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Welcome to our SchoolNet News February 2017
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Welcome to our February 2017 newsletter. In this issue we bring you:
  • News of the three upcoming Google in Education Summits in South Africa
  • Information about  the free, online tool known as the School Transformation Survey 
  • News about Telkom's project in Gauteng which will upgrade selected schools in Ga--Rankuwa
  • A webinar video where SchoolNet’s Megan Rademeyer and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Matthew Hains talk about what schools can do to make using the internet a safer experience for students
  • SchoolNet's involvement in a cleanup of Bethania Secondary School in the Eastern Cape 
  • A spotlight on Ms Noxolo Buyeye from the Eastern Cape – the profile of an “early adopter"
  • A link to a SchoolNet webinar recording and presentation 'The Magic of Mystery Skype' by Allan Hart  from Appelby Preparatory School
  • and more...
The first of the three Google in Education Summits takes place in Cape Town in April
EdTechTeam South Africa invites you to join them at one of their three Summits in South Africa featuring Google for Education. Enjoy two days of empowering hands-on workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and fun activities including a high-energy demo slam where you can win prizes. Go beyond the tools and explore cutting-edge best practices in educational technology and great teaching! Workshops will be led by Google Certified Innovators, Google for Education Trainers, Apple Distinguished Educators, school leadership or teachers both international and local, with a passion who desire to share their work to help others raise their game as well. Register now to send teachers, administrators, tech directors, library media specialists, tech support staff, and anyone who is interested in finding out more about leveraging G Suite from Google for Education and iOS to support student learning.

Find out more here: http://za.gafesummit.com/

School Transformation Survey – How does your school measure up?

SchoolNet is currently involved in a number of projects that involve supporting schools over a period of time by providing professional development and mentorship for teachers. One of the tools that we are using to measure impact is the recently relaunched Microsoft School Transformation Survey – previously known as the Partners in Learning School Research tool. This free online tool supports the leadership of 21st century pedagogy by surveying teachers and school leaders to investigate their perceptions around innovative teaching. The results can then be used to establish benchmarks, measure improvement and stimulate discussions about what a school would like to strive towards. So far the teachers at Founders Hill College in Modderfontein have taken the survey and we look forward to discussing the results with them. More importantly, based on the goals we set with the staff, we are keen to take the survey again in a few months’ time to see what progress has been made.
 
If you’d like to investigate using this tool at your school, find out more about the Microsoft School Transformation Survey here and watch this Office Mix to get the code to become an administrator: https://mix.office.com/watch/zp4y4yo2dd2p
 

Telkom Supports Learners in Tshwane West

Telkom Foundation is working with the Gauteng Department of Education in Ga-Rankuwa (Tshwane West) to showcase the power of teaching with learning technologies. Five schools were selected to participate in the project and will see renovations in all grade 8 classrooms, additional security linked to the Police services, curriculum-aligned multimedia rich content via ExtraMarks and various training opportunities from SchoolNet SA for appointed ICT Champions who will provide dedicated technical support, Change Leadership for ICT Integration for the schools’ senior management teams and ICT skills and Integration professional development for teachers. This project will continue for a period of three years which aims to research and track the progress of each grade 8 learner until they reach grade 10. Thereafter the learners would fit into the Gauteng Department of Education’s model which already supports Grade 11 and 12 learners.

Read the full report on our website here
 

Digital Civility – Making the Internet safer

The 7th of February 2017 was Safer Internet Day  - an international day of action to promote safer, more responsible use of technology and services, particularly among children and young people. In order to promote safer internet use, Microsoft challenges people around the world to embrace “digital civility” and to treat each other with respect and dignity online. Check out this Microsoft Virtual Academy webinar in which SchoolNet’s Megan Rademeyer and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Matthew Hains talk about what schools can do to make using the internet a safer experience for students http://bit.ly/2lLzICb. Or see this blogpost for more information on Digital Civility, how South Africa compares to world digital civility rankings, and the Digital Civility pledge: http://bit.ly/2lveTte

SchoolNet and DRDAR’s work together to assist in the Clean-up of Bethania Secondary School

The province of the Eastern Cape is plagued by historical backlogs in the provision of universal access of basic services. Provision of ICT is a critical issue identified in the NDP and PDP. There is a greater demand now more than ever before to close the rural-urban digital divide in Eastern Cape. The Department of Rural and Agrarian Development (DRDAR) plans to kick-start a project that will help coordinate and attract investors to Rural ICT programmes in the Province. The plan is to expand ICT projects and the footprint in rural spaces. Rural development is a cross-cutting mandate and ICT access ought to champion and advance it. The DRDAR’s approach is to organize and facilitate the broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity to rural schools, Agri-parks, SMMEs, and promote ICT training in rural areas. SchoolNet SA committed to assist the school by helping with basic renovations before installing ICT infrastructure and completing teacher professional development interventions.  Read about the process of cleaning up the school, and how the school is now working toward instilling pride and ownership from its learner and parent body. Stay tuned for more progress as SchoolNet extends our support throughout 2017.  

Read the full interim report on our website here 
 Spotlight on Ms Noxolo Buyeye – the profile of an “early adopter"
Noxolo Buyeye was born, bred and schooled in the Eastern Cape.  She taught for many years in the Eastern Cape before coming to the Western Cape.  She is currently a permanent staff member at Solomon Qatyana Primary, in Asanda Village near Somerset West, teaching Grade 1 and as Head of Department responsible for both Grade R and Grade 1.  Noxolo feels her teaching practice has been completely changed through SchoolNet's Learning Gains through Play project.  She believes that the learners love technology. She notes that even before they go to school, children are able to use phones, TV remotes etc. so “we must move forward for them, not back!” She believes that “old” teachers have decided that change is not for them so Noxolo wants to show them that if she can do it (as she says “with her background from the Eastern Cape”) that they can do it too.

Read more about Nxolo's interesting journey into the use of technology to enhance learning 
here
SchoolNet webinar recording ''The Magic of Mystery Skype' by Allan Hart

On Thursday afternoon 23 February 2017 at 3:30pm, MIEExpert Educator Allan Hart, a teacher at Appelby Preparatory in Elgin,  presented a webinar about his use of Skype in the classroom. His aim was to encourage teachers to use the free online video tool, Skype, in their classrooms this year. In this webinar Allan talked about his experiences using Skype in the classroom. He discussed the benefits of using Skype from an education point of view. Allan also explained how educators can become Skype-ready and how to collaborate with other schools from across the globe. After explaining how a Mystery Skype works, Allan demonstrated how to find educators to link with for Mystery Skypes using the Microsoft Educator Community.  

You can listen to the recording and download Allan's presentation on our blog 
here

Change Leadership in Technology Integration in Eshowe (KZN) culminates in success

The Change Leadership for Technology Integration course in Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal was implemented from September 2016 to February 2017 for senior management team (SMT) members from 12 schools participating in Telkom’s Connected Schools’ programme. Workshops were clustered at a central venue and SMT’s were engaged in a range of learning strategies to encourage whole school change.  Teachers were eager to participate in the professional development workshops and immersed themselves in activities that helped encourage leadership, ownership, pride and professionalism at their respective schools. Schoolnet SA took the opportunity to do post-workshop follow-up and had to document the stories of the following champion teachers who are changing their practice in management structures and within the classroom.

Read four of these follow-up stories 
here

 Would your public school like to be involved in this Level Up Village - SchoolNet South Africa Global Partnership? Apply before 10 March 2017

This is a call for motivations from SA Primary schools to participate in this collaborative project with Level Up Village (LUV). They will train a SNSA trainer, who in turn will help the school with face to face workshops and encourage the school and teachers to complete the programme. This will help us prove a concept for further partnerships.Level Up Village (LUV) and SchoolNet SA will work together to implement three LUV courses in a South African public school. The school will be selected based on three criteria: (Wifi access, technology infrastructure, and enthusiasm for the project).Interested? Apply before 10th March.

Read a blogpost outlining this opportunity in full here

If you are not yet a SchoolNet member, please join us by clicking here and following the prompts 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. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter (@SchoolNetSa)

Warm regards 
The SchoolNet team

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