Welcome to our SchoolNet News October 2016
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Welcome to our September 2016 newsletter. In this issue we bring you:
  • A progress report on SchoolNet's involvement in Telkom's 43 Connected Schools
  • A progress report on the school visitation stage of the Microsoft and WCED School Improvement Project
  • A spotlight on teachers in Free State Schools
  • An Intel Case study on the Durban School for the Hearing Impaired
  • News about Telkom's Rally to Read 2016 campaign
  • Findings in SchoolNet's Learning Through Gains Project Brief
  • Reflections on the Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) Conference
  • An invitation to tune in to our next SchoolNet webinar 'Tech-ing Additional Languages'
  • and more...
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Progress Report on Telkom’s  43 Connected Schools

The Telkom 43 Connected Schools project is well underway and into the last six months of the project. This project includes schools in six provinces and schools benefitting from a range of courses for both the senior management teams and teachers at each project school. These SACE-endorsed courses are part of the learning pathway that maps to teacher competences as documented in the Guidelines for Teacher Professional Development and ICT Training.

Read the full report here:

SchoolNet SA facilitators visit 42 schools involved in the Microsoft and Western Cape School Improvement Project

Recently Microsoft and the Western Cape Education Department delivered 100 Windows 10 tablets to 42 Western Cape Schools that would otherwise never be able to afford such devices. Selected Grade 1,2 and 3 teachers from each school, along with teachers from other schools in the vicinity, were provided with a day’s training presented by SchoolNet facilitators. These teachers shared what they had learned with the rest of their staff when they returned to their schools, and the schools implemented a plan for using the tablets regularly. A few weeks later all 42 schools were visited by SchoolNet facilitators to provide one day of coaching and support to the teachers. The project culminated in an event on 29 October where teachers from the 42 WCED schools showcased their best practices for using Microsoft tools to enhance teaching.
Read about one of these visits here:

Spotlight on Teachers in Free State Schools

Never has it been more important for professional development of teachers to bridge the access to curriculum content and ICT infrastructure in our schools. Too often we find resources becoming white elephants because teachers are not comfortable or confident to use technology or are not able to integrate ICTs in curriculum activities to foster deeper learning. In this article teachers at Heide and Karabelo Primary schools showcase the initial effects of their participation in teacher professional development and their goal to get more staff at their schools to integrate learning technologies in more engaging ways. 
Read the full report here:
An Intel Case study on the Durban School for the Hearing Impaired
This Intel Case Study was completed at the Durban School for the Hearing Impaired. It describes a case for how “ordinary technology” can be applied in a specialised environment, to determine whether mainstream technologies could make a positive difference to learning when schools are unable to afford specialised assistive technologies.

Read the full case study here:
Telkom Foundation rallies the hearts and minds of primary school learners in the Northern Cape
The Rally To Read Project was launched in 1998 by the Human Science and Resources Council with the intention of reaching out to remote rural schools which lack educational resources. This is achieved through public-private partnerships which sponsor mobile libraries, teacher training and a contribution towards feeding the learners. On the 15th of October 2016 different Telkom partners. namely Bidvest Insurance, Anglo American, Pedra Diamond mine, Kolomela mine, SHEL,  One Logix, Mercedes, SchoolNet and the Telkom Foundation participated in the Northern Cape Rally To Read programme. The various partners travelled from across the country to meet at Broadwaters River Estate. SchoolNet SA was represented by Ms Mathapelo Sehume.

Read the full report here:
 Technology use in the Classroom - A Massive Opportunity for Language Gains
This learning brief shares the findings of the research conducted over the past three years in our Learning Gains through Play project which has tracked the development of two cohorts of Foundation Phase learners. These learners have experienced a technology-enabled, play-infused learning environment from Grade R and while five foundational literacies have been assessed each year, this learning brief focused only on the acquisition of oral English skills. 

Read more of our research findings 
Reflections on the Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) Conference
The 2016 annual Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) Conference was held at Clarendon Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal from 30 September to 2 October.   SchoolNet South Africa had 3 presentations accepted which had all emanated from the DT Murray Trust-funded project, Learning Gains through Play in the Primary.  Our teachers from the Learning Gains project were : Mpumelelo Hadebe from Qhamukile Primary in Mpophomeni in KZN, Lizeka Melapi from Nomsa Mapongwana in the Western Cape, Ms Noxolo Buyeye of Solomon Qatyana Primary in Asanda Village in the Western Cape, and Ms Joyce Ntuli of Thembelihle Primary in Howick, KZN .  

Read the very interesting reflections on the keynotes and some of the sessions made by Janet Thomson 
An Invitation to a SchoolNet webinar 'Tech-ing Additional Languages' on Thursday 3 Nov. at 3:30pm

We are pleased to announce that our next free webinar, Tech-ing Additional Languages, will be held this week on Thursday 3rd November at 3:30pm. Our speaker will be Bronwyn Desjardins, an Educational Technology Coach at St Stithians Girls’ Preparatory in Johannesburg. Bronwyn is an Apple Distinguished Educator with 18 years of teaching experience. We will be using the Adobe Connect webinar platform for the webinar. Please join us if you can. 

Webinar details
Webinar title: Tech-ing Additional Languages
Summary: In this webinar, Bronwyn will show us how to use numerous applications to assist with teaching additional languages. These will include Book Creator, Futaba, Spell Board, QR Codes and others. She will draw from her years of experience as an EFAL and French Additional Language teacher to provide time-saving examples of how to effectively integrate technology into teaching additional languages. These tips help make language learning personal, exciting and effective.
Date: Thursday 3rd
November, 2016 at 3:30pm, online
Duration: 15 - 30 minutes
Presenter: Bronwyn Desjardins is an iTeacher (2012) winner, MIE runner-up (2010) and Apple Distinguished Educator who has presented at numerous IT conferences. She has 18 years of teaching experience including teaching
oversees as an EFL/ESL teacher.
Host: Fiona Beal (SchoolNet)
To join the meeting

This webinar is also advertised on our blog here

Takalani Sesame is advertising for a Senior Director - Africa program

Launched in 2000, Takalani Sesame is the South African adaptation of Sesame Street, a multi-media early childhood education program currently broadcasting on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); and is produced locally by Kwasukasukela (KWK) and in close partnership with the Department of Basic Education and Sanlam.  With almost two decades of successful and impactful programs in South Africa, we are seeking a Director who can support a new long-term vision to help the next generation of children grow up smarter, stronger, and kinder. Sesame Workshop seeks a dynamic Director based in South Africa.

Read the full job description 

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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