SchoolNet conducts ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development in Queenstown



The facilitators are introduced to the participants

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka

On the 19 – 20 of August 2013 about 150 educators from Nciba Circuit in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape gathered at Queens College in Queenstown to receive their first Teacher Professional Development which included a 10” inch Samsung or Prestigio tablet device for each teacher. The was also attended by the Eastern Cape Education Department officials, SchoolNet SA Executive Director Janet Thomson, Omashani Naidoo Operations Manager, Hlengiwe Mfeka ICT4RED Project Manager, 12 ICT4RED Trainers, local principals and the TECH4RED Team.

The teachers examine their new tablets

All the attendees first assembled at the College hall for a short debrief where Merryl Ford, Manager for the ICT4E / mLearning CSIR Meraka Institute, shared an overview for the project. She was followed by Dr Adele Botha, Principal Researcher CSIR Meraka Institute, who gave an Overview for the Project in her comic approach. This made teachers feel at ease. The Arthur Mfebe principal gave a presentation on the success story at his school and this motivated teachers to believe that they can also do it. The principal of Queen’s College was presented with a 10.2 Galaxy Samsung tablet for their kindness as the school freely hosted the event. The Aha!! moment came when teachers had to go to different classrooms, according to their schools, to receive their tablets and complete the necessary documentation. Excitement was written all over their faces as they carried their tablets back home.

Almost all of the teachers turned out the following day and again looked excited and anxious at the same time. Some of them mentioned that they had played with their tablets throughout the night and already knew how to perform certain tasks even before the class started on the day. In that way those teachers were able to support their peers. Also the ‘How To’ in the printed manuals also played a major role in supporting teachers to perform required tasks.

The teachers enjoy using the jigsaw method of

co-operative learning

All or most of the teachers learned about the jigsaw method of co-operative learning for the first time and were very keen to go and try it out in their classrooms. Most of the teachers seemed to cope with the training and tried their best regardless of their age mainly because the course is structured in such a way that it is not about the technology but more about the pedagogy e.g. jigsaw cooperative learning and mind map strategies. One principal commented that ‘they are very committed and want to see the project through’. The planned modules, Modules one and two (out of ten) were successfully completed. The next module, Module three, was successfully conducted at each school in the week of 5-8 August 2013.

To view more of the photos for the Teacher Professional Development in Queenstown click on the link below

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