YouTube video about Storymix here

6. Try Book Creator - it's free on Windows 10


 Talking of stories, did you know that Book Creator which was voted Best Educational App in the 2015 BETT Awards, is free on Windows 10? Book Creator is the simple way to make beautiful ebooks, right on your PC or Tablet. This Book creation app which is used in 80 countries is also available on Windows! With over 10 million ebooks created so far, Book Creator is ideal for making all kinds of books, including children's picture books, photo books, comic books, journals, textbooks and more. And when you're done, you can share your book with ease, or even publish it to online book stores! This is a must for exploring this term!

These are just a few ideas to try out in the third term. Have fun!

SchoolNet free webinar 'Trending in IT' by MIEExpert Tracy Heath on 27 July at 3:15pm


We are pleased to announce that our next free webinar, 'Trending in IT' will be held this coming Thursday 27th July at 3:15pm. Our speaker will be Tracy Heath, a Microsoft MIEExpert Educator from Joburg. She is the ICT teacher for the Primary School at Brescia House School, a Microsoft Showcase School, in Johannesburg, Gauteng. She has been teaching ICT for more than 13 years. Tracy was one of three teachers in South Africa selected to attend the Microsoft E2 Global Exchange in Budapest in 2016.

Tracy recently returned from the ISTE conference which is the  biggest Ed Tech conference in the world. This year it was held in San Antonio in TExas. Tracy says that she learnt a huge amount. One of her big take aways from ISTE is taking responsibility for personal learning and belonging to groups that can help one's learning path. Tracy is eager to share some of what she learned in the upcoming webinar which she has titled, " Trending in IT."



Webinar details
Webinar title: Trending in IT - Reflections from ISTE 2017
Presenter: Tracy Heath, MIEExpert, ICT teacher for the Primary School at Brescia House School, a Microsoft Showcase School, in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
SummaryTracy says: "I was privileged to attend ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, Texas and was blown away by the positive and excited educators that I met there. There were over 1100 sessions to attend and so much to see and learn. My presentation will be on the general trends in education that I saw while at ISTE.  I will cover coding, AR, VR, libraries and the maker movement as well as touching on professional development."
Date: Tuesday 27th July, 3:15pm
Duration: 15-30 minutes
Host: Fiona Beal
To join the online meetinghttp://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/iste/ 

Note:
Even if you have attended an Adobe Connect meeting before you may need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection: http://bit.ly/2kcJiiH

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Minecraft: Education Edition - The #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map created by Stephen Reid is finished

Recently in Joburg, the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) Africa Forum bought together almost sixty MIE Experts and representatives of Microsoft Schools for two days of hands-on learning, networking, and trying out some of the latest Microsoft tools at the Microsoft offices in Bryanston. One of the highlights of the event was a keynote on Problem-Based Learning presented by Stephen Reid from Immersive Minds in Scotland. Stephen introduced teachers to the basics of Minecraft in the context of developing a group work project which involved coming up with a South African problem and then modeling a solution in a Small South Africa Minecraft world.

Stephen Reid presenting a keynote on problem-based learning and Minecraft

The #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished

Stephen recently created a post on his Immersive Minds Facebook profile entitled ‘Our #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished”. He says: “Designed to accompany our Microsoft #ProblemBasedLearning course on the Microsoft Educator Community (https://education.microsoft.com/…/co…/problem-based-learning) we've used the map with teachers from all over Africa to explore some of the prime issues facing South Africa today. So far we've see it used to explore:
  • Ethical mining practices
  • Clean water access
  • Urban development and social housing
  • Education for girls
  • Tax expenditure
  • Xenophobia
  • Human rights
  • Conservation and animal rights
  • and more
Minecraft can be used as a powerful tool for critical and creative thinking in social, economic and environmental issues and in developing awareness and empathy beyond the curriculum.

The map includes:
  • A diamond mine
  • A coastal area, including discoloured water 
  • A game reserve including a cheetah, warthog, buffalo, termite mounds and hyena dens. 
  • A city model, including some key historical buildings from Jo'burg and Cape Town
  • An informal settlement 
  • Lion's Head Mountain 
  • A replica of the Ndebele village.
As with all Minecraft resources the map can be changed in any way and can be extended beyond the walls seen in the images.

The map will be available for download soon via https://education.minecraft.net/"

Here are a couple of the images from Stephen's Facebook post:






Computer4Kids and Minecraft
Contact Computer4Kids in South Africa to find out more about using Minecraft: Education Edition in your classroom. They provide Minecraft: Education Edition training and have created some great Minecraft: Education Edition learning resources for you to use in your classroom.  Currently Computers4Kids is running a Minecraft: Education Edition competition which closes on 17 September. Why not encourage your students to enter this competition? 

  
Complete the free course on problem-based learning on the Microsoft Educator Community
The free problem-based learning course, which is available on the Minecraft Education Community, can be accessed here. Problem-based learning (PBL) has become an integral part of the 21st century classroom. When students are faced with solving ill-structured, open-ended, messy problems, they are pushed to think more critically and work collaboratively. Many Microsoft tools help support problem-based learning. This course has been developed to help you understand what PBL is and how to plan and implement a problem-based learning experience in your classroom.


To view one of the problem-based learning projects which used Minecraft: Education Edition  to demonstrate a solution, (done at the E2 in Joburg),  visit our blog here 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #112

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2uckiNb The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Monday, 17 July 2017

MIEExpert Spotlight #29: Moses Sello Sehoole from Limpopo - Using Microsoft resources as a school principal

MIEExpert Moses Sello Sehoole is a secondary school principal who displays great ambition,
determination and drive. In 2008 he was head-hunted and recruited as principal of Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High School school because of his achievements as principal at his previous school. Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High School school is situated in a deep rural area in Taung, Limpopo. Moses immediately set to work to upgrade the school's technology. In 2010 he applied to the national lottery for funding to build workshops and purchase computers. This was granted in 2011. As part of the business plan 60 computers were purchased for curriculum delivery. As a result the Engineering, Graphics and Design pass rate improved to the current 100% pass rate.

Moses was selected to attend Microsoft's E2 Teacher Exchange in Budapest in 2016
Moses attended the, Microsoft Education Master Training on ICT integration in teaching and learning in 2015, and it was here that he learned about the Microsoft Innovative Expert Program. He adds proudly that, “On the 16th November 2015 I was announced as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, joining the more than 5,600 educators in the MIE program worldwide. I was excited and happy to see that my efforts to integrate technology in classroom were recognized.” In 2016 Moses was selected as one of three educators who represented South Africa at the Microsoft Teacher Exchange (E2) in Budapest in 2016. This experience greatly impacted him. He found that it was awesome achievement because he learned to collaborate, be creative and think out of the box. He adds, "The lesson plan that is driven by technology is lively and exciting because it acknowledges individual uniqueness and independent thinking.”


Moses Sello Sehoole’s success story doesn’t stop there. In 2008 and again in 2011 he was nominated to participate in the South African National Teaching Awards for Excellence in Secondary School Leadership. He reached the provincial level on both occasions, which was a great achievement for him and the school. In 2016 he was nominated again to participate in the 17th National Teaching Awards and he went on to reach national level.


Moses's use of Microsoft  tools at his school
Moses makes extensive use of Microsoft tools at his school. He uses Sway to present his lessons to some of his classes. He uses Office Mix to give notes to his learners in Grade 10. When Moses became a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, he went a step further and started to empower his learners to develop their ICT skills in the classroom. He encouraged them to also apply these to their daily learning. “In 2016, I started engaging my Grade 10 learners to use Microsoft tools for themselves. I taught them how to do research, to collaborate and presenting their work to one another.”


The benefits of using ICT integration
Moses finds that the benefits of using ICT integration in his classes are evident. “Using Microsoft tools makes learning more interesting and fun for my learners and helps them to remember and recall better. The class performance improved a lot because of their professional looking work using a desktop computer. We used to have only a few learners progressing from Grade 10 to 12 but since we started integrating Microsoft technology into our daily teaching and learning, I am delighted to see more and more learners successfully progressing from one grade to another.” Moses is of the opinion that learners are independent thinkers, who no longer desire to simply consume information but who would rather participate actively in various projects with excitement because of technology. He has noticed that his learners’ self-esteem, self-awareness and growth has improved as a result of the technology integration using Microsoft tools.


Moses helps train the teachers at his school
The teachers have also benefited from training in ICT integration. “As a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, I trained about 30 teachers on how to integrate ICT in their daily teaching and learning. After training they are required to use the ICT skills acquired in daily teaching and learning.” The training continued in 2017 when the Department of Education entered into a partnership with the University of Witwatersrand to present a three months’ workshop for selected teachers in using ICT integration in daily teaching and learning. This workshop afforded Moses an opportunity to showcase his ICT skills as he was appointed as an ICT Champion to teach some of the topics.


Find out more about becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert 
MIE Experts are part of an exclusive Microsoft program created to recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to improve teaching and learning. Outstanding MIE Experts
from South Africa and Lesotho are selected to attend Education Exchange (E2) events both locally and internationally; they participate in webinars to boost their own skills; they feature in case studies, blogposts and webinars; and they are part of a local and international community of teachers who share ideas and best practices.If you would like to be a part of this exciting program we invite you to view the Microsoft Educator Expert page on the Microsoft Educator Community to find out more and to apply for the next intake. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #111

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2uLOoFlThe link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ