Monday, 3 August 2015

Computer Olympiad news - All four members of the South African Team that took part in the 27th International Olympiad in Informatics in Kazakhstan will return with medals


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This was such great news about the South African Olympiad team that we thought we would mention it on our blog. All four members of the South African Team that took part in the 27th International Olymiad in Informatics in Kazakhstan will return with medals

Who was in the team?
The team that took part in the Olympiad consisted of:
  • Ulrik de Muelenaere from Waterkloof High, Pretoria
  • Yaseen Mowzer from Fairbairn College, Cape Town
  • Thomas Orton from Bishops, Cape Town
  • Robin Visser from St George’s Grammar School, Cape Town
How did they progress?
All four won bronze medals.

The Manager of the Olympiad, Peter Waker, was delighted with the medals.  “In all 23 years of particpation this is the fourth time we get medals for all four participants.  The previous occasions were 2010, 2000 and 1999.”

Added Deputy delegation leader Robert Spencer: “Getting a medal is, to say the least, no small feat.  We are very proud that the team managed to each get one.  I have high hopes for next year in Russia, as two of our team members are eligible to take part again.”

The four South Africans managed to beat every other entry from Africa except Youssef Ibrahim of Egypt.  However, when the team scores are added up South Africa is not only the top performer from Africa, it also ends up in very respectable company.
A quick calculation shows that South Africa ended up 32nd out of 83 participating countries”  contributed Delegation Leader Sean Wentzel.  “We are just behind Germany and Hungary and just ahead of Sweden, Israel and Brazil.  Other African countries were not so fortunate.  Egypt is ranked 59th, Tunisia 63rd and Nigeria 83rd.”


Top scorer with 100% was Jeehak Yoon from South Korea.  He was the only participant with a perfect score.  The top ten places were taken by participants from South Korea, Russia, the USA, China, Australia, Iran and Canada.

Selection for 2016 starts soon.
The process of selecting the team that will represent South Africa at the 28th International Olympiad in Informatics in Russia in 2016 will start on Friday 14 August when learners from all over South Africa will take part in the First Round of the Programming Olympiad at their schools.
“This year the contest is online and we expect a record number of entries” explained Waker.  “Teachers appreciate the fact that there is no marking and that detailed results will be sent to the school.”

It is not too late to enter, and learners with programming skills should ask their schools to enter them.

Team returns on Monday.
The team is expected back in South Africa on Monday 3 August. 
  • Ulrik de Muelenaere will arrive on flight EY 6299 landing at 08:45 at OR Tambo Airport.
  • Yaseen Mowzer, Thomas Orton and Robin Visser will arrive at Cape Town International on flight EY 6262 at 14:10.  Delegation Leader Sean Wentzel and Deputy Leader Robert Spencer will be on the same flight.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Are your Grade 10-12 Maths students using Microsoft Math? It’s free and available on any device 24/7

Why not introduce your Grade 10-12 Maths students to Microsoft Math https://math.microsoft.com if they don’t know about it?  This is a great free site for Grade 10-12 Maths students to use after hours either in groups or individually to revise their Maths content and get help with any queries. Teachers can use Microsoft Math to motivate, monitor, and track learning and skill levels, giving more specific and individual feedback to students.

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Advantages of Microsoft MathOne of the big 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! The program is accessible from a smart phone, a PC and a tablet.

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What will you find on the site?
9000+ quizzes. Exercises are divided into levels of difficulty. When a studentt masters 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.

Can your students afford to be without this great maths companion as the end of the year looms? Try it today!

13 Great Google posts this week #24

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..

Webinar recording from SchoolNet’s free webinar on Thursday 30 July at 3:15pm on ‘How to use Microsoft Sway to profile teaching life’ by Phuti Ragophala

 On Thursday afternoon 30th July we held a webinar entitled, ‘How to use Microsoft Sway to profile teaching life’.  Our speaker was Phuti Ragophala, Principal of Pula Madibogo Primary  in Limpopo.who shared on how she uses Microsoft Sway to profile her teaching life.
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The webinar description
In this webinar Phuti showed how to use Sway.com to profile teaching life. She says, "Sway is one of the recent apps by Microsoft which is very user-friendly. I use it to text messages, to upload videos, to paste images and paste recorded YouTube and Skype videos and for learners to upload their projects with images and animations. Today I’ll show some further uses of Sway".

The downloadable webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from the webinar available online in SlideShare:



The webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to on the following link:
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p4dsopijo4e/

SchoolNet South Africa provides a short, free webinar on most Thursday afternoons during the school term.

Useful Microsoft posts for teachers this week #14

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:

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Anglo Platinum Community Project takes Intel professional development to teachers in Limpopo and NorthWest

Anglo Platinum has a passionate commitment to the communities in the vicinities of its mines. Recently SchoolNet SA was contracted by Anglo Platinum to provide professional development to teachers from 226 schools who had received ICT equipment as part of Anglo Platinum’s social responsibility framework. The intention of this initiative is to uplift and support specifically targeted communities in the North West (Bojanala District) and in Limpopo (Waterberg, Greater Sekhukhune and Capricorn Districts). SchoolNet provided professional development  to clusters of Maths and Science teachers from schools in the four project districts and either Intel Teach Getting Started or Intel Teach Elements was offered depending on the needs and skills of teachers is the group as part of the introductory ICT integration programme.

AngloPlat


Mpumalanga ready to run 2Enable training

The Mpumalanga Department of Education has embarked upon a pilot project that involves equipping schools with technology and access to the 2Enable app and empowering teachers with the skills to use the content available through the app to enhance teaching and learning. Microsoft commissioned SchoolNet SA to develop a course called Using Digital Resources in the Classroom that aims to equip participants with the skills to effectively use digital content learning resources in the classroom. On 2 and 3 June 2015, master trainer and course developer Gerald Roos led fifteen officials from the Mpumalanga Department of Education through the course with a view to these officials then being able to provide training to schools in the province. Officials also used the opportunity to critique the course and gave some valuable input into how the content could be restructured.

2Enable



SchoolNet facilitates the Buffelshoek HelpDesk course

SchoolNet SA recently ran a Microsoft Partners in Learning HelpDesk course with 27 out-of-school youth from the villages surrounding the Buffleshoek Trust’s nine partner schools. The training, led by Trainer Themba Mabaso, took place at the Acorns to Oaks Comprehensive High School in Acornhoek. The training included a beginners guide to computer hardware, supporting networked computers, installing an operating system and supporting hardware. As part of the course students were required to dismantle computers and reassemble them, which for many participants was the first opportunity to see the inside of a computer and all of its components. The participants responded so well to the training, that they now meet on weekends as a group to further their learnings. One student had this to say on the last day of training,“When I started here, I knew Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but today I am a technician!”

Buffleshoek



According to Dr Alice Barlow-Zambodla who leads the Buffelshoek Trust ICT programme, nine of the Help Desk trainees will be placed in schools for the third term so that they can put into practice what they have learnt. The trainees will be referred to as ICT Help Desk Monitors and will earn a small stipend as volunteers. They will serve to ensure that the computer centres remain functional at all times and will provide support for teachers and learners in using the ICT facilities at each school. The monitors will also serve as the first line of defence in terms of troubleshooting and will be linked to two local service providers who will be consulted and provide the extra technical support that may at times be required. This approach should contribute to the sustainability of the system in terms of both functionality and use. The Buffelshoek Trust is continually fundraising to keep the Help Desk monitors in the schools until the schools centres are functioning at full capacity and their positions are absorbed by the schools. The remaining trainees are setting up a small School ICT centre at the Utah Community



Wednesday, 29 July 2015

SchoolNet free webinar on Thursday 30 July at 3:15pm on ‘How to use Microsoft Sway to profile teaching life’ by Phuti Ragophala

We will be holding a short, free SchoolNet webinar on Thursday 30th July (tomorrow) at 3:15 . Our speaker will be Phuti Ragophala from Pula Madibogo Primary  in Limpopo.who will share on how she uses Microsoft Sway to profile her teaching life. We invite you join us at the webinar.

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Webinar details

Meeting Name:  How to use Microsoft Sway to profile teaching life
Summary: In this webinar Phuti shows how to use Sway.com to profile teaching life. She says, "Sway is one of the recent apps by Microsoft which is very user-friendly. I use it to text messages, to upload videos, to paste images and paste recorded YouTube and Skype videos and for learners to upload their projects with images and animations. Today I’ll show some further uses of Sway".
Presenter:Phuti Ragophala, Principal of Pula Madibogo Primary School in Limpopo Province
WhenThursday 30 July 2015 at 3:15 PM
Duration: 20 – 30 minutes
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Pretoria
To join the meeting: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/sway/

Note
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm