MIEExpert Spotlight #4: Nosithembele Gcobo from Queenstown talks on using Sway and mobile devices in the classroom

This is the fourth post in the series “MIEExpert Spotlight for South Africa”. The tab with all the posts can be found at

Nosithembele Gcobo is a teacher at Sentile Junior Secondary School in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. She describes herself as ‘an innovative, dynamic teacher, ICT integrated and a TBBT – a transformed born before technology innovator!

She was selected at the end of 2015 as one of South Africa’s 63 Microsoft innovative Educator Experts for 2016. She says, “It is an unspeakable joy for me to be selected as an MIE Expert for 2016. Microsoft has exciting tools for teachers, like OneNote, Office Mix and Sway and other tools that make teaching an exciting journey. I personally have navigated and I fell in love with Sway – a digital storytelling app. It is a powerful app to share and format ideas, stories and presentations. I created a Sway for a Photosynthesis lesson for Grade 6. I just brought my ideas and my raw content and Sway’s intelligent design engine created a polished cohesive layout. The designs look great whether you are creative or not.

Nosithembile’s classroom

The vast majority of schools in South Africa have huge Internet connectivity problems, but Nosithembele perseveres in attempting to introduce her learners to innovative web tools. She says, “Every time I teach my learners, I make sure that besides the connectivity challenges and our geographical area, my learners use the mobile devices during the teaching and learning period. My lesson was on the Mapungubwe Kingdom in the Limpopo Valley, I decided to present it using Sway since Sway is a story telling app. The learners found the lesson was very interesting. They used the Internet to search for information on the famous Mapungubwe hill.” Take a look at the Sway she made for this lesson:

Nosithembile says, “The use of mobile devices during learning encourages my learners to be active participants thus creating communities of teachers and learners using ICT to improve learners. As a teacher I am able to manage learner collaboration within the classroom.”

Find out about Microsoft Sway on the Microsoft Educator network

You’ll find the Sway website at https://sway.com/ You can create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. If you are keen to learn about Sway – check out this free Introduction to Sway course on the Microsoft Educator Community.

entry for the 2016 Microsoft MIEExpert program

Nosithembele used her blog as her entry for the Microsoft Innovative Expert program. This is called SENTILEJSS found at https://sentilejss.wordpress.com/ . Do head over and take a look at some of her interesting articles. Nosithembele is active on Twitter. You can follow her at @lasasana3

Get involved in the Microsoft MIEE
program in 2016

If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, like Nosithembele, think about entering Microsoft’s Innovative Teacher MIEExpert program in 2017 when applications reopen later in the year. You can learn more about the program at this link on the Microsoft Educator Network: You won’t regret it. 

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