ICT4RED Project – Teacher Professional Development: More than just brainstorming!


Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
Teachers from the phase three schools in Cofimvaba are making
great progress thus far in effective use of technology in their teaching since
the ICT4RED professional development workshops they first attended in July
2014. They are halfway through towards earning their tablets and most
individuals have already earned themselves enough badges to qualify for gadgets
such as SD cards and earphones. All fourteen (14) participating schools are
excited to have earned a data projector and are working even harder to soon
earn a mobi kit

The ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development workshops for
module five were held at St Marks and St James centres from 29 September to 02
October 2014. Each school is allocated to attend at a nearby centre in one
afternoon of the three days scheduled. The first afternoon of the workshop the
weather was terrible such that there was hail and storm and we were worried
that would affect teacher attendance – to our amazement the attendance was
normal which showed the kind of commitment that the teachers have in this

Module five focuses on Mindmapping as a teaching strategy
and how it can be used in the classroom to engage learners in critical thinking
and collaborative discussions which promotes 21st century skills. Teachers
enjoyed the first activities of the module which focused mainly on tablet Apps
management; that helped to increase their tablet skills. The Mindmapping
activity is strategically designed such that while teachers learn about the
teaching strategy but also explore various Apps installed in their devices in
order to use them in their classrooms – That is a cherry on top for this module
which was strategically intended by course Instructional designers.

This teaching strategy is not new but the WOW for these
teachers was to learn how to do it using technology. Teachers shared brilliant
lesson ideas on how the teaching strategy can be used in the classroom in
different learning areas. Facilitators have expressed how they have enjoyed
these workshops because of high enthusiasm, active participation and dedication
that has been shown by these teachers. Teachers always look forward to the next
workshop to learn something new which will ignite learners’ interest in their
classrooms and keep them motivated.

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