Thursday, 23 October 2014

Google Innovation Tour registration closed – fill in a 'Future Interest' form to be notified of future events

Karen Wastra from Google has asked us to place this message on our blog in connection with the Google Innovation Tours in the Western that we advertised recently.  This contains a Future Interest form in case you are interested in any other other events that will be offered by Google in South Africa.

“Dear All,
THANK YOU so much for the wonderful response we have received, the event is now closed for registration. Please can you tell others as well.

If you are interested in attending future events or know of people who may be interested in attending, please share this form with them. (Registration closed:)

Future interest Form link:

Bitly link to form:

Thanking you all, we look forward to seeing those of you who have replied.

Thanking you

OneNote Class Notebook Creator launched!


Teachers have been using OneNote for years as a powerful tool to deliver content to students or to provide a space for collaboration in the classroom. Until now though, each student would need their own private notebook, or a teacher would need to privacy-protect sections that students shouldn’t see—and the dozens of notebooks a teacher would typically need to manage became very cumbersome.

The new One Note Class Notebook Creator is here… 
OneNote Class Notebook Creator lets a teacher quickly create a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, all within one powerful OneNote notebook. Built on Office 365 and SharePoint Online, the OneNote class notebook can eliminate the need for an LMS to distribute and collect homework, quizzes, exams, and handouts.

Watch this brief video (3.5 mins) to see how easy it is to create a class notebook and manage content, collaboration, and privacy.


Further reading

Two Google Summits proposed for 2015 in South Africa in Cape Town and East London – save the dates!

We are pleased to announce that SchoolNet and the EdTech Team will most likely be hosting two Google Summits in South Africa in 2015 along with the following two schools:
  • Parklands College Cape Town will once again be kindly hosting the  Cape Town Google Summit on 8, 9, 10 October 2015. (The 8th will be the pre-Summit)
  • Selbourne High School in East London will be kindly hosting the East London Summit.
Please visit to receive a reminder when registration opens. We look forward to welcoming you to one of these summits and please spread the word!


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert entries in South Africa are extended to 24 October

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
The entries for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert were meant to close on 15 Oct - but we are still accepting entries submitted up to 24 Oct. Teachers can look at the 2014 South Africa and Lesotho Microsoft Innovative Educator Program for more information and to fill out the online entry form.
This discussion also includes documents showing you how to upload a learning activity or how to edit a previously submitted Learning Activity.

If you would like to be considered as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert please complete the online application form if you have not already done so. By completing the application form you would be eligible for possible selection to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Redmond, USA in March 2015.


If you submitted the Learning Activity to the Microsoft Educator Network some time ago, possibly for last year’s Microsoft Innovative Educator competition, you can use this same Learning Activity as part of your application for this year’s competition. If you want to update your Learning Activity or to enhance it in any way, you can do this by 24 October 2014. There are more details around the Microsoft Expert Educator Expert application process, and documents showing how to upload or adapt a Learning Activity in the “2014 South Africa and Lesotho Microsoft Innovative Educator Program” discussion on the Microsoft Educator Network.

You are also asked to send your name, along with a link to your profile on the Microsoft Educator Network and a link to your Learning Activity Please do this if you have not already done so.

Both completing the application form and sending the email require that you include links to your online profile and learning activity. If you are not sure how to do this, look for the document entitled “How to find your profile and learning activity on the Microsoft Educator Network” in the “Related content” section of the “2014 South Africa and Lesotho Microsoft Innovative Educator Program” discussion.

Please note that after you upload a Learning Activity or make changes it takes approximately 24 hours before your activity is approved and made publicly accessible. If you are anxious that you cannot find your Learning Activity the day after you uploaded it, please email me ( to expedite the process of getting it approved.

Countdown tasks

Please ensure that you have done the following three things on or before 24 October 2014 to be eligible for possible selection as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert:
· Finalise your Learning Activity
· Complete the online application form
· Send an email to with a link to your profile and learning activity on the Microsoft Educator Network

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Monday, 20 October 2014

An awesome Android (and iPad) app - Book Creator. A must for every mobile classroom. Try it...

Submitted by Fiona Beal 
Book Creator has to be one of my favourite iPad apps. So when it was released as an ANDROID app as well I was absolutely thrilled! This is an app that is a must in every mobile device classroom. It allows creativity and collaboration. You can use text, video, photos, camera, sound, video camera and imported video. I have been researching some of the ways Book Creator can be used in the classroom and in this post I will outline them.

With this Android app you can publish and share multi-media book creations in a variety of ways!


If we select ‘Share book’ these are the options that open up.  One Drive and ‘Lan Share’ appear further down. (In the iPad version one can also exxport as a PDF or export as a video!)


What is the Android version of Book Creator all about?

Watch the short promo video

How do I get Book Creator on Google Play?

For Android there is a free version as well as a paid version costing R25.



Ideas for the classroom

1. Your students could introduce themselves use Book Creator.

Note below how you can add text, photos, videos and audio.


2. Use Book Creator to create a newsletter

3. You could run a global project using Book Creator
Read Meg Wilson’s delightful blog post at  She says that she “sent out a tweet on Twitter asking for anyone using the Book Creator app to send us a page about their location, and I was shocked by the amount of people who wanted to participate in the global book.”


4. Use Book Creator as a research tool

                                             Students working on their iPads
“These primary school children from Moshoeshoe Primary School in South Africa  had to create their own books about a topic. In this case it was about the different cultures in South Africa. They had to create a book in English, which is not their mother tongue, and then they had to present their final product to the class. They were working in groups of two, and it was amazing to see how easy they navigated the Book Creator app, and how their terminology incorporated 'shelves', a 'first draft' and “editing”. Taken from

5. Record a Science observation

This group of students discovered that the classroom’s praying mantis egg sacs had hatched new baby praying mantises! They needed to set them free as they can actually eat each other if you don’t get them a food source quickly enough. The class worked in groups using Book Creator to document their investigation and release.


They snapped pictures, added information, worked on phonics skills, main ideas, retelling information in their own words, and more and it ended up as a great collaborative project. You can download their ePub book from their classroom blog: 

6. More ideas

Look at all these examples of how Book Creator can be used in the  classroom presented on an interative Thinglink image called 'Oh, The Many Wonderful Uses of Book Creator App'

Further reading

Apply to attend Google’s CS K-12 Teacher Curriculum Testing workshop on 25th Oct in Joburg. Details…

This is a message from Google about a workshop that would interest CAT and IT teachers living in the proximity of Joburg, as well as other teachers who are interested in this topic.
Pilot - Johannesburg, South Africa
Date: October 25th, 2014


The project scoped for one of our team interns this past summer was around researching and creating Computer Science (CS) resources that would be of value in order to get middle school CS teachers to the next level in teaching these subjects to the students as well as having them develop additional curriculum resources that will work in their home countries with an ultimate aim to influence the K-12 student audience to be excited about CS and choose it as a future career option.

The result of the project, among other things, was the creation of a Logic, Algorithms and Computational thinking lesson and activity examples composed of starter activities and main activities that secondary school teachers could pick and choose from in order to complement their course or to run in parallel to their course to enhance students capabilities.

Target Audience

Students: The main target audience of these example CS lessons are the K-12 middle school students, since we hope to influence this. The teachers are the channel to get to them the CS knowledge.
Teachers: For the purpose of the testing the main target audience we want to get input from teachers. For the purpose of having meaningful content, a small sample of teachers with a variety of profiles is instrumental. Regionally, the aim is to get different teacher profiles with different CS levels: from the teacher that focuses on ICT and computer usage basics with no CS background to the teacher who focuses on programming fundamental with a CS background.
Besides, teachers from other subjects aren’t excluded from participation as long as they are “techy”, have an understanding of Google tools and how these work and are excited about taking part in this.
Project Testing Goal
Through the CS K-12 lesson example testing we would like to make sure the produced resources are relevant for EM middle school teachers and EM middle school students to have the right CS influence and that the format via which these would be delivered is also suitable for the teachers.
Additionally, we would like to leave teachers with something they could pursue in their classrooms the week after the workshop.

Workshop Materials

During the workshop 3 topics will be reviewed: logic, algorithms and computational thinking.
SSA (Johannesburg, South Africa)
    • Date: 25th October (fixed)
    • Facilitator: Google
  • Teachers: We will be hosting live workshops with a minimum of 20 teachers per location.
  • Duration: The workshop duration will be 4-6 hours and the format will be similar to that of a usability/UX testing with a facilitator.
  • Content: We aim to test one starter activity and one main activity for all 3 topics: logic, algorithms and computational thinking
Workshop Testing Follow Up
  • Teachers to come up with a lesson they could pursue in their classroom the following week
  • Brainstorming of a one-week syllabus plan
  • Empowering the teachers to share additional feedback on what worked/didn’t work in a week time from the workshop through a G+ community
  • Sharing of one-pager in CS resources

How to get involved

If you are in Gauteng or near enough to Joburg to travel to the workshop by car, and are interested please fill in this interest form. Teachers who are selected to attend this workshop will be informed via email. Please send any queries to

Friday, 17 October 2014

Opportunity for CAT or IT teachers (and others) in Gauteng area to attend a Google Pilot study workshop to be held in JHB next week


Are you a CAT or IT teacher in Gauteng? Are you are teacher who is just interested in Information technology? Google needs you to review teaching resources for Computer Science at a workshop in Johannesburg next week on 25th October. (Unfortunately no flights can be reimbursed)

Google interns have been working on computer science resources for learners aged between 11-15 years and would like to get feedback on the resources from a varied sample of 20 teachers from across the world. Google would like to host this workshop in Johannesburg on the 25th October 2014. Interested teachers must have functional knowledge of Google Tools for education.

Click here for more information. If you are in Johannesburg and are interested please fill in this interest form. Teachers who are selected to attend this workshop will be informed via email.
Please send any queries to

Thursday, 16 October 2014

SA teachers using iPads in class – get your students to create sample videos for the new Adobe Premier Clip app before October 28

Calling South African teachers using iPads in class. This is a message SchoolNet received from Adobe Youth Voices yesterday to pass on to you:

”We have a fantastic opportunity to have students help create sample videos for the new Adobe Premiere Clip app. The videos will be features as examples to all who use the app. Attached are three types of templates - family dish, video letter, and share a talent. (Download these at this link - Adobe Premier Clip template types).

It would be ideal if your students could do each template. This will take 15-20 minutes to create on an iPhone or iPad. We want to turn these videos over to the team by October 28. Please let me know right away if you're able to participate. From

What is Adobe Premier Clip?

image image

Adobe Premiere Clip is a free app that allows you to create amazing videos right on your iPhone or iPad . It can be described as the all-new app for on-the-go video editing.

Download Adobe Premier Clip

Adobe Premier Clip App is free from the iPad store


How do I use Adobe Premier Clip?

Here are two videos giving instructions
a) The first one can be found at along with other tutorials. (Open this one on the link provided) .


b) The second is a tutorial found on YouTube

We hope you will take the challenge!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Just a reminder - Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator applications must be in on 24 October...

The Microsoft in Education Global Forum is taking place in Redmond, Washington in March 2015. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator, join the Microsoft Educator Network and upload a learning activity that demonstrates how you are using 21st century teaching practices in your classroom by 24 October 2014

Microsoft believes that technology alone cannot build 21st century skills for students. Technology is an accelerator, but alone it does not enable change. Microsoft believes in the power of the educator, and the impact educators can have when they are brought together and recognized for their achievements.


Microsoft offers engagement opportunities aimed at empowering educators like you effectively use technology to develop your students’ 21stcentury skills. Join over a million educators, helping over 190 million students in over 200 countries who are shaping the future of education by becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator – Expert (MiE – Expert).

As some of the world’s most innovative educators, MIE Experts advance the conversation about improving student outcomes through innovative uses of technology in teaching and learning. Participants of the program can expect:
  • Free Microsoft tools and technology
  • Exclusive professional development opportunities
  • To develop your personal “brand” and career as a thought leader by participating in case studies, speaking engagements and content development
  • Eligibility to earn an all-expense paid trip to the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Redmond, Washington in March 2015.

As an MiE – Expert your role in the Community will be to:
  • Build educator capacity for using technology in teaching and learning to improve student learning
  • Advise Microsoft and education institutions on how to integrate technology in pedagogically sound ways
  • Be an advocate at conferences, events and trainings for how Microsoft technology can improve learning

Get started with four easy steps

Step One: Review program commitment
Your commitment as a MIE Expert is to be an advocate for using Microsoft technology to improve student learning. In a year, MIE Experts typically:

  • Attend 8-10 webinars to learn about and give feedback on new technologies and education concepts
  • Build educator capacity in your community (school, district or at training events) by training or coaching educators and inviting them to join the Microsoft Educator Network (educators at your school and/or 200 others)
  • Develop your own capacity as a thought leader:
    • Speak at 2 or more conferences
    • Regularly contribute to social media such as Facebook and Twitter referencing #MSFTEDU
    • Author one blog every quarter referencing Free Tools or Hot Topics blogs on MSEN
    • Participate in at least 4 teach meets showcasing Microsoft technology
Step Two: Join the Microsoft Educator Network (MSEN)
Join the Microsoft Educator Network and fully complete your profile

Step Three: Submit a learning activity
Submit a learning activity. Learning activities are typically a project-based or inquiry-based activities that exemplify the use of 21st century teaching practices. The best past learning activities have included references to the 21st Century Learning Design rubrics, included examples of students’ work, and a video explaining the learning activity. All learning activities should be submitted in English to apply to become a MIE Expert. See learning activities from MIE Experts.

Step Four: Send an email to with a link to your profile on the Microsoft Educator Network and a link to your Learning Activity, and complete the online form found at before 24 October, 2014.
Just do it! Nothing to lose…so much to gain.