Teacher Spotlight: Violet Ramokoni Shadung from Ruabohlale Secondary School

Submitted by Mathapelo Sehume from SchoolNet

This month’s
spotlight is on Ms Violet Shadung, a Grade 8 -11 English, Maths and Technology
teacher from Ruabohlale Secondary School.

Shadung started basic ICT skills training in 2016 along with her colleagues
from Ruabohlale Secondary. Back when she started her journey, the “only thing she
could do on her computer was type”. Since her participation in basic ICT skills
workshops, she has improved her technology skills and now considers herself an
advanced participant in her own learning. She reports that she has learnt how
to e-mail, which is useful for communication and she is now learning how to
extend her professional network by communicating in online forums which she
finds very exciting.

When she speaks
of ICT integration she says her idea of integration involves creating knowledge
with her learners using a range of curriculum resources for teaching and
learning. This strategy helps because learners are exposed to learning in a
variety of ways, and more importantly their learning is not solely reliant on
her as the teacher. Her learners are experiencing methods for how to do research
and engage with online tools to broaden their own learning.

Ms Shadung loves
ICT because she can create her own worksheets, re-use and adapt existing
resources and manage her administration more efficiently. which helps with
marksheets and creating budgets. She is able to make her lessons more
interesting for her learners and she does this by finding resources online
where she is able to find existing worksheets customize and share with her
learners. This saves her some time allowing to work more efficiently.

The senior
leaders of Ruabohlale have attended Change Leadership for ICT integration
workshops and one of the key activities was to create a vision for ICT
integration. Ruabohlale’s vision is “Aiming to enhance knowledge and bring
about positive change by integrating ICT in curriculum delivery.” Mrs Shadung
speaks very highly about this vision and how it came about. For her it so much
more than words because it speaks to every teacher and how they sh
ould strive
to gain these skills for use in their classroom to help learners be more
digitally savvy.

Ms Shadung is
positive about her colleagues she mentioned that they are very capable and she
has seen teachers who have moved from being complete novice users to being able
to do their own typing. When she looks at them she sees herself a year ago and
knows that they will all improve over time provided they are willing to change.
“We know that the journey of a thousand mile start with a single step.”

Mrs Shadung has
also learnt that using technology in the classroom can be daunting at the
start; teachers are fearful of looking ill-prepared for lessons; unstable
connectivity; classroom management and technical glitches with the smartboards
not connecting to lessons.

Violet in her grade 8 class

Mrs Shadung also
believes that some colleagues don’t see the potential of ICT- “teachers don’t have
the patience to see how ICT could make their work easy- if they only gave it a
chance they would learn to work smart and not always so hard.”

Her parting words
were, “This article is about a teacher in the local neighbourhood who started
using a laptop just for typing and is now at a point where she can create an
online platform for assessment by just attending professional development
workshops. I’ve attended all the SchoolNet workshops and I’m prepared to attend
even more because I’m not where I want to be. Only with a positive attitude,
desire to grow and to acknowledge that you don’t know everything, can we learn
from others and become the best. It is only then when you can achieve your

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