Monday, 31 August 2015

Useful Microsoft posts this past week #18

The Internet is currently The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:


SchoolNet conducts capacity building in the Seychelles

In August 2015 SchoolNet’s Megan Rademeyer travelled to the Seychelles to conduct a three day capacity building session with curriculum developers at the Seychelles Ministry of Education on behalf of Microsoft. The training involved working with officials from the Centre for Curriculum Assessment and Teacher Support, the Schools Division and the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) to develop strategies for integrating technology into the curriculum and assessment policies. The workshop gave SchoolNet SA an opportunity to work with officials to assist them with developing their curriculum and to model a range of instructional design strategies that the ministry officials and lecturers can use when they run workshops on ICT integration for teachers.

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The training was well-received by the Seychelles Ministry of Education. A TV crew arrived to film the training and the event made headlines in the local newspaper.

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To read the full report please visit our website here

Free State DoE Deploying Student Technical Support Solutions (Helpdesk) in 10 Clusters

Boaramelo SS, Lekhulong SS, Concordia SS and Sehunelo SS are four schools that attended the Microsoft Help Desk course facilitated by SchoolNet. The trainer’s approach to the group was different to the way he usually conducted training and as a result teachers and learners paid better attention. This also created enthusiasm and a competition amongst the groups. Understanding the hardware is the chapter that most trainees enjoyed the most because the training was conducted in a classroom and participants were allowed interaction with most of the common hardware found in the school ICT centre. They were also shown some older technologies as well as some of the latest PC technology. Learners were also asked to perform the following activities at their respective schools. Compile the inventory of the computers in the computer lab, to draw up a rooster for the week and to design a ticket request for their schools. Examples were provided taken from the internet. They were encouraged to look for PCs that are not working at school and to try and identify the problems. All the learners performed the tasks and the trainer checked the work done and most of schools had done a very good job. The teachers were very excited about the information provided as it empowered them to solve problems they were already experiencing at schools. Supporting security need on the computer was explained and learners realized how they have been spreading viruses unaware at schools and at home by using memory sticks and not having proper protection for the computers. The facilitator demonstrated the installation of the database and then asked the trainees to do the installation themselves. The installations went smoothly. On the last day of the workshop about 2 hours was spent discussing and compiling an implementation plan for the individual schools.

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Digital storytelling #1: What exactly is digital storytelling?

Today we are starting a series of four posts about digital storytelling. Today is the first in the series focusing on what digital storytelling is all about. 

Do you like stories? We ALL do! Our brains are wired for stories. Our lives are stories one scene after another!

The term Digital Storytelling has different meanings in different contexts I have discovered. Sometimes writing a story using a lovely online story editor such as Storybird is referred to as Digital Storytelling - and it probably is. Sometimes writing a story offline using PowerPoint or Keynote, and illustrating it, is referred to as Digital Storytelling - and it probably is. So the most simple definition of digital storytelling, that embraces both the above views, could be ‘Digital storytelling combines the original tradition of storytelling with technology’.

I like this widely held definition of digital storytelling. “Digital storytelling is the art of combining storytelling with a combination of digital graphics, text, recorded audio narration, video and music, to communicate information about a specific theme or topic”.

Let’s hear what Jerome Gratigny says about digital storytelling in this short 1.47m video called ‘What is Digital Storytelling?’

Examples of digital storytelling

1. Be more dog
This is one of my favourite digital stories. It contains a good message


2. Handa’s hen
This is a lovely children’s story complete with video, music and narration – but no words

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Follow on in this series of blogposts to learn more about digital storytelling

Learning Gains through play project - DGMT Trustees visit Solomon Qatyana School

The DG Murray Trust have been very generous in their support of the Learning Gains through Play project being implemented in KZN and the Western Cape. One year into the project it was time for members of the Board of Trustees from DG Murray to visit one of the project schools in order to see for themselves how their funding was being used.   The visit was scheduled for August 20th and the selected school was Solomon Qatyana Primary situated in Asanda Village in Strand.   Solomon Qatyana is a school that comprises prefabricated classrooms and is often plagued by flooded playgrounds and freezing cold or boiling hot classrooms depending on the season. Mr Rodney Nissen from the Metro East District of the Western Cape Department of +...Education and Tracey Butchart, the monitoring and evaluation expert for the project, from SchoolNet accompanied the seven trustees to the Grade R and Grade 1 classrooms at the appointed hour.
LGP2 Read more about this successful visit on our website here.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – applications close on 30 October 2015

Microsoft is looking for self-driven educators who are passionate about their careers and inspiring students with outside-the-box thinking. If you have a collaborative spirit, are resourceful and entrepreneurial, relish the role of being a change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using advanced technologies and social media – then you may have what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE).

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MIE experts get to share their thoughts on the effective use of technology in education with peers and policy makers. They provide insight for Microsoft on new products and tools that will be used or developed for the education sector, and they get to exchange best practices with their fellow MIE experts. If you would like to find out more about the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme, or to apply by 30 October 2015 visit this site: http://aka.ms /mie

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Google GEG Curriculum is endorsed by SACE

The Google GEG (Google Educator Group) curriculum comprises of 18 modules and teachers are able to work through modules that suit their immediate teaching and learning needs. GEG leaders conduct surveys in order to select the most appropriate modules for workshops. All modules have regular pre- and post assessments and completing these assessments is a great practice for the Google Educator Level 1 exams which is taken after the last module. All teachers who successfully complete all assessments or achieve the Google Educator Level 1 Exams are eligible to earn the 15 continuing professional development points (CTPD) endorsed by SACE. Join our GEG community and stay in touch for news on the GEG programme as well as new Google developments in Education. For teachers who want to become GEG leaders in their communities and start volunteer GEG chapters please write to omashani@schoolnet.org.za for assistance or more information.
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GEG Northcliff

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in South Africa: How to Apply

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Microsoft is looking for self-driven educators who are passionate about their careers and inspiring students with outside-the-box thinking. If you have a collaborative spirit, are resourceful and entrepreneurial, relish the role of being a change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using advanced technologies and social media – then you may have what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE).

 Recently Megan Rademeyer and Victor Ngobeni presented a webinar together all about applying for this amazing opportunity. It’s worth watching this 40 minute session. It can be found at this link. Click on the image below to be taken to the recording.


MIE Experts are advocates for using Microsoft technology to improve student learning. In a year, MIE Experts typically:
  • Attend EduCast Webinars (www.aka.ms/educast)
  • Become a part of a focus group giving feedback to a development team on a Microsoft product
  • Build educator capacity in their community (school, district or at training events) by training and coaching colleagues and inviting them to join the online Microsoft Educator Community
  • Develop their own capacity as a thought leader by:
    • Speaking at conferences
    • Regularly participating in social media such as Facebook and Twitter referencing #MSFTEDU and using our Social Chorus tool to amplify your messages.
    • Authoring a blog that highlights innovative uses of Microsoft technologies in the classroom
    • Presenting in local or global webcasts
  • Try out new products as they come out and are in beta form
  • Collaborate with innovative educators across the globe using Skype in the Classroom
  • Host regional events showcasing Microsoft technology
  • Mentor 3-5 colleagues throughout the year and encourage them to apply to become an Expert Educator
Does that sound exciting to you? Microsoft gives you all the help you need. Find out more: http://bit.ly/1Pqb95x

Monday, 24 August 2015

10 great Google posts this week #27

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions recently, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far.