Project Management and Consulting
Our experience in the implementation of digital learning projects in various school environments has resulted in the most effective models being put into practice over the years. SchoolNet SA’s partners continually provide feedback ensuring that we remain current and that we advocate and implement the most effective strategies in infrastructure and educator development. SchoolNet SA is an impartial advisor. It has no vested interests in any other organisation and as such is capable of providing the most appropriate recommendations for a particular situation.
Research and Knowledge Management
Worldwide the implementation of digital learning and its impact on education systems has been relatively unknown territory. SchoolNet SA’s action research is documented and published for the purpose of shared learning. This is of particular importance to educators who require measurable proof of technology’s contribution to the learning process. Research groups, donor organisations or corporations who implement projects in our related fields have access to primary research.
SchoolNet’s materials writing comprises: ICT integration courses that focus on promoting higher order thinking skills and a spirit of enquiry across all curriculum subjects; project-based learning whether it be for early learning or unemployed graduates; digital literacy courses that use the cognitive apprenticeship approach and are based on adult learning principles and just-in-time methodology; developing workshop materials for Innovative Teachers and Innovative schools.
Development and Training
SchoolNet SA promotes the use of digital tools and resources for teaching and learning. It is a leader in the field of educator development in ICT integration and digital learning. It was a partner with the Department of Education, and SAIDE in the development of the Educators’ Network (EDN), which was delivered to thousands of teachers in the country over the last decade. The course materials have evolved over the current decade. For a period of 3 years, the materials were part of an Advanced Certificate in ICT Integration through the University of KZN and have now become the Commonwealth of Learning Certificate for Teacher ICT Integration, an in-service qualification available and being used worldwide. SchoolNet also partners with a number of South African universities to support the integration of digital tools and resources in pre-service qualifications.
SchoolNet offered training services in two world-renowned teacher development programmes supported by Intel (Intel Teach) and Microsoft (Partners in Learning). These programmes provided and, in some cases still, provide a wide range of teacher development courses that form a continuum of learning for different levels of expertise. SchoolNet provides effective online mentor and tutor support for these courses which are now being offered with more online components of self-study or blended learning rather than pure face to face teacher training sessions.
Sharing resources with teachers
As part of a membership strategy SchoolNet shares resources on a daily basis, making use of a number of social networking tools including our Facebook page, newsletter, blog and Twitter (@SchoolNetSA). These platforms each contribute to the SchoolNet teacher professional development programme. One advantage of the premium membership programme is that it enables us to reach an enormous number of teachers who may be geographically far apart from one another in a cost effective way. A professional learning community of teachers using digital learning has become established.
Advocacy and Coordination of Stakeholders in the field
SchoolNet is regarded as an independent neutral organisation that has been promoting the effective integration of digital tools and resources for the past 20 years. Therefore SchoolNet is well placed to coordinate and support stakeholder efforts in the field as well as to advise on lessons learnt from past experiences. SchoolNet avails itself as the convener for multi-stakeholder gatherings in its quest to promote the effective use of digital tools and resources to enhance learning.