Welcome to our SchoolNet News June 2017
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Welcome to our March/April 2017 newsletter. In this issue we bring you:
  • Have you registered for our SchoolNet Conference on 5-7 October 2017 in Johannesburg?
  • Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – applications close 15 July 2017
  • SchoolNet SA nominated for National Science and Technology Award
  • Western Cape – Microsoft Leaders for Change
  • Education Exchange (E2) Africa brings Innovative Teachers together
  • Creating a Climate for Change in South African Schools
  • ICT Integration Training in 109 Vodacom Schools in Five Provinces
  • YouthSpark ignites an interest in careers in IT around the country
  • The Need for Social-Emotional Learning in South Africa
  • Using ICT Skills and Digital Resources for Hospitality Studies Teaching
  • A reflection on the recent Microsoft E2 Africa Forum #Makewhatsnext in Johannesburg
  • Educator spotlight: Amandla Vinjwa advocates upskilling yourself on the Microsoft Educator Community

Have you registered for SchoolNet's ICT in the Classroom Conference in October?

SchoolNet SA will be holding an ICT in the Classroom Conference this year at Brescia House School in Bryanston, Johannesburg, on 5-7 October. We'd love you to attend as a participant, a presenter or an exhibitor. At least 500 teachers and Education Department officials from all provinces are expected to attend. The Schoolnet ICT in the Classroom Conference has been sponsored by Intel and Microsoft on a bi-annual basis in a number of provinces over the past twenty years. 
Find out more on the Conference page of our website here.

Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – applications close 15 July 2017

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.
To apply, you will need to:  
  • register on the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile;
  • earn at least 1 000 points on the Microsoft Education Community;
  • share a link to a 2-minute Sway, video or Office Mix that tells us if you’ve got what it takes to be an MIE Expert, and
  • complete the online self-nomination form by 15 July 2017.
See the Microsoft Educator Expert page on the Microsoft Educator Community to find out more and to apply. This post can also be found on our blog here

SchoolNet SA nominated for National Science and Technology Award

SchoolNet South Africa will be attending the prestigious National Science and Technology (NSTF) Awards ceremony on the evening of June 29th 2017 as a nominee for the esteemed NGO Award. The National Science and Technology Forum Awards provide national recognition to a range of  contributors. SchoolNet South Africa has been nominated in the category of Non-governmental organisations (NGO) for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa over the last five to ten years.    The Awards are intended to recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations for outstanding contributions in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation. They are awarded for a range of purposes including the achievement of sustainable economic growth for South Africa, improving the quality of life of its people, promoting excellence among SET and innovation practitioners and in research and development.  

Read the full report on our website here.

 Education Exchange (E2) Africa brings Innovative Teachers together

On 29 and 30 May 2017, the 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. Thirty one Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts who have shown commitment to online learning and networking were invited to attend the Forum, including two MIE Experts from Kenya, one from Rwanda and one from Ghana. Representatives from Microsoft Schools also enjoyed the opportunity to network from with teachers, school leaders and ICT coordinators from other schools to see more ways of using Office 365 enhance teaching and learning.

Read the rest of the post on our blog here

 Western Cape – Microsoft Leaders for Change

Microsoft SA wished to implement a change leadership process in a selected number of schools as a proof of concept pilot in the Western Cape.   While educators are sometimes reluctant to integrate technology into their teaching, they can readily adopt a positive attitude when encouraged and influenced by their senior management.   Strong support from senior management team (SMT) members or from the principal, can provide the necessary impetus for technology integration to flourish at a school, to enhance teaching and to develop a vibrant community of practice.  This technological revolution that was about to be unleashed in these schools had been well-conceptualised by the WCED. We have noticed that the future of digital learning in these schools has been enhanced through this change leadership course.    

Read the full report on our website here:

 ICT Integration Training in 109 Vodacom Schools in
Five Provinces

Vodacom provided ICT solutions to 109 schools in five provinces in South Africa and realised that the initial basic technical training had not translated to the desired outcome to change teaching and pedagogical practice. SchoolNet was requested to implement teacher professional development for over 545 teachers in project schools across KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga. The Microsoft ICT Skills for Teachers course, which carries 10 SACE Continuing Professional Teacher Development points was facilitated to  encourage a change in classroom teaching methodology. The focus was on the integration of digital learning across the curriculum.

Read the full report on our website 
YouthSpark ignites an interest in careers in IT
around the country
YouthSpark Live, is a global community enabling young people to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to spark change. YouthSpark events give learners an opportunity to get together to share ideas for using technology. On Friday 23 June 2017, over 260 learners, in nine venues, in eight provinces participated in a YouthSpark Live event. The first part of the event involved a panel of IT professionals talking about how they got into the IT industry. This panel discussion took place at Brescia House School, which hosted the Gauteng event, but learners from eight other venues were able to watch the session via Skype broadcast. The panel were able to answer questions and provide insight on topics such as how to go about getting an internship, what studies a high school learner should pursue, how does it feel to be a woman in a male-dominated industry, and what the value of certification is in a fast-paced industry. Learners then got to try their hand at some basic coding using the tutorials. The Brescia YouthSpark Live event extended on to Saturday 24 June 2017 so that learners could also experience Minecraft and additional coding activities.

This post is repeated on our SchoolNet blog here
The Need for Social-Emotional Learning in South Africa

SEL (social-emotional learning) is currently a hot topic in global education news. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines this as learners' "acquisition of skills to recognise and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively". Emotional literacy was one of components of a SchoolNet South Africa research project, The Learning Gains through Play (LGP) project, funded by DG Murray Trust, which involved the integration of technology in Grades R to 3 to enhance essential foundational skills. For the past four years, SchoolNet South Africa has been tracking progress of the same cohort of learners, through Foundation Phase, at ten schools (five in the Western Cape and five in KwaZulu-Natal) and comparing their progress with control schools in each province. Read more about this here

Read more on our website here

Using ICT Skills and Digital Resources for Hospitality Studies Teaching

Sun International in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education has sponsored a programme for hospitality schools that includes a teacher laptop, projector, whiteboard and a content access point for offline content and with 4G capability. The initiative also sponsored the development of media-rich digital content aligned to the curriculum which is hosted in a zero-rated platform on the Vodacom network. The initiative also includes teacher professional development and research on the theory of change. SchoolNet provided the Teacher professional development which was hosted in the eight provinces where Sun International has operations. This report captures the journey of one teacher who attended training in the Eastern Cape, Mrs Buba.  Ms Buba is a FET Phase Hospitality and Life Orientation teacher at Vulindlela Comprehensive High School. She is one of the teachers who attended the basic ICT skills workshop on the use of the digital curriculum content on the Sun

Read the full report on our website 

A reflection on the recent Microsoft E2 Africa Forum #makewhatsnext in Johannesburg

"The Microsoft E2 Africa #Makewhatsnext Conference held on 29-30 May in Johannesburg, was a constructive example of innovation and expertise in action. To launch the event, Sonya Delafosse, Senior Partners-in-Learning Manager of Microsoft's worldwide Education team, stressed the importance of 21st century skills and the role technology can play in education to harness these skills. We were privileged to learn from the Minecraft Education Edition guru himself, Stephen Reid, CEO of Immersive Minds in Scotland. Game-based learning is not a new phenomenon but the extent to which Minecraft Education Edition informs on Problem-based Learning (PBL) is truly inspirational.  For a day and a half, Mr Reid guided the E2 delegates in groups in their innovative attempts to find a solution to an important South African problem using Minecraft.” These are the words of Margret Tracy, Technology Integrator at hillcrest High School.

Margaret Tracy's full reflection on our blog here.

Educator spotlight: Amandla Vinjwa advocates upskilling yourself on the Microsoft Educator Community

In our Educator Spotlight section this month, we focus on Amandla Vinjwa who is a primary school teacher from Sivile Primary School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. We highlight Amandla as someone who initiates his own professional development on the Microsoft Educator Community.  He makes the most of the online courses on offer to teachers free of charge on the Microsoft Educator Community. To date he has earned over 29 badges. Amandla believes that "ICT technology and especially the use of Microsoft tools, are like a bridge that can help you to cross a gigantic river.” 

Read more about Amandla on our blog 

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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