Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Android #12: How to move Android Apps to an SDMicro card using APK downloader

Have you ever wondered how to easily share free apps with others in a way that the apps won’t take up a lot of space on a tablet?  This post highlights a great way to share your free apps without having to download them again. All you do is install them from the SD card on to your Android device using a special downloader called APK downloader (http://apk-dl.com/), and then share the SD card with someone else. When the app is to be used it is installed from the SD card.

Step 1: Use your PC for this process and not the Android tablet in this case.

Step 2: Search for the apps you like using the Google Play Store
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Step 3. Open APK downloader from http://apk-dl.com/
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Step 4: Find the app you are looking for
Search the Google Play store and find the app you want to download to your SD card.  In this case for Kidoko Free the URL is https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kidokoinside.kidokoemotionsfree&hl=en

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Step 5: Type this URL into the APK downloader page and press GO.


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Step 6: Find the download button

It will take you to a page with plenty of details and where you can download the file.

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Watch the file download

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Add this file to your folder of Android apps on your computer and then transfer these to your SD card. Whenever the app is to be used click on it in the SD card and install it.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Microsoft Maths – get your Grade 10-12 students set up on their smartphones for 2015…it’s all free!



As you may recall, last year in November Nokia Maths changed its name to Microsoft maths after being bought out by Microsoft. This superb site can be accessed at https://math.microsoft.com. Best of all it is all free!
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What is Microsoft Maths?
This is a site for Grade 10-12 Maths students to use after hours either in groups or individually to revise and improve their Maths content and get help with any queries…using their smartphones or tablet. The application can also be accessed from a desktop or laptop.

Microsoft Math: Making Learning Personal, Engaging, and Exciting
Microsoft Math is transforming high schoolers’ lives by the way they learn in South Africa.Microsoft Math is a great tool for enriching the learning and teaching experiences even outside of classrooms and after school hours. Students can do thousands of math exercises, read theory, learn from examples, and take tests. Teachers can set assignments and homework for their class directly from the service, with the ability to better track students’ skill levels, and to motivate them further.

What will we find there?

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You’ll find over 9000+ quizzes. Exercises are divided into levels of difficulty. When you master a set of quizzes you will move up on a level. There is 10 levels in each sub-topic. There is plenty of theory to help one along and examples to work through.

What are the advantages of the Microsoft Math programme?
One of the great advantages of this program is that learners can set up their own study groups with friends and see how they are doing or compete with each other!

How do I sign up and how do students register?
If you are a Grade 10-12 Maths teacher and your students haven't yet signed up - encourage them to do so this week! Head over to https://math.microsoft.com and let them register


Teachers are loving the Intel ‘Getting Started’ Training for educators conducted by SchoolNet in Port Shepstone District

This group of first time user teachers in the Port Sheptsone District have been loving the Intel Getting Stared training conducted by Nomty Gaba from SchoolNet.

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The training for educators around Port Shepstone District started from the 12th to the 16th January 2015 from 09:00 – 16:00 hrs. There were 20 educators who attended Intel Getting Started course. All participants had no skills and they were first time users. Educators were from Thenjani, Imfume and Magabheni areas. The training introduced them to Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint, email, internet, etc. Nomty Gcaba the SchoolNet SA facilitator appreciated the progress made by the participants. At the beginning the participants were nervous but as the day progresses they were eager and ready for the training. It was noted that the group consisted of females only and one of the teachers was above 60 years of age. This training was also attended by principals.

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Microsoft Sway from Mabore Lekalakala, #MIEExpert15 for SA, entitled ’Khan Academy Math- Learners' Reality’


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This is a guest post from Mabore Lekalakale of South Africa’s Microsoft MiE Experts for 2015. Please follow Mabore on Twitter.  Yesterday we posted a post from Mabore entitled 'Khan Academy Maths - Learners Reality' by Microsoft #MIEExpert from South Africa, Mabore Lelakala.  Today we provide a follow up.
In yesterday’s blog post Mabore Lekalakala posted about Khan Academy and how it can provide beneficial help to Maths students.
                                                   
Mabore created a Microsoft Sway with the title ‘'Khan Academy Math- Learners' Reality’ and we would like to embed her Sway today.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

'Khan Academy Maths - Learners Reality' by Microsoft #MIEExpert from South Africa, Mabore Lelakala

imageThis is a guest post from Mabore Lekalakale of South Africa’s Microsoft MiE Experts for 2015. Please follow Mabore on Twitter. 

The reality is that Mathematics is not real to learners, it is strange until one makes sense of it. I am saying this because only few concepts can easily be made real to learners. It is possible though to make Mathematics learners’ real life. With Khan Academy, Mathematics can become learners’ reality. Let us look into this scenario. Imagine a new, very complex but interesting game introduced to kids. Reality is that the complexity of the game makes it strange and unrealistic to kids who are new to it, but to those who are used to it, it is their reality. Obviously the new won’t enjoy it the same way the old do. Frequent exposure to the game plus motivation will make the game simple and enjoyable and ultimately it will become learners’ reality.

What is the Khan Academy?
MYSTERY SOLVED with learning Mathematics on Khan Academy which is also one of the Microsoft Educator Network Free Tools. No matter the weirdness of Mathematics, Khan Academy makes it real to learners. Khan Academy is interesting, interactive and motivating. The more learners work on it, the more Mathematics becomes real, simple and understandable. The Khan Academy can be accessed at: https://www.khanacademy.org/
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Learners starts working from Mission warm up exercises to challenges i.e. simple to complex. They get hints and watch videos whenever they get stuck. With our overcrowded classrooms, as teachers we are unable to give learners individual attention and instant feedback with a smile every day. Khan Academy addresses individualised learning and gives timeous and consistent feedback to stakeholders, learners, teachers and parents.

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How and where can be accessed?
· From Microsoft Educator Network Free tools
· Install it from App store
· From Search Engine

Grade 5 learners at Toronto Primary School is using Khan Academy


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Challenges
Foreseen problems with Khan Academy is its US based context. Learners cope quite well with this barrier as Maths is all about working with numbers using a particular LOLT (language of learning). Learners get chance to know about other learners context the quarter dollars, dime and nickels which could form part of their collaboration. Things to consider prior to using it in your classrooms include connectivity to network, availability of devices, creating learners accounts, lessons preparation and parental involvement

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Advantages
a) Timeous feedback encourages learners to keep practising

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b) Hints and videos whenever learners are stuck

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 Benefits to Education
· Not replacing the teacher
· Differentiated learning
· Learning everywhere; at home, school, travelling
· Learning Inside and outside the classrooms
· Cheaper
· Learners cover syllabus
· Extended learning
· Feedback given
 
Khan Academy makes a difference, I recommend it for learning and teaching to all; parents, teachers and learners. It is learners’ reality.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

‘Microsoft Educator Network - the Ultimate PLN and PD for Teachers’ by #MIEExpert15 Linda Foulkes

imageThis is another guest post from Linda Foulkes one of South Africa’s Microsoft MiE Experts for 2015. Linda presented this Offix Mix recvently on a Skype call with Nigeria.  Linda has placed this post and this mix on her own blog and and has kindly shared it with us as a guest post on the SchoolNet blog. Linda’s blog can be found at: https://folklind.wordpress.com. Last week we shared Linda’’s post about her Skype call with Nigeria. You can access that post here.



The above Mix is a walk-thorough of the features of the Microsoft Educator Network (MSN) using OfficeMix as the delivery tool. Click to view the mix. This presentation was created as a resource [using OfficeMix] for a Skype call with teachers from Nigeria to share with them the benefits of the MSEN.

Teachers are often apprehensive about changing the way they deliver their lessons. This is not always because they do not want to move forward. Often the mindset is due to the enormous about of time that the change will absorb from their already burdened workload [which is absolutely appreciated, ask me…I know, and I’m sure you do too!]

One can spend a lot of time browsing the net and not really “finding anything of value” if you do not know where to look or do not have a PLN or support. This is when most give up…unless they have knowledge about the MSEN.

The Microsoft Educator Network is referred to as the MSEN. It contains a Resources Area [Free Tools, Learning Activities, Tutorials, Quick Tip Videos and Bing in the Classroom]; Professional Development section [Earn Badges, Courses, EduCast Webinars and Global Educator Exchange]; Community [Discussions, Hot Topic Blogs] and Special Opportunities [Educator Programme and more]
The MSEN is located at http://www.educatornetwork.com
The benefits of the MSEN website are explained in the mix above. Besides all the benefits listed, my most favourite things about the Educator Network are that everything is under one roof, is 100% free, and the opportunity for collaboration with others is immense. Not to mention that one can do PD in the comfort of one’s own home, with a group of teachers or in a training session at school AND IN YOUR OWN TIME!

To all the teachers out there who have the Educator Network as their personal learning network for professional development, support or the ability to locate applicable educational resources, I challenge you to inspireTWO teachers by helping them access such a beneficial resource as the Microsoft Educator Network.

And guess what! If you have a device, you are able to complete a course and earn a badge, anywhere…anytime. The website displays perfectly on my device:

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So spread the news…look no further than the MSEN for the latest technological trends in education.
SchoolNet says: Thank you Linda for this awesome Office Mix! We can’’t wait to try out this application.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

We’re looking for 12 teachers from SA to take part in the wonderful, free Adobe Youth Voices media course and project starting in February…

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What is the Adobe Youth Voices project?
Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) engages talented educators of middle- and high-school-age youth (ages 13 – 18) in a year-long professional development and support program. Educators enhance their teaching strategies, gain new skills, and collaborate with like-minded educators and youth media experts to enable young people to express themselves using digital tools and to create media with a personally meaningful purpose. Educators from participating sites join a global network and exhibit and share youth-created media projects, including videos, documentaries, photojournalism, animations, websites, and multimedia. iEARN joined the Adobe Youth Voices program as a founding partner in 2006, and now manages and supports the program in over 16 countries around the world. Schoolnet South Africa coordinates this programme and has received sponsorships for twelve teachers to participate in the 2014- 2015 year.

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What do we need you to do?
• Participate in an 8-week online course
• Develop an AYV program plan for the year, which will be drafted collaboratively during the training
• Launch their program plan and guide at least 25 youth over the course of the year in the creation of youth media using the digital tools provided. The youth media needs to be planned and designed to ensure youth voice is being heard. Youth should be guided to choose issues that could effect positive change in the immediate community and design a project that highlights the social issue and perhaps provide solutions as well.
• Complete periodic reports describing progress, sharing best practices, and evaluating the benefit of AYV for youth
• Participate in the AYV online community, sharing stories and program progress
• Work with Ms Omashani Naidoo (SchoolNet) to launch exhibition events during the program year
• Contribute youth media work (accompanied by required model releases and licensing agreement paperwork) to the AYV collection by end February 2015 to be exhibited locally, online, and globally

How do we choose teachers?
• Experience in facilitating or an interest in learning new strategies for project-based learning
• Strong belief in student-centered community and social change projects
• Passionate about sharing youth perspectives and voices
• Committed to engaging youth in rigorous investigation of topics of their own choosing that are relevant and meaningful to their lives
• Motivated and available to participate in AYV, without any insurmountable barriers to success
•The crucial element is that Teachers must get learners to submit media projects

Any special motivations to join?
•We will also be hosting an Adobe Workshop for participating teachers
•We will sponsor ONE teacher to attend attendance of the IEARN conference in Brasilia, Brazil 2015 if any of the submitted media is accepted to be showcased at The AYV Media Festival.  All travelling, accommodation, and conference expenses will be sponsored
 
How do you get involved if you are interested?
If you are interested in this programme, please write to mathapelo@schoolnet.org.za or contact our office 011 4035777 for more information or to receive an application form.

Last year’s award winners
Take a look at some of the folk that won awards last year.  Read about the awards here: http://youthvoices.adobe.com/awards/winners/ Here is an example of one of the winning 5minute projects plus a playlist of the winners' videos http://goo.gl/yqQHCm.

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‘Have you thought about doing project-based teaching using Microsoft’s One Note?’ by MiE Expert from South Africa, Mokhudu Machaba

imageThis is a guest post from Mokhudu Machaba one of South Africa’s 2015 MiE Experts. Mokhudu writes about One Note suggesting it could be great to use with project-based learning. 
Mokhudu’s blog can be found at:
http: //projectbasedteaching.wordpress.com

 
What is One Note?

imageWikipedia says ‘Microsoft OneNote, formerly called Microsoft Office OneNote is a computer program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes handwritten or typed, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network. OneNote is available as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is also available as a free stand-alone application for Windows, Mac, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Symbian.[4] A web-based version of OneNote is provided as part of OneDrive or Office Online and enables users to edit notes via a web browser.'
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How to use One Note in the Classroom

The link below is a video showing how you can put together your preparations before going to class. And since my school is still struggling putting together ICT equipments for use on daily basis I have used the OneNote to put together my preparations of the projects I do with the learners. I have shared the documents on OneDrive as well as sharing the link with my fellow MIEE’s

A video clip with some useful instruction
This is a very useful video clip called 'Training: Make the switch to OneNote 2013: Find the things you're used to using - Video 4 of 5:' http://bit.ly/1sVzRnF 



My shared OneNote documents

This link is for the OneNote I share on OneDrive:  (link still coming)

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Using One Note In the Classroom
We have not yet used OneNote in the Classroom but we are planning to since it is so convenient to use.

How it can be used:
Ø Create an activity and rename the Section to the Name of your choice and let all the learners to add their pages responding to the questions on the activity that is created.
Ø Assess the learners work and give them feedback individually. And I see it as being very effective and easy to use.

Application for Education
The OneNote Class Notebook Creator app for SharePoint extends Microsoft for note-taking, which turns it into a teaching tool that helps educators streamline test-taking, better manage assignments, track their students' progress and provide feedback.

Our curriculum advisers will find it easier to communicate with us unlike having to drive to our schools to attend to each educator. They can reach teachers at once using SharePoint which will minimize their workload, and reaching all schools that he/she monitors at once.


Problems I foresee
Ø Lack of ICT developments and support to those who are trying to implement it.
Ø Theft on devices at crime prone areas
Ø Poor Connectivity
Ø Not enough data bundles (Not included in school budget)
Ø Poor in-service training for teachers
Ø Leaders who do not want to adapt to change delays progress in many instances

Conclusion
Being selected as a MIEExpert15 has empowered my ICT skills, I have fallen more in love with the apps I come across every day. Moving around my area helping my fellow educators to register on MEN has made me feel fullfilled. Learning this new apps everyday is challenging and even thought provoking. I am still learning OneNote and Sway and I love them.”

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SchoolNet says: Thank you very much for sharing this post with us on the SchoolNet blog, Mokhudu.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Skype call between MiE Expert15 Linda Foulkes and dedicated teachers from Abuja, Nigeria

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This is a guest post from Linda Foulkes one of South Africa’s 2015 MiE Experts. Linda shared a Skype call with Wellington Oboh, a MiE Expert from Nigeria and 62 teachers at a school in Abuja on the importance of the Microsoft Educator Network and the importance of Office Mix. Linda has this post on her own blog and I asked her if I could use it as a guest post on the SchoolNet blog. Linda’s blog can be found at: https://folklind.wordpress.com

Well it certainly has been a very busy time in "my world " the past few months! Hence the lack of posting to my blog due to organising a wedding, starting a new position, and just getting involved in helping others through social media. 2015 has started off with very positive interactions and I am most certainly looking forward to getting involved, and challenging myself this year!

On Friday 16th January at 16h00 Nigerian time, I was invited by Wellington Oboh [Principal Education Officer at FCTA SEB] to address 62 teachers from the Anglican Girls Grammar School in Abuja, Nigeria. The nature of the call was to show them the benefits of the MSEN [Microsoft Educator Network] and to discuss how one could use Office Mix in the classroom. Such dedicated teachers to be interested in a Skype call from Cape Town at 16h00 on a Friday! I thoroughly enjoyed the session, although I could not see the teachers whilst presenting, they produced a short clip where I was able to see lovely ‘Amen’, the lady who addressed me with a question as to how the Educator Network would be beneficial for teachers. Below is a snippet from the Skype call...
During the presentation I shared a link to my Office Mix with which I created a walk through of the Microsoft Educator Network. Teachers who have not yet taken advantage of this fantastic resource, should sign up right now - click here to open the site and get cracking on your own Professional Development for Free.

CALL FOR COLLABORATION - THE ANGLICAN GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR GIRLS IN ABUJA, NIGERIA WOULD LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ANGLICAN GIRLS SCHOOLS IN CAPE TOWN - PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE KEEN TO GET YOUR SCHOOL INVOLVED."

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SchoolNet says: Thank you for letting us share this exciting experience Linda! The actual short video clip of the experience is embedded below. I made a screencast of the actual video so the sound might not be too good, 

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