Webinar of past winners shows the creative ideas teachers come up with to enter Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Forum

At the moment we are having a series of nine webinars featuring past finalists and winners in Microst’s Partners in Learning Forum (formerly called the Innovative Teacher competition)  I have thoroughly enjoyed hosting and listening to these twice a week as it shows me that we have some very creative teachers in our midst. I have also had the tasks of converting these webinars to YouTube videos and podcasts which makes for easier viewing 

Today I am going to feature the webinar presented by Helen Robertson, Wessel Theron, Ryan Galving and Sarietjie Musgrave . After the little write ups about the projects I will add the vdieos and podcasts. If you are a South African teacher please considering entering this great competition. Some of these presenters travelled up to Joburg for the South African Finals, then went off to Jordan for the African and Middle east finals. Some even got to the World Finals in Washington DC. What a year of travel in 2011!

Helen Robertson who was teaching at Cornwall Hill College in Pretoria at the time

Helen’s project was called Functions for Technologically Functioning Teens. In the webinar she renamed it ‘It all started with a cell phone’. Getting learners to plot and analyse functions is a tricky part of the grade 10 Mathematics curriculum. To address this, learners used a cell phone app to plot the functions whilst they focused on the more important skill of analysing the effects of changing the variables. Support structures, including contacting their teacher using Whatsapp and asking questions of the “Functions for Technologically Functioning Teens” Facebook group, encouraged independent learning. 


Wessel Theron from Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town

Wessel called his project ‘School of Rock’. To create interest and excitement in additional language lessons, this project involved learners searching for their own Afrikaans song and then creating a music video for it that is shared on YouTube. Grade 8s had to work in pairs to match images to the lyrics of the song. They also had the option of translating a song and singing it themselves. This was a perfect opportunity to be creative using ICTs, improve Afrikaans comprehension and vocabulary, and be entertained while learning. 


Ryan Galvin from St Nicholas in Pietermaritzburg


Ryan called his project R and J in R and B which is short for Romeo and Juliet in Rhythm and Blues. In an attempt to persuade his grade ten class that the story of Romeo and Juliet is relevant to any time, this teacher offered learners the opportunity to re-tell the story and revise the play. Learners made use of MP3s on their cellphones, iPods, YouTube, Twitter, digital cameras and videos. The final task was creating a MovieMaker slideshow, using the music, tweets and photos they had gathered.


Sarietjie Musgrave who was teaching at Eunice High School in Bloemfontein at the time.


She did a hugely successful project called ‘Spread the sunshine’ and did South Africa proud by achieving a second place in the world finals with this project! Her students each found students with disabilities in the community to link with and created ICT programmes to help them.


Here are their YouTube presentations neatly tucked into this Slideshare presentation. Their podcasts will appear below.

Past PIL winners in South Africa Part 3 – webinars

View more PowerPoint from fionabeal

Helen Robertson – It all started with a cell phone (mp3)

Wessel Theron – School of Rock (mp3)

Ryan Galvin – R&J in R&B (mp3)

Sarietjie Musgrave – Spread the Sunshine (mp3)

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