Tuesday, 31 January 2017

'Grade 7 Orientation 2017' by @apeters522 from Parklands College

This is another guest post from Anthony Peters @apeters522, Anthony is a very innovative English High School teacher from Parklands College in CapeTown who delights in using technology in his High School English classes very creatively. We are always very happy when Anthony submits a post to us. You can view all his previous posts on our blog via the 'Anthony Peters' label https://goo.gl/3We6is  under Quick links on the right side.

"The youngest additions to the Secondary Faculty have arrived at Parklands College! The orientation boasted a wide variety of exciting activities specifically designed to integrate the new learners into our thriving environment…and they hit the ground running, literally! Please see the following descriptions and photos from just some of last week:

Treasure Hunt
The treasure hunt required the learners to scan QR Codes that gave them a clue (in rhyme) to a location somewhere in the school. The learners were required to find these locations and take a ‘quality’ selfie at each stop. The learners then had to submit these images to a Google Folder and share it with Mr Peters. This fast-paced and adrenaline-fuelled task achieved numerous benefits: it helped the learners to familiarise themselves with the school’s numerous buildings, it taught them how to use the numerous facets of Google Drive, it encouraged a great deal of communication, collaboration and leadership within the groups, and let’s not forget, it was a great deal of fun!


Keynote Training (‘Who am I?’)
As the learners were new to the school, it was important that we all got to know each other better! After doing some basic revision of the highly versatile app Keynote, the learners were tasked with creating their own five-slide presentation including ‘the mandatory selfie’ of themselves, their family, hobbies, pets, as well as an amusing video of one of the aforementioned. These were then submitted to the Google Classroom. The professional quality of their presentations was crucial and this also surreptitiously encouraged them to refine their use of various apps that will be used within lessons later this year.


Tell a Tale Story and Book Creator Training
The art of quality storytelling is an important skill within English and this training session encouraged our budding authors to think on their feet with a ‘Speed Story’ task! In groups, learners had only twenty minutes to come up with a short story using the Tell a Tale app! This application gave them only the introductory sentence, three objects and the concluding sentence as inspiration so this really tested their imagination!


A representative of each group then read out their group’s story in order to stand a chance of winning a chocolate!


After this high-speed challenge, the learners were required to convert the plethora of exciting stories into a digital book inclusive of images, voice clips and videos using the Book Creator app.



Some members of the ever-imaginative group even went above and beyond and created their story characters using Snapchat!



We greatly look forward to seeing what this innovative group of young minds are capable of this year so follow the College’s Twitter handle (@ParklandsTweet) and mine (@apeters522) for live updates!"

Submitted by Mr P

Monday, 30 January 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #88

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/2jM2oM5 The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 

Microsoft MIEExperts bound for Canada in March


Currently there are 135 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts in South Africa and Lesotho. Of these, five have been selected to attend Microsoft's 3rd annual E² - Education Exchange taking place in Toronto, Canada between 21 and 23 March 2017.  This exclusive three-day event will bring together 300 of the most innovative educators from around the world for the opportunity to collaborate, create, and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and pedagogy to advance learning, achieve student outcomes, and transform education.

Congratulations to Freddy Chireka (Vastratech – Gauteng); Peter de Lisle (Hilton College – KZN); Matthew Hains (Woodlands College – Gauteng); Justin Harper (Saheti School – Gauteng); and Amandla Vinjwa (Sivile Primary – Western Cape) who have been selected to participate in this event. SchoolNet’s Megan Rademeyer will also be attending the E² - Education Exchange as a Microsoft Fellow and will be presenting a session.

In order to be selected for this great opportunity, MIE Experts were expected to boost their own skills by completing activities on the Microsoft Educator Community; they were asked to share their skills through uploading a learning activity; participating in webinars and producing blogposts; and they were active in the social media discussions around using technology to enhance teaching. Whilst only a few MIE Experts will have a chance to participate in this E² - Education Exchange in person – other MIE Experts will be able to join in the online event and we are sure that those who attend will share their experiences and learnings upon their return.

Friday, 27 January 2017

SchoolNet webinar recording ''Managing the Connected 21st Century learner with OneNote Class Notebook' by Freddy Chireka


On Thursday afternoon 26 January at 3:30pm we held a SchoolNet free webinar entitled ''Managing the Connected 21st Century learner with OneNote Class Notebook'. Our speaker was Freddy Chireka, a MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer who is experienced in training teachers in ICT integration. He has 10 years of teaching experience including his current role as Professional Learning Specialist at Vastratech PD Academy, South Africa, where he is in charge of Technology Integration in Learning Spaces. We used the Adobe Connect webinar platform for the webinar.

The webinar description
In this webinar Freddy spoke about the use of technology in the classroom and how it presents enormous advantages and opportunities for both the teacher and learner to enter the space of 21st Century Connected Learning. It also comes with its own risks and challenges. He explained that Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook is a vital tool to bring the teacher back into control and lead the process of learning. Freddy showed us how to use OneNote Class Notebook creator to create a Class Notebook with three main sub-notebooks namely:
  • Student Notebooks: private notebooks that are shared between each teacher and their individual students. Teachers can access these notebooks at any time, but students cannot see other students’ notebooks. 
  • Content Library: a notebook for teachers to share course materials with students. Teachers can add and edit its materials, but for students, the notebook is read-only. 
  • Collaboration Space: a notebook for all students and the teacher in the class to share, organize, and collaborate.
The downloadable webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from the webinar available online in SlideShare:



The webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to on the following link on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2jN8Wr8  or it can be viewed in the embedded video below.

Useful Google in Education posts this week #91

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/0NQ0PU  (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)



Thursday, 26 January 2017

Measure innovative teaching and learning at your school with the School Transformation Survey


Microsoft has just announced that the Partner in Learning School Review (PilSR) has been updated, streamlined and re-introduced as the School Transformation Survey and is ready now! It is available at http://bit.ly/2jukdwc on the Microsoft Educator Community. This is a tool which supports the leadership of 21st Century Pedagogy referenced in the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework http://aka.ms/stframework. It should become a critical tool in your work with individual schools, districts and at system levels as it can show measurable improvement over time.

Measure Innovative Teaching across a school or region
The School Transformation Survey is a whole school survey tool used for bench-marking innovative practices, measuring improvement and identifying growth points.

  • This survey measures the perception of leadership and educators around the components of Innovative Teaching and Learning and provides a report within MeC, as a printable PDF and as a data file.
  • The Survey tool supports the Leadership of 21st Century Pedagogy organizer in the Microsoft in Education Transformation Framework.
Using the survey is simple and confidential
The school simply identifies a survey administrator who reviews a quick user-guide Office MIX and receives a code to unlock the survey on the administrators profile in the Microsoft Educator Community.

The Office Mix user-guide can be found at: http://bit.ly/2kk6fy6

The data is yours and your administrator can view data:
  • live through the Microsoft Educator Community
  • as a printable PDF
  • as a download
Best practice
  • Read the research. The School Transformation Survey is underpinned by the findings of the Innovative Teaching and Learning Research http://aka.ms/itlresearch
  • Undertake the survey with a pilot group. Have the admin create a sample survey for a pilot group of teachers and leaders to take so you can best understand how to introduce this to your staff and answer any questions.
  • Create time to walk through the survey as a staff .
  • Develop shared understanding around some of the language will ensure validity of the results.
  • Understand what could be next. The School Transformation Survey will identify Innovative Teaching and Learning strengths and growth points. The 21CLD Program available in the Microsoft Educator Community http://aka.ms/21cldcourse will develop capacity to design learning that develops 21st century skills.
You will find the School Transformation Survey an invaluable to tool to use in continuing your transformation journey.

Monday, 23 January 2017

SchoolNet webinar 'Managing the Connected 21st Century learner with OneNote Class Notebook' by Freddy Chireka

We are pleased to announce that our next free webinar, 'Managing the Connected 21st Century learner with OneNote Class Notebook', will be held on Thursday 26 January at 3:30pm. Our speaker will be Freddy Chireka, a MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer who is experienced in training teachers in ICT integration. He has 10 years of teaching experience including his current role as Professional Learning Specialist at Vastratech PD Academy, South Africa, where he is in charge of Technology Integration in Learning Spaces. We will be using the Adobe Connect webinar platform for the webinar. Please join us if you can.


Webinar details
Webinar title: 'Managing the Connected 21st Century learner with OneNote Class Notebook'
Summary: The use of technology in the classroom presents enormous advantages and opportunities for both the teacher and learner to enter the space of 21st Century Connected Learning. It also comes with its own risks and challenges. Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook is a vital tool to bring the teacher back into control and lead the process of learning. In this webinar, Freddy will show us how to use OneNote Class Notebook creator to create a Class Notebook with three main sub-notebooks namely:
  • Student Notebooks: private notebooks that are shared between each teacher and their individual students. Teachers can access these notebooks at any time, but students cannot see other students’ notebooks. 
  • Content Library: a notebook for teachers to share course materials with students. Teachers can add and edit its materials, but for students, the notebook is read-only. 
  • Collaboration Space: a notebook for all students and the teacher in the class to share, organize, and collaborate. 

He will also show teachers how to use the Class Notebook Add-in to effectively manage their Class Notebooks.
Date: Thursday 26 January 2017 at 3:30pm, online
Duration: 15 - 30 minutes
Presenter: Freddy Chireka is a Professional Learning Specialist at Vastratech PD Academy South Africa in charge of Technology Integration in Learning Spaces. Freddy also serves as a Technology Coach at Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy to help prepare upcoming Educators to be ready to teach with technology. Freddy is a MIE Master Trainer, SMART Certified Trainer and a current MIE Expert.
Host: Fiona Beal (SchoolNet)
To join the meeting: http://bit.ly/2kcHDtr

Note:
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before or if you haven’t attended an Adobe Connect meeting for a while you might need to install a free add-in. To investigate this, test your connection:http://bit.ly/2kcJiiH

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #87

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/2j5XBl7 The link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ



Friday, 20 January 2017

MIEExpert Spotlight #21: Fiona Beal: Try OneNote, Office Mix and Sway - your classes will love using them

This is the 21st post in the series "MIEExpert Spotlight" for South Africa. The tab with all the posts can be found at: http://bit.ly/1ZYy8Z7. Today we focus on Fiona Beal. Fiona is a 2016/2017
Microsoft MIE Expert Educator who teaches ICT Technology to Grades 1 – 7 at The Rock Academy in Fish Hoek, South Africa. She adds that she loves this opportunity as she is able to bring technology innovation into her lessons.

Fiona says, “When you combine good pedagogy with technology the learners can achieve more than they ever could by just writing everything on paper. I see using technology in the classroom as a great way to be innovative and add countless opportunities for my learners that just wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Dr Seuss’s quote summarises this, ‘Oh the places you’ll go…’ “

Thank you Microsoft!
Fiona feels that she has Microsoft to thank for many of her professional achievements. “Microsoft offers so many innovative opportunities to teachers around the world and in South Africa, and by taking hold of those and stepping out of my comfort zone I have got to where I am now. Teachers can create their own professional development opportunities online these days – there are so many free opportunities provided by Microsoft and others. Try to participate in the Global Skypathon every year, and join in with Microsoft’s Hack the Classroom events.  Listen to webinars. Be willing to try out new tools in your lessons. Network with teachers far and wide. Start blogging about what you do in the classroom – it’s a great way to share with others. And of course, join in your class with global projects. Ultimately, it’s all about our learners and preparing them for the future." Visit the Microsoft Educator Community at https://education.microsoft.com/ to find out what Microsoft offers teachers. 


Using OneNote in the classroom
Fiona believes that One Note is an amazing and versatile program to use in the classroom. This year she explored using it as a portfolio in Grade 7. “I especially wanted my Grade 7 learners to notice how incredible this program is to use as a notebook for all their subjects when they start at their various high schools next year. Mission achieved! They saw that it is an excellent way of keeping organized, keeping one’s notes and research filed and they left school with the opinion that it is a must for any high school learner to use!" At the end of the 2016 year she encouraged her Grade 7s to select their ten favourite pieces of work done during the year in ICT lessons, and add them into OneNote as a Notebook entitled 'Digital Portfolio 2017'. They used OneNote online for this. If you have a Windows PC, OneNote is already installed on your computer. If not, try OneNote online. It is also a free app on an iPad, an Android device, and a Windows tablet. You can create any number of unique Notebooks In OneNote you can also sketch, diagram or doodle on a OneNote page if you prefer to take notes in this manner. OneNote includes a great palette of drawing tools to use to add more free-form content to your work. OneNote can also record audio and video. You could create voice notes as you work with your learners. Your learners can record things for themselves. OneNote has a several attractive templates which can help both teachers and students create better class notes. Fiona concludes, “One thing I want to try out in 2017 is using OneNote as a digital textbook. There’s so much I could say about OneNote…”  You can find out more about and download OneNote from the OneNote website http://www.onenote.com/


PowerPoint and Office Mix
Fiona says, “I have always LOVED using PowerPoint in the classroom as it is the most versatile application I know of.” She uses it for her learners to present projects, write newsletters, create infographics, create brochures, illustrate poems, write and illustrate stories, and more. Now that Microsoft has gone a step further and introduced an add-in to PowerPoint called Office Mix, one can add video and sound to an online experience and create an Office Mix video. What can be better than that! Office Mix is great for making blended learning tutorials. Fiona says, "I plan use Office Mix in many of my future lessons. Recently I set the Grade 7s a task of presenting their Diseases project as an e-book using Office Mix, to give it sound and video." Get Office Mix at https://mix.office.com 

A still image example of the final Office Mix video format
https://mix.office.com/watch/1haqexvv3kwsp
Microsoft Sway
Sway is a free presentation web app - part of the Microsoft Office family of products. It is also available as a iOS app. All you have to do to get started is go to this URL https://sway.com/ and join up by creating a Microsoft ID. Then just explore! It allows one to combine text and media to create an online presentation with a difference! You can pull content locally from your device, or from Internet sources such as Bing, OneDrive, YouTube, Facebook etc. One can add videos, text, images, sound…you name it. Before you know it you have a lovely presentation! Fiona says, "I have used Sway for assignments and projects, for creating newsletters or reports on an outing, for digital storytelling and for creating writing portfolios. You can also embed a sway into OneNote." Find out more about Sway at https://sway.com/

Why teenagers like Facebook http://bit.ly/2jFr7C1 
Microsoft in Education Forums
Fiona comments about the impact that the Microsoft Innovative Teacher competition has had on her. She has entered three times. The first time, in 2008, she was a finalist with a whole school reading project ‘Readers are leaders’. The second time, in 2009, she was a national winner with a blogging project ‘Bonding through Blogging. "This was one of the most exciting years of my life. It led me to the Pan African Finals in Mauritius, where I was one of the winners and then on to the Global Forum in Brazil.” In 2010 Fiona was a finalist again in 2010 with a project called ‘Taking it Global’. In 2011, she was selected as one of the 50 teachers from around the world to attend the inaugural Microsoft Partners in Learning Institute in Seattle. “These experiences were all absolutely life-changing. They impacted all my future goals in education. As a result nearly everything I do now is aimed at encouraging teachers and learners to embrace innovation in education.” Find out more about the Microsoft Innovative educator Expert program at http://bit.ly/2jP8Ge8

Conclusion
Fiona concludes: "Dare I say, OneNote, PowerPoint with Office Mix and Sway are fast becoming an important part of my favourite program collection! I use them in so many of my lessons. I am planning to upload many of these lessons, on a regular basis, to the Microsoft Educator Community so that I can share ideas with others." 





Thursday, 19 January 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #90

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/5bJbZI (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #86

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/2jT0Pcshe link to the back-dated posts is http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ 



Friday, 13 January 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #89

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/SN9shr    (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)



b) Use OneNote as a Classroom planner
OneNote Planners can be individualised, adding a page (or starting a new workbook) for items such as a term calendar, your weekly work program, student comments, assessment schedule, curriculum documents or meeting notes. Take a look at this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYabXTj4zGc

c) Use OneNote as a Digital daybook
The following video shows you how to create a teacher's daily diary of lessons and notes using OneNote.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6KW8MWgSfI

OneNote is a must for all teachers who want to go paperless with many aspects of their teaching.  Give it a try. Visit http://www.onenote.com/ and download OneNote today!