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SchoolNet News August 2016
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Welcome to our August 2016 newsletter. In this issue we bring you:
  • Congratulations to the 2016/17 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts – and a final chance to get your name on the list
  • An invitation to enrol your school as a Microsoft Showcase School
  • News about two of our Learning Gains through Play Project Peer Coaching Sessions in KZN and the Western Cape
  • Information about two schools involved in the Telkom Foundation's Connected Schools Program 
  • and much more.
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Congratulations to the 2016/17 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts – and a final chance to get your name on the list

Congratulations to the 122 teachers from South Africa and Lesotho who were recently named as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIE-Experts) on the Microsoft Educator Community. Of these, approximately half of the MIE-Experts joined the program in 2014 or 2015, and have opted to remain part of the program for another year. We are also thrilled to have over 50 new teachers joining the MIE-Expert ranks – welcome aboard!
 
Although the MIE-Expert application process on the Microsoft Educator Community has closed, South African and Lesotho teachers have a final opportunity to apply to be part of the MIE Expert program for 2016/2017. If you would like to be part of this elite group of teachers who are using technology to pave the way for better learning and student outcomes you have until 15 September 2016 to submit your application. To apply, you will need to:
  • join the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile;
  • create a 2 minute video, Sway or Office Mix that explains why you consider yourself to be an MIE Expert; how you have used Microsoft technologies; and how you hope being part of the program will assist in your current role; and
  • complete the online application form here: http://bit.ly/MIEEnomination by 15 September 2016
If you would like more information on the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program and how you can apply – see here for more details.

2016 ISPA SuperTeacher Finalists Announced

The ISPA SuperTeacher Competition is an annual competition sponsored by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) and managed by CoZa Cares Foundation. The aim of the competition is to give educators an opportunity to showcase their skills in using ICT to improve the educational environment within their school or community. SchoolNet’s Megan Rademeyer had the pleasure of serving as one of the judges for this competition – which meant that she had a sneak-peek at the portfolios of evidence which the ten finalists had submitted. These portfolios demonstrated how teachers and school leaders had used technology to:
  • enhance teaching and learning in the 21st century; 
  • enhance productivity, administration and motivation in their schools
  • and  strengthen relationships between the school and the community which it serves.
Congratulations to the finalists for using technology in such sound and engaging ways and well done to CoZa Cares Foundation for recognising teachers who are making a difference in their schools and communities. We look forward to seeing who wins the title of ISPA SuperTeacher 2016 on 22 September 2016. 

Please see our blogpost here for a list of the 2016 finalists
Peer coaching programme takes off in KZN Learning Gains through Play project
The Peer Coaching programme is designed to build and sustain teaching competence across the entire staff at a school.  The teachers in the D G Murray Trust’s Learning Gains through play project have been developing their digital integration skills for the past two years. Now it is time for them to nominate one of their colleagues to be trained as a peer coach so that they may share some of their time to collaborate and plan around lesson improvements.  This report provides a simple outline of what peer coaches in their first training session experienced in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read the full report on our website here
Is your school a potential Microsoft Showcase School?
Christel House South Africa and Brescia House School were recently named as Microsoft Schools and St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, Pretoria and St Stithians College were once again selected as Showcase Schools. These schools have been recognised for the ways that they are using digital transformation to improve teaching and learning and their teachers strive to inspire lifelong learning and the development of life skills in their learners. Is your school doing something special to develop 21st century skills amongst your learners, using technology as an accelerator for change? Do your school leaders have something worthwhile to share with other schools, whilst at the same time learning from the best practices of others? 
 
If your school has deployed Microsoft devices or is making use of Microsoft technology such as Office 365 Education, Office Mix, OneNote, and Minecraft, then consider applying to be part of the Microsoft Showcase Schools program. Some of the benefits of being a Microsoft Showcase School include the opportunity to share your expertise with world-renowned specialists and local and international visitors; networking with an exclusive global online professional community; participating in case studies and pilots to trial new Microsoft tools and technologies; and raising the profile of your school and leadership team. 
 
To find out more about the Microsoft Showcase School program please visit the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your application by 15 September 2016.
Telkom Foundation works with Eden Park IDOLS
The Telkom Foundation, as one of the key sponsors to the 2015 IDOLS SA event, encouraged IDOLS fans to nominate, through social media forums, schools that needed ICT support. Three of these schools would be selected to receive an ICT lab with an interactive whiteboard, projector, printer, and ICT Training for Educators and the Leadership of the school. Fans responded positively to the call and the selected schools were Eden Park Primary School (Gauteng), Mzingwezi High School (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Gamohana Secondary School (Northern Cape). The ICT lab handover at Eden Park Primary School took place on the 12th August 2016 and SchoolNet SA had the privilege to be participate in this memorable event.

Read the full report on our website here
 Teacher spotlight on Mr Setshaba Mobe from Summerville Primary
Our spotlight for this month is on Mr Setshaba Mobe who is an Economic and Management Sciences educator for Grade 9 learners at Free State’s Summerville Primary School in Welkom. The school is part of the Telkom Foundation’s Connected Schools Program. Mr Mobe is passionate about teaching and learning, and he believes that keeping up to date with technology brings life into the classroom for both himself and his learners. When asked about his future goals regarding technology he said, “I also want to go paperless, I want my learners to be part of the change and I want them not to be limited by lack of resources.”

Read more on our website here
Learning Gains through Play Peer Coaching Workshop  Session 2 Western Cape
Peer coaches from the Western Cape in the Learning Gains through Play project gathered at Temperance Town Primary in Strand for their second training workshop.   Hlengiwe Mfeka, the project manager and the peer coaching facilitator provides an account of this valuable training session.

Read the full report on our website here
iEARN-Moldova Invitation to join an international project
This is a messgae from iEARN. "The iEARN-Moldova team will soon start working on the EFL Youth Voices Project and we would love for your teachers to join our international team. More details about the project below ( also posted on the iEARN EFL YOUTH VOICES Forum). If any of your teachers are interested to participate, please ask them to fill in the ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM and we will send them more details. Thank you for your support and have an inspiring start of the 2016-2017 academic year!
 
iEARN-Moldova is inviting English language teachers from all around the world to register to participate in the ”EFL Youth Voices Media Festival” Project. The purpose of the project is to provide EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers and their students with creative, non-traditional, cutting-edge educational tools meant to foster student creativity and engagement. The project will recognize and reward best EFL student projects which use art, film, music and online tools to draw attention to such themes as tolerance and appreciation for diversity, women and girls empowerment, environmental issues and civic engagement. The project will be organized in four stages August through November, 2016 :
1) A group of international iEARN English language teachers from various regions of the world will be recruited and instructed on how to use various online media platforms in their EFL classes.
2) The teachers will instruct their students how to create meaningful media projects meant to approach project key themes, such as tolerance and appreciation for diversity, women and girls empowerment, environmental
issues and civic engagement.
3) The online media projects will be sent to the project selection committee, which will select best projects in each thematic category.

4) The project final event—EFL Youth Voices Media Festival - will recognize and award best projects in each thematic category.

Project Dates: August 2016 – November 2016
Previous similar initiatives:
Youth Voices National Media Conference and Global Youth Service Day Video Conference
 
To apply, please reply to this forum post and also send an email to iearnmoldova@gmail.com
Application deadline: August 31
 
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Warm regards 
The SchoolNet team

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