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Welcome to our SchoolNet News October 2017
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Welcome to our October 2017 newsletter. In this issue we bring you:
  • ICT in the Classroom Conference – three days of learning, networking and sharing
  • Deputy Minister defines national plans for digital learning at the SchoolNet ICT in the Classroom Conference
  • SchoolNet's 20th Anniversary was celebrated at the SchoolNet conference - and what a celebration it was!
  • Teacher Spotlight: Violet Ramokoni Shadung from Ruabohlale Secondary School
  • SchoolNet to train KZN ELITS Officials on the Digital Library Course
  • Think about joining an iEARN global, collaborative project...
  • Join the 2017 online Global Education Conference in November - think about offering a presentation

ICT in the Classroom Conference – three days
of  learning, networking and sharing

SchoolNet South Africa proudly hosted the national ‘ICT in the Classroom’ conference at Brescia House School in Bryanston from 5 – 7 October 2017. Over 400 hundred delegates from around the country attended the conference, including educators, provincial and national educational department officials, sponsors, as well as representatives from other development and training organizations. The opening keynote speaker was Stephen Reid from Immersive Minds, based in Scotland. In his keynote, Stephen explored a variety of emerging technologies and discussed how they can be merged to create blended learning and cross-curricular experiences for students. Across the three days of the conference, Stephen presented various hands-on workshops which gave delegates practical experiences of using Minecraft, 360 Cameras, and virtual reality headsets to provide opportunities for their learners to make, create, visit and explore.

Ollie Bray, another Scot, rounded off the conference with his keynote address entitled “The New Learning Landscape”. This session was thought-provoking and made delegates realise that Scotland and South Africa share many similarities in terms of embracing digital learning. In addition to his keynote session, Ollie shared his experiences of being a teacher and school leader in a range of sessions during the conference including social media, transforming learning in a 1:1 environment, and a highly enjoyable geo-cashing activity.

Read our latest conference post on our blog here.

Deputy Minister defines national plans for digital learning at the SchoolNet ICT in the Classroom Conference

The recent SchoolNet ICT in the Classroom conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty. Before opening the conference the national Deputy Minister sat down with Janet Thomson, Executive Director for SchoolNet South Africa, to discuss the DBE’s approach to digital learning.  The Deputy Minister thanked Thomson for “the enormous contribution by SchoolNet in the ICT domain” asserting that “ICT is becoming more critical and central to the facilitation of teaching and learning”. Surty then demonstrated the department of education’s holistic approach to digital learning by describing the various streams of the Operation Phakisa framework as well as government’s efforts to digitise content effectively and in an interactive format. 

Read more about this interview here:

SchoolNet's 20th Anniversary was celebrated at the SchoolNet conference - and what a celebration it was!

SchoolNetSA celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the SchoolNet Conference - and what a celebration it was! This 20th Anniversary was celebrated at a well- attended cocktail function at Brescia House School in Johannesburg. The Telkom Foundation not only made it possible for a large number of teachers to attend the conference but also funded the birthday celebration. Telkom was one of the very first funders of SchoolNet back in the 1990s - so it was most appropriate that they were able to attend together with delegates and friends of SchoolNet to reminisce over the past 20 years. 

Read more about the celebration 
here

Teacher Spotlight: Violet Ramokoni Shadung from Ruabohlale Secondary School

This month’s spotlight is on Mrs Violet Shadung, a Grade 8 -11 English, Maths and Technology teacher from Ruabohlale Secondary School. Mrs Shadung started basic ICT skills training in 2016 along with her colleagues from Ruabohlale Secondary. Back when she started her journey, the “only thing she could do on her computer was type”. Since her participation in basic ICT skills workshops, she has improved her technology skills and now considers herself an advanced participant in her own learning. She reports that she has learnt how to e-mail, which is useful for communication and she is now learning how to extend her professional network by communicating in online forums which she finds very exciting.

Read more about Violet Shadung's ICT journey here

SchoolNet to train KZN ELITS Officials on the Digital Library Course

SchoolNet SA has been contracted by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to conduct training for 30 Education Library Information and Technology Service (ELITS) Officials during the first week of December 2017. In order to conduct this training, SchoolNet SA has developed a new Digital Library Course, which was designed to equip librarians/ELITS officials with knowledge of digital issues pertaining to the management of a school library. Across the week long course, officials will see how digital tools and resources can enhance the services traditionally offered at libraries and resource centres.

Read more here

Think about joining an iEARN global, collaborative project 

iEARN (https://iearn.org/) is a non-profit organization made up of well over 30,000 schools and youth organizations in more than 140 countries. Omashani Naidoo from SchoolNet is the Country Co-ordinator for South Africa. iEARN empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communication technologies. More than 2,000,000 students and 500 educators are engaged in collaborative project work worldwide every day. 30 different languages are used. There are over 100 projects in iEARN, all designed and facilitated by teachers and students to fit their curriculum and classroom needs, and their schedules. Projects take place in the iEARN Collaboration Centre: Take a look at the 2017-2018 project book:   (https://iearn.org/pages/iearn-project-book/) To join a project, participants select an online project and look at how they can integrate it into their classroom.

Find out more about iEARN here

Join the 2017 online Global Education Conference in November - think about offering a presentation

We are pleased to recommend the eighth annual Global Education Conference, a free online event bringing together educators and innovators from around the world. It will be held from Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 16, 2017 (November 17th in some time zones). The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. To attend this year's conference and to be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please join this network. The Global Education Conference Network invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 8th annual Global Education Conference. The final deadline for submissions is November 1, 2017, and presenters will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis starting in August 2017.

Read more 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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