Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Minecraft: Education Edition - The #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map created by Stehen Reid is finished

Recently in Joburg, the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) Africa Forum bought together almost sixty MIE Experts and representatives of Microsoft Schools for two days of hands-on learning, networking, and trying out some of the latest Microsoft tools at the Microsoft offices in Bryanston. One of the highlights of the event was a keynote on Problem-Based Learning presented by Stephen Reid from Immersive Minds in Scotland. Stephen introduced teachers to the basics of Minecraft in the context of developing a group work project which involved coming up with a South African problem and then modeling a solution in a Small South Africa Minecraft world.

Stephen Reid presenting a keynote on problem-based learning and Minecraft

The #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished

Stephen recently created a post on his Immersive Minds Facebook profile entitled ‘Our #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished”. He says: “Designed to accompany our Microsoft #ProblemBasedLearning course on the Microsoft Educator Community (https://education.microsoft.com/…/co…/problem-based-learning) we've used the map with teachers from all over Africa to explore some of the prime issues facing South Africa today. So far we've see it used to explore:
  • Ethical mining practices
  • Clean water access
  • Urban development and social housing
  • Education for girls
  • Tax expenditure
  • Xenophobia
  • Human rights
  • Conservation and animal rights
  • and more
Minecraft can be used as a powerful tool for critical and creative thinking in social, economic and environmental issues and in developing awareness and empathy beyond the curriculum.

The map includes:
  • A diamond mine
  • A coastal area, including discoloured water 
  • A game reserve including a cheetah, warthog, buffalo, termite mounds and hyena dens. 
  • A city model, including some key historical buildings from Jo'burg and Cape Town
  • An informal settlement 
  • Lion's Head Mountain 
  • A replica of the Ndebele village.
As with all Minecraft resources the map can be changed in any way and can be extended beyond the walls seen in the images.

The map will be available for download soon via https://education.minecraft.net/"

Here are a couple of the images from Stephen's Facebook post:






Computer4Kids and Minecraft
Contact Computer4Kids in South Africa to find out more about using Minecraft: Education Edition in your classroom. They provide Minecraft: Education Edition training and have created some great Minecraft: Education Edition learning resources for you to use in your classroom.  Currently Computers4Kids is running a Minecraft: Education Edition competition which closes on 17 September. Why not encourage your students to enter this competition? 

  
Complete the free course on problem-based learning on the Microsoft Educator Community
The free problem-based learning course, which is available on the Minecraft Education Community, can be accessed here. Problem-based learning (PBL) has become an integral part of the 21st century classroom. When students are faced with solving ill-structured, open-ended, messy problems, they are pushed to think more critically and work collaboratively. Many Microsoft tools help support problem-based learning. This course has been developed to help you understand what PBL is and how to plan and implement a problem-based learning experience in your classroom.


To view one of the problem-based learning projects which used Minecraft: Education Edition  to demonstrate a solution, (done at the E2 in Joburg),  visit our blog here 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #112

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2uckiNb The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Monday, 17 July 2017

MIEExpert Spotlight #29: Moses Sello Sehoole from Limpopo - Using Microsoft resources as a school principal

MIEExpert Moses Sello Sehoole is a secondary school principal who displays great ambition,
determination and drive. In 2008 he was head-hunted and recruited as principal of Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High School school because of his achievements as principal at his previous school. Mankuroane Technical and Commercial High School school is situated in a deep rural area in Taung, Limpopo. Moses immediately set to work to upgrade the school's technology. In 2010 he applied to the national lottery for funding to build workshops and purchase computers. This was granted in 2011. As part of the business plan 60 computers were purchased for curriculum delivery. As a result the Engineering, Graphics and Design pass rate improved to the current 100% pass rate.

Moses was selected to attend Microsoft's E2 Teacher Exchange in Budapest in 2016
Moses attended the, Microsoft Education Master Training on ICT integration in teaching and learning in 2015, and it was here that he learned about the Microsoft Innovative Expert Program. He adds proudly that, “On the 16th November 2015 I was announced as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, joining the more than 5,600 educators in the MIE program worldwide. I was excited and happy to see that my efforts to integrate technology in classroom were recognized.” In 2016 Moses was selected as one of three educators who represented South Africa at the Microsoft Teacher Exchange (E2) in Budapest in 2016. This experience greatly impacted him. He found that it was awesome achievement because he learned to collaborate, be creative and think out of the box. He adds, "The lesson plan that is driven by technology is lively and exciting because it acknowledges individual uniqueness and independent thinking.”


Moses Sello Sehoole’s success story doesn’t stop there. In 2008 and again in 2011 he was nominated to participate in the South African National Teaching Awards for Excellence in Secondary School Leadership. He reached the provincial level on both occasions, which was a great achievement for him and the school. In 2016 he was nominated again to participate in the 17th National Teaching Awards and he went on to reach national level.


Moses's use of Microsoft  tools at his school
Moses makes extensive use of Microsoft tools at his school. He uses Sway to present his lessons to some of his classes. He uses Office Mix to give notes to his learners in Grade 10. When Moses became a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, he went a step further and started to empower his learners to develop their ICT skills in the classroom. He encouraged them to also apply these to their daily learning. “In 2016, I started engaging my Grade 10 learners to use Microsoft tools for themselves. I taught them how to do research, to collaborate and presenting their work to one another.”


The benefits of using ICT integration
Moses finds that the benefits of using ICT integration in his classes are evident. “Using Microsoft tools makes learning more interesting and fun for my learners and helps them to remember and recall better. The class performance improved a lot because of their professional looking work using a desktop computer. We used to have only a few learners progressing from Grade 10 to 12 but since we started integrating Microsoft technology into our daily teaching and learning, I am delighted to see more and more learners successfully progressing from one grade to another.” Moses is of the opinion that learners are independent thinkers, who no longer desire to simply consume information but who would rather participate actively in various projects with excitement because of technology. He has noticed that his learners’ self-esteem, self-awareness and growth has improved as a result of the technology integration using Microsoft tools.


Moses helps train the teachers at his school
The teachers have also benefited from training in ICT integration. “As a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, I trained about 30 teachers on how to integrate ICT in their daily teaching and learning. After training they are required to use the ICT skills acquired in daily teaching and learning.” The training continued in 2017 when the Department of Education entered into a partnership with the University of Witwatersrand to present a three months’ workshop for selected teachers in using ICT integration in daily teaching and learning. This workshop afforded Moses an opportunity to showcase his ICT skills as he was appointed as an ICT Champion to teach some of the topics.


Find out more about becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert 
MIE Experts are part of an exclusive Microsoft program created to recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to improve teaching and learning. Outstanding MIE Experts
from South Africa and Lesotho are selected to attend Education Exchange (E2) events both locally and internationally; they participate in webinars to boost their own skills; they feature in case studies, blogposts and webinars; and they are part of a local and international community of teachers who share ideas and best practices.If you would like to be a part of this exciting program we invite you to view the Microsoft Educator Expert page on the Microsoft Educator Community to find out more and to apply for the next intake. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #111

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. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2uLOoFlThe link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ



Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – applications close 15 July 2017

MIE Experts are part of an exclusive Microsoft program created to recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to improve teaching and learning. Outstanding MIE Experts from South Africa and Lesotho are selected to attend Education Exchange (E2) events both locally and internationally; they participate in webinars to boost their own skills; they feature in case studies, blogposts and webinars; and they are part of a local and international community of teachers who share ideas and best practices.

Here is an image of the MIE Experts who were invited to the very exciting Microsoft E2 Africa  #makewhatsnext  In Johannesburg recently.

                  

If you would like to be a part of this exciting program we invite you to apply.

To apply, you will need to:
  • register on the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile;
  • earn at least 1 000 points on the Microsoft Education Community;
  • share a link to a 2-minute Sway, video or Office Mix that tells us if you’ve got what it takes to be an MIE Expert, and
  • complete the online self-nomination form by 15 July 2017
See the Microsoft Educator Expert page on the Microsoft Educator Community to find out more and to apply.

Microsoft is opening this program to education trainers, ICT Centre managers, government leaders or someone who sets policy at a local, regional or country level.