From tentative, trembling fingers to confident, competent teachers

Over a 100 teachers in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape will graduate at the weekend after successfully completing a teacher professional development course in integrating information and communication technology (ICT) using tablets into teaching and learning at their schools.

The teachers are part of the second phase of the ICT for Rural Education Development (ICT4RED) project. The professional teacher development course has seen 140 teachers trained with a 100% pass rate. The project has also seen 165 tablets distributed at 11 schools.

Led by the CSIR’s Meraka Institute, ICT4RED is the ICT aspect of the broader Technology for Rural Education Development (TECH4RED) research project. This is a joint initiative between the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

TECH4RED is aimed at contributing to the improvement of lives in rural communities through technology-led innovation. Thus ICT4RED is demonstrating how ICT, particularly tablets, can be used to support teaching and learning in rural schools in the Nciba circuit.

Accredited by the South African Council of Educators (SACE) and carrying 10 accreditation points, the course focuses on practical ways to integrate tablets into teaching and learning in the classroom, with teacher professional development modules including storytelling, role-playing, mind-mapping and game-based learning.

Already the project has observed a dramatic change in the way teaching is happening in these rural classrooms, with teachers implementing the new teaching strategies actively and with aplomb. The courseware has been made available freely for download athttp://ict4red.blogspot.com/p/tpd-course.html.

Manager of ICT for Education/mLearning at CSIR Meraka Institute, Merryl Ford, commended the hard work of all stakeholders involved in this project, especially the teachers.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from many people. With the passion and dedication of the team of government, academia, civil society and community working together, there is no limit to our potential as a country.”

Attending classes was not the only requirement for graduation. The teachers have gone through an in-depth assessment process. The approach taken in these piloted ICT teacher professional development courses is different from the traditional method of training, where teachers focus on the technology in order to develop “computer literacy” skills. Rather, the aim is to develop teaching strategies which
focus on developing the appropriate pedagogy in the classroom, using technology as a tool. Once this model has been presented and evaluated by the DBE it may be considered as part of ICT teacher development at a national level.

One of the so-called “mud schools” in the district, Zamuxolo Junior Secondary School, has emerged as the top-performing school, with more than 80% of its teachers passing with distinction. “The teachers have worked incredibly hard, moving away from their comfort zones and embracing new ways of teaching,” Ford said.

“They have moved vast distances from those tentative, trembling fingers a year ago to become the confident, competent and empowered educators they are today.”


Event details:
Date: Saturday, 21 June 2014
Place: Cofimvaba Senior Secondary School
Time: 10:00 – 13:00

Events

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ICT in Basic Education Audit

CoZa Cares Foundation has agreed to undertake research into the ICT in Basic education environment in South Africa.  It is hoped that this research will enable the DBE to make informed decisions regarding its work going forward.

Please would take some time out of your busy days within the next 2 weeks to complete the survey on current ICT-related interventions at schools in South Africa.

We are specifically looking for information regarding interventions and research in the areas of:

  • ICT Infrastructure
  • Internet Connectivity and Cloud Services
  • Digital Content
  • Continuous Professional Teacher Development

We realise that the current format of the survey may be inadequate for those organisations involved in more than one simultaneous project. If you believe that a better picture of your work would be creared by sending us information in addition to completing the surveyitself, please feel free to send the information to us via danepoulsen@cozacares.co.za.

However, this survey is merely Phase One of what we envisage to be an ongoing project of knowledge management on behalf of the Department of Basic Education. We are fairly certain that this first round will yield information that will lead to revisions within the surveyitself, and we would appreciate your comments and suggestions in this regard.

We would also appreciate it if you could send the survey link to other organisations or practitioners within your own network, specifically those involved in ICT interventions at school level.

Best wishes and thank you for your collaboration.

Yours in education

Fiona

Collaborations

Invitation to join the SchoolNet webinar entitled ‘Take note of Videonot.es’

We would like to invite you to join our SchoolNet webinar this coming Thursday (tomorrow 24 October) at 3:30pm entitled Take note of Videonot.es. Our speaker will be Fiona Beal from SchoolNet. (PLEASE NOTE – If you do not wish to receive any mail from SchoolNet please click unsubscribe at the bottom of this email and your name will be removed from all our mailing lists.)

Details
Meeting Name: Take note of Videonot.es
Summary:  Videonot.es is a fantastic free tool to use with students (or personally) when summarising an online video. VideoNotes allows you to load any YouTube video on the left side of your screen and on the right side of the screen VideoNotes gives you a notepad to type on. This application works in conjunction with Google Drive so that when the video has been summarised the notes are saved automatically in your online Google Drive. (If you have a gmail address or a Google ID you have Google Drive as well). So join the paperless journey and discover the benefits of using Videonot.es with your students.
Presenter: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When: Thursday 24 October 2013
Time: 3:30pm – 3:45 PM
Length of webinar: 15 mins
To join the meeting: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/videonotes/

This webinar is also advertised on the SchoolNet blog. It will be great if you can join us. Please note that if it is your first time in attending an Adobe Connect webinar you might be prompted to install a free add-in. Just follow the prompts. See you there!

Workshops and conferences

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