Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Wow! Free Gr 10-12 Maths and Science live lessons every afternoon from 2Enable.org, plus more...

This is a guest post from 2Enable.org. "When we looked into teaching methods, the research absolutely upended our preconceptions. It basically showed that kids in rural spaces were hungry to learn and use technology. Chances were slim that equipment would be stolen, vandalised or misused - they were desperate to use what they were provided with in order to improve themselves." says 2Enable Founder, Michael Matthews.

2Enable.Org has just launched free live IPTV lessons using Skype Broadcast! Initially we are broadcasting Grade 10 to 12 Maths and Science lessons by Ms Candace Rennie, the former Head of Science at Rosebank Progress College. These lessons take place in the afternoons, Monday to Friday until November 2016.

How to enrol
Learners are encouraged to register at no cost on www.2enable.org and enrol in the applicable subjects. Once enrolled, the link to the live lessons will show on their personalised calendar. A simple click on the calendar and a click on the broadcast will see them receiving a valuable 45 minute lesson.

Lessons published daily on social media
Alternatively, learners or teachers can keep an eye on our social media platforms, where details on the lessons will be published daily. A click on the link will take them directly to the broadcast with no need for a 2Enable profile or a Skype account.

Missed lessons
Missed the lesson? No problem. By following the same methods, learners are able to view a recording of the particular lesson.

About 2 Enable.Org
2EnableOrg is a web-based application targeting education and NPO's in SA to help the sector and students achieve excellence for free. We deliver educational content using digital learning centres or any internet connected computer or computer network.

School in the Cloud
2Enable is an online educational platform developed by Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CMDA), a registered non-profit organisation. Our School in the Cloud, which is currently being populated with content and assessments, is designed to provide FREE academic and other meaningful educational content for the benefit of all South Africans using a variety of resources specifically aggregated for the platform. 


All curriculum aligned content is arranged in weekly modules with an online assessment at the end of each module. Currently mathematics and English first additional language grade 1 to 12 and physical science from grade 10 to 12 are loaded on the site. Natural science grades 9 and 10 and life science grades 10 to 12 are currently being added. Music theory, recorder, violin and guitar videos are already available to learners.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #60

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:   Alll the link to the previous Microsoft in Education posts can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Monday, 18 July 2016

EduWeek16 part 2: Report back from SchoolNet on the Gamification in Education panel discussion

In the first part in this two-part report-back on Eduweek entitled 'EduWeek16: a report back from Janet Thomson of SchoolNet - part 1' Janet gave an overview of Eduweek 2016. In Part 2 below
SchoolNet talks specifically about the Gaming in Education panel discussion at Eduweek 2016 where Janet Thomson was one of the panelists.

SchoolNet’s involvement in EduWeek in 2016 was due to the D G Murray Trust and our Learning Gains through Play project that precipitated an invitation from Intel to participate in a panel discussion on Gaming in Education. The objective of this Intel presentation was to
unpack as many diverse aspects of Gaming in Education in the short window that a panel discussion allows. The panel therefore included gaming experts from varied fields; Koos de Beer, Junior Lecturer, University of Pretoria, Andreas Cent Hadjipaschali, Director & CEO, Bravado Gaming (PTY) LTD, South Africa, Janet Thomson, Executive Director, SchoolNet South Africa, and Hitendra Hits Naik from Intel Corporation, South Africa. The discussion was facilitated by Ryan Macquet from Intel. Ryan started off by setting the scene around Intel’s involvement in education and then introduced the wider topic of gaming. He asked Koos to clarify the terminology by distinguishing between gamification, game-based learning, gameful design and serious games. Part of Koos’s explanation can be viewed here:  https://youtu.be/yzzbfHAzduM Ryan then asked Janet to outline the benefits of using gaming in the classroom which she did by describing the research that is being undertaken in the Learning Gains through Play project. Her reply can be viewed here https://youtu.be/gTSVpae2aP8  Janet mentioned that Microsoft had released their education edition of Minecraft and that it was downloadable for free to educators for three months from this link http://education.minecraft.net/  


Koos then discussed his unique use of Minecraft with his university students studying BSc. Multimedia where they can earn rewards such as bonus marks and assignment extensions by completing challenges that he poses.  However, the main purpose of requiring students to undertake challenges in Minecraft was for the purpose of developing a shared gaming vocabulary with his students once they have all played the same game.  He highlighted the features of Minecraft Education Edition that provides teachers will the tools to create goals and set challenges for their learners.

Ryan introduced Andreas ‘Cent’ Hadjipaschali and asked how he had managed to grow his company, Bravado Gaming, into the premier e-sports organisation in South Africa at age 29.  Andreas’s response and interaction with Ryan is available here https://youtu.be/FOF4GcPb-Mw  He provided the facts around just how big e-sports has become including it now being on DSTV Super Sport.   The panel discussion was concluded by Hitendra Naik, the Director of Innovation for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Intel who shared instances of gamification as applied in other industries and made special mention of Intel’s commitment to gender equity with My Digital Journey App for girls in Kenya and Intel’s She Will Connect initiative. 


There was time for questions from the audience.  The first question concerned game designers and their chances of employment in the South Africa of the future. Koos gave a comprehensive response which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/T4uHyvGODRM.  The second question concerned the likelihood of gaming becoming a regular feature of the South African classroom.  Janet responded that SchoolNet’s experience had not been encouraging because it had taken 4 years since their first Xbox project before finding an education sponsor willing to invest in gaming.  However she was expecting that the very positive results from the current research into Learning Gains through Play would be sufficiently encouraging for education decision makers to sit up and take notice. Response  available here https://youtu.be/0SM4P9RH-PE


A press round table discussion followed the presentation and a number of news reports have been published already.  So it seems that the panel discussion raised a good deal of interest around the role of gaming:

Friday, 15 July 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #63

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers. All the previous posts in this series can be accessed on this link http://bit.ly/1VEJp3r: (Google links)


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #59

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:   Alll the link to the previous Microsoft in Education posts can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Monday, 11 July 2016

EduWeek16: a report back from Janet Thomson of SchoolNet - part 1

Submitted by Janet Thomson CEO of SchoolNetSA
This is the first of a two part series reporting back on the recent Eduweek16 in Johannesburg. 
This year #EduWeek16 partnered with the SABC, the headline sponsor being Intel. Other major sponsors were Microsoft, Pearson and Dell. Educational exhibitors were there in large numbers (120). The conference theme was “Education for Sustainable Development” and the choice of parallel sessions was greater than in previous years. There were five choices of conference threads which included Early Childhood Development, Vocational and Higher Education, Inclusive Education, general basic education and Educational Technology.

This year #EduWeek16 partnered with the SABC, the headline sponsor being Intel. Other major sponsors were Microsoft, Pearson and Dell. Educational exhibitors were there in large numbers (120). The conference theme was “Education for Sustainable Development” and the choice of parallel sessions was greater than in previous years. There were five choices of conference threads which included Early Childhood Development, Vocational and Higher Education, Inclusive Education, general basic education and Educational Technology


The Opening Plenary was well attended as can be seen from this photo above. Brian Gonzales from Intel, Jaye Richards-Hill from Microsoft and Maurice de Hond from Steve Jobs Schools (Netherlands) all preceded the closing remarks given by National Minister Motshekga. All the speakers were engaging but Maurice de Hond captured the imagination of the audience when he explained the reason he had opened his first school in the Netherlands. He had been compelled by the fact that his 7 year old daughter was about to attend the same school as his 30-something sons and the school had not changed in the least in those intervening two decades. He said if Bill Gates had died around the same time he might have named his school after him. He announced that he had just opened two Steve Jobs schools in Gauteng. This year, Steve Jobs Schools have been named Most Innovative Schools in the world by Tech-Insider Magazine. Maurice de Hond and Minister Motshekga are pictured here http://stevejobsschool.world/4221-2/ on the Steve Jobs schools website.

Next up in the E-Tech theatre was a panel discussion, chaired by Angela Schaerer of Microsoft entitled, “Rock, Paper, Tablets – will technology save our schools?”
The speakers were: Riaan van der Bergh. Deputy Provincial Manager, FEDSAS; Brian Wafawarowa, Executive Director, Learning Services, Pearson South Africa; Jaye Richards-Hill, Teacher Engagement Manager, Microsoft South Africa; Dr. Sabine Huber, Worldwide Education Specialist, Intel Education, Intel Corporation and Elias Chipimo, Commercial Director, Mwabu.  The speakers came from a wide range of countries and backgrounds but were all very much on the same page and in favour of the effective use of technology in classrooms.  One question from the floor was quite difficult for panel members to answer, “Save our schools from what?”

Due to SchoolNet’s involvement with the D G Murray Trust project, Learning Gains through Play (LGP), we found ourselves drawn to the new EduWeek conference thread, Early Childhood Development.  One of the presentations that aligned closely with the LGP project was a presentation by Norman Mphake from the Physical Education Institute of South Africa, entitled, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. Norman explained how important it is for children to have early positive experiences of physical activity.  Another of his main points was the relevance of motor development to cognitive development in ECD, which is one of the focal points of our Learning Gains Research when using Xbox Kinect games. Details of other presentations are available from the EduWeek 2016 website


The Awards Dinner was a glamorous affair, magnificently hosted by Hlubi Mboya, pictured below. A wonderful surprise was the Lifetime Achievement Award being won by Phuti Ragophala, Principal of Pula Madibogo Primary in Limpopo. Phuti magnanimously thanked SchoolNet South Africa, Coza Cares and Microsoft for all the support she had received during her digital journey.


Other awards winners were:
Brain Booster for Early Childhood Development as well as for the Innovation product award, Edit Micro Systems for Special Needs Education, The Reach Trust for the NGO award and Siyafunda Community Technology Centres for the Community Award. The Institution leader of the Year award went to Sehoole Moses Sello, Principal of Mankuroane Technical and Commercial Secondary who also won the Educator who Cares award and the Teacher of Tomorrow was awarded to Lindsay Wesner, ICT integrator and Subject Head of Life Orientation at Parklands College in Cape Town."

This post will be followed by Part 2 where Janet Thomson talks specifically about the Gaming in Education panel discussion at Eduweek 2016.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Useful Google in Education posts this week #62

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers. All the previous posts in this series can be accessed on this link http://bit.ly/1VEJp3r: (Google links)


Useful Google in Education posts this week #62
View more lists from Fiona Beal

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Programming Olympiad for schools in South Africa is around the corner...


The Programming Olympiad is around the corner and your learners will be able to test their programming skills in any language that your school allows. The aim of the Olympiad is to identify, encourage and reward computer aptitude, promote and encourage computer studies and create an awareness of career opportunities in ICT.

When is it?
The First Round of the Programming Olympiad will be open for participation from Monday 1 to Friday 5 August. Participants can take part for an hour at any time during that week. Learners may use any language allowed by the school including languages such as Scratch and Alice. These are introductory languages for Grade 10, but are also popular among Primary School leaners.

Certificates
At least half the participants nationwide will receive certificates to recognise their achievements. Certificates will be awarded at three grade levels:

  • Grade 10 and below
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12 and above

In each age group certificates will be awarded as follows:

  • Gold: the top 7% of participants nationwide
  • Silver: the next 14%
  • Bronze: the next 29%

How do you register?
Learners register through their schools. Schools have a choice of Online or Offline. Peter Waker, Manager of the South African Computer Olympiad Trust explains: “Some of the younger participants have problems using the computer to write programs and at the same time using the screen to read the question. These schools may therefore enter for both Offline and Online so that learners can have a printed question paper to work from.”

The questions are available in English and Afrikaans.

Schools can enter online at http://www.olympiad.org.za/register-programming-olympiad/ or request an entry form by calling 021-448-7864. Participation in the Programming Olympiad is free.
For further information go to www.olympiad.org.za or contact info@olympiad.org.za or contact 021-448-7864.

Media release by: Peter Waker
Manager: Computer Olympiad
Ph: 021-448-7864
Fax: 021-447-8410
info@olympiad.org.za
www.olympiad.org.za

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #58

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:   Alll the link to the previous Microsoft in Education posts can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ