Adobe Youth Voices in South Africa–teachers, you have to join this amazing project!

Submitted by Omashani Naidoo from SchoolNet

 What is the Adobe Youth Voices project?  

Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) engages talented educators of intermediate and high school age youth in a year-long professional development and support program. Educators enhance their teaching strategies, gain new skills, and collaborate with like-minded educators and youth media experts to enable young people to express themselves using digital tools and to create media with a personally meaningful purpose. Educators from participating sites join a global network to exhibit and share youth-created media projects, including videos, documentaries, photojournalism, animations, websites and multimedia. The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) joined the Adobe Youth Voices program as a founding partner in 2006, and now manages and supports the program in over 16 countries around the world. South Africa has participated in the AYV programme for the past three years.

The AYV programme contains two phases:

a) AYV eight week online course for teachers
b) Media projects for students requiring media projects with social messages to be completed

The Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Online course 


The Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) online course is designed to introduce educators to the Adobe Youth Voices program; and to help educators to more effectively support youth in making media. During the eight week course, educators build their knowledge and skills to create media with young people. One activity per week of the eight week course is posted; however, if educators experience challenges during the allotted week, then some leeway is allowed for late submission. Activities are focused on topics such as media forms and formats; process, product and presentation; community collaboration and exhibition; and technical skills necessary to use Adobe media making software. 

Participating in an online course makes it necessary for a trusting rapport to be created amongst peers; educators are thus encouraged to actively respond to questions and review peer activities. Throughout the course, two experienced online facilitators provide guidance and support to course participants. By the end of this course, participants are sufficiently skilled to provide similar support to guide young students in their schools to create media with purpose.

For the past three years, AYV has sponsored twelve South African educators to participate in this global project. In 2012, a concerted effort was made to find educators in and around the Gauteng province to participate in the programme, providing opportunities for contact workshops and greater interaction among course participants.

The 2102 participants

Here are some of our 2012 participants

From Left: Paballo , Molifi, Lindiwe, Cynthia, Omashani, Saul & Faith

All educators were invited to a contact workshop in March 2012 and were asked to bring artefacts of their students’ media projects. This would allow participants to peer-review work as well address any questions around techniques for improving the various media projects.

The workshop was well received and arrived timeously as educators were grappling with software challenges and working with learners during examinations and holidays. The group was able to brainstorm ways to work around challenges and Mr Paballo Diboke, from the Intel Clubhouse volunteered to be the support person for technical questions on the Adobe Premiere Elements and Photoshop Software. 

Completing a Media Project

All participating educators were encouraged to submit at least one completed media project during the 2012 AYV programme. . The following are brief project descriptions and links to the projects received:

· Bullying…submitted by Mr Saul Pila (Gauteng Department of Education-Gauteng)
This project highlights bullying in schools. Student and educator interviews help deal with this issue 

· Water is life… use me wisely! submitted by Cynthia Lukhele (Ivory Park High School- Gauteng)
This project highlights the need for all citizens to be water wise

· The Power of a Woman submitted by Cynthia Lukhele (Ivory Park High School- Gauteng) This photostory pays tribute to a wonderful teacher, who consistently ‘goes the extra mile’ to motivate her students to remain committed in everything they do.

· Hold on… submitted by Cynthia Lukhele (Ivory Park High School- Gauteng)

This music video and song was compiled by Wynand Monyeseala and performed by Precious Zulu

· Dance is my Language submitted by Cynthia Lukhele (Ivory Park High School- Gauteng) This video displays kwaito dance and the language of dance as interpreted by students at Ivory Park High School

· South African Heritage submitted by Cynthia Lukhele (Ivory Park High School- Gauteng)

This video focuses on the different cultural dress and traditions of people living in South Africa

· You can make it… submitted by Lindiwe D Zulu (Eqinisweni Secondary School- Gauteng)

This photostory was designed to motivate and encourage youth to understand that despite difficulties, there is always hope.

· The Rise of Racism and Hazardous Stereotyping submitted by Tebogo Monareng (Bokomaso Senior Secondary School-Limpopo)

Racism and Sterotyping is found in all countries and South Africa is no different. The students of Bokamaso Secondary use this video to discuss and understand this deep rooted issue and find ways to overcome them.

Join us for the next AYV intake? Apply now

Although our teachers did not make the deadline to be showcased at the International Adobe Youth Voices Festival, they have done amazing work with their learners and we are extremely proud of them. SchoolNet SA looks forward to a new cohort of teachers and learners participating in the 2012-2013 programme. Will you join us? (Contact

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