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SchoolNet News April 2016
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We hope that the new term has got off to a good start for you. Welcome to our latest newsletter. You’ll notice that this SchoolNet SA newsletter looks a little different from previous editions – this is because this month we are giving Mail Chimp a try to help to get our news out efficiently. In this issue we bring you:
  • more news of the recent Microsoft E2 Global Exchange in Budapest attended by three of our teachers;
  • a reflection on our Learning Gains through Play project;
  • we remind you about the EdTechTeam Google in Education Summit in Johannesburg in September, 
  • and more.
SchoolNet Members receive our newsletter; they are invited to our free webinars; and they are the first to know about conferences and events. If you are not sure whether you are a SchoolNet member we invite you to visit our website home page found at: 
http://www.schoolnet.org.za/ and click on 'Sign up for mSchoolNet membership' to join.
Teaching with technologies – the journey
The Learning Gains through Play (LGP) project focuses on the development and practice of foundational literacies in Grades R and 1 through the innovative use of technology-enabled, learner-centred play in the classroom. Intel tablets loaded with carefully selected apps and games are integrated into learning activities to stimulate and enhance fine-motor skills and to develop and practice visual literacy and numeracy skills. Xbox Kinect game consoles use data projectors and television screens to engage learning through play, develop gross-motor and fine-motor skills and provide opportunities to reinforce visual and number literacies. As English is the language medium for almost all of the apps and games, one of the components of the research is to measure any acquisition of English oral language that develops as a result of interacting with these apps and games. Teachers have participated in an intense professional development programme supporting the embedding of technology use in classroom teaching and learning, the development and practice of new and innovative teaching strategies with technology and integrating the technology within lesson planning to meet the CAPS curriculum requirements.  Teachers are starting to report that their learning environments are transforming through the use of technology and increasing opportunities for play. 

Read the full report
here to find out more about this amazing project.
Professional Development in Rwanda
SchoolNet SA has been commissioned by Microsoft to develop a teacher professional development plan for Rwanda and to run a series of master training sessions to build local capacity. On 9 March 2016 Megan Rademeyer met with delegates from Microsoft, the Rwandan Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board to discuss and agree on the Teacher Professional Development Plan, process and content in Kigali. The workshop also aimed to address key issues such as ICT skills and technology integration in teaching and learning, learning management systems and how to leverage them in a phased deployment. We look forward to the first training of trainers session and working with Rwandan officials to implement the plan.
 Department of Correctional Services Training
In 2012, the Department of Correctional Services purchased Intel tablets for a number of its facilities. In 2016, it was reported that many staff had moved on from its facilities and as a result, further training needed to be provided to new staff in order to maximise the spend on the devices and in particular master training needed to be provided so that adequate capacity building can be hosted at each facility as required. SchoolNet’s, Ms Hlengiwe Mfeka, conducted master training from 15 – 19 February 2016 at Durban Westville Correctional Centre. The workshops started with a welcome from Deputy Director, Ms Marion Johnson. The Director of the Westville Correctional Services facility, Mr Taljaard and the education centre mangers, Mr Pillay were also on hand to welcome the participants. The workshops started with a background to the course and the activities that would be covered during the week. Read more about the Intel training that took place here.
Why not register for the upcoming 4th Annual Google Summit in September? 
This popular yearly Summit will be held at Dainfern College in Johannesburg this year. Enjoy two full days of learning. This two-day high-intensity event focuses on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education (and other Google tools) to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education. The program features Global Leaders in Google for Education Training,  local Google for Education Innovative Educators, Google for Education Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, and other solution providers.
Register here http://goo.gl/9jDCjL
Find out more at: https://za.gafesummit.com/2016 .  

Date and cost
September 1: Pre-Summit Workshops | $199/Person
September 2 -3: Summit featuring Google for Edu | $225/Person
The three MIES who attended the Microsoft Global E2 Exchange in Budapest report back on their amazing experience
Three of our Microsoft MIEExpert educators were selected to attend the dazzling Microsoft E2 Global Teacher Exchange in beautiful Budapest this year from March 8th - 10th, along with Angela Schaerer from Microsoft.  The E2 teacher education is Microsoft's annual education event recognising and celebrating the achievements of educators to combine content, pedagogy and technology in innovative ways to prepare students for success. At this conference they were  surrounded by 250 of the most creative and innovative educators from around the world. They were also exposed to some of the best speakers and they experienced and observed many newer technologies being demonstrated. All three have written blogposts hightlighting their experiences and we encourage you to read these posts. If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, think about entering Microsoft's Innovative Teacher MIEExpert program in 2016/2017 when applications reopen later this  year. You can learn more about the program at this link http://bit.ly/1H4gKcB on the Microsoft Educator Community. Please join this community if you haven’t already done so. You could be the one attending a Microsoft E2 Teacher Exchange next year!
SchoolNet’s 2016 free webinar season will be starting soon. We invite you to present a webinar…
 
We at SchoolNet believe that we can share classroom ideas with one another and help one another to grow professionally through the use of webinars. Consequently, SchoolNet’s 2016 free webinar season will be starting soon. These webinars usually take place from 3:00-3:30pm pm on a designated week day, in this case possibly a Thursday. A great thing about a webinar is that to listen to one you merely have to tune in and participate right from wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection.  We would like to invite you to share some of your ideas with others via our 2016 season short webinar programme.  What will be involved in presenting a webinar?
  • You will need to share a PowerPoint presentation.
  • You send in your presentation to us to upload, we’ll communicate all the webinar details to you and hold a practise run with you
  • On the day of the webinar you log in and present from wherever you are!
  • A webinar host will be there to introduce you, assist you and thank you!
  • If you wish to present at a different time, we can accommodate that and publicise the changed time for that week.  
If you would like to offer a 10 min – 20 min webinar sharing about a tool or classroom idea that could benefit teachers, we invite you to join our webinar program as a presenter by contacting fiona@schoolnet.org.za
If you are not yet a SchoolNet member, please join us by clicking here and following the prompts to be kept in touch with our various offerings from time to time. We hope you'll visit our blog and our Facebook page regularly. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter (@SchoolNetSa)

Warm regards 
The SchoolNet team

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