Friday, 17 November 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #120

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/ubmkje. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)



Tech Talk – by Justin Harper, MIEExpert and IT Manager at SAHETI School, a Microsoft Showcase School in Johannesburg

Justin Harper and Saheti School came into the spotlight recently in a Business Day newspaper article entitled 'Hi Tech approach to education'. We have mentioned Justin in a few blog posts before. He was one of the five teachers from South Africa selected to attend the Microsoft Global E2 Exchange in Toronto in 2016. You can read about him in the post  'Meet the five South African MIEExpert Educators attending the Microsoft E2 Education Exchange in Toronto' http://bit.ly/2AV4ZsJ

In this article Justin shares what was written in the Business Day article.

"TECHNOLOGY is a way of life almost everywhere you look – and the classroom is no exception. Schools are increasingly integrating technology into all aspects of teaching to provide quality education. Some, like SAHETI School in Bedfordview, have carefully mapped out programmes to ensure learners and educators have on-going access to and a good grasp of the most effective technology available to enrich learning both at school and home. SAHETI was recently acknowledged as a forerunner in digital education when it became the fifth only South African school to be selected as a Microsoft Showcase School.

The Microsoft Showcase Schools programme is a global community of schools that recognise and amplify the use of technology to drive education and efficiencies school-wide. The announcement, in September, that SAHETI had been co-opted to the programme, followed information and communication technology (ICT) manager at the school, Justin Harper’s selection as one of five ‘innovative educator experts’ to represent South Africa at the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) Global Forum in Toronto, Canada in March.














The E2 event brings together approximately 300 educators from around the world every year. Recognising their efforts and achievements to combine content, pedagogy and technology to enhance education, the forum provides delegates with opportunities to collaborate, create and share their experiences over three days.

Inspired to try new applications, full of fresh ideas from his peers and having participated in challenges to brainstorm ideas for future Microsoft products, Harper says he returned from Canada keener than ever to continue to drive SAHETI’s technology programme – which was already well established due (in part, at least) to the school’s bring your own device (BYOD) and training initiatives.

The BYOD plan was introduced because SAHETI believes technology introduced to learners should not only be device-agnostic, but also browser-agnostic. “Learners are encouraged to bring devices that they are familiar and comfortable with,” says Harper. “All the products we’ve introduced work on any platform at any time. We then link the educational material to learners’ devices so that they can access the content both at school and home.”

Training is central to the rollout of SAHETI’s technology programme. According to head of department of ICT at the school, Rhoda van Niekerk (who is also responsible for staff development), staff have “embraced” Microsoft Office 365 – including applications such as OneNote and Microsoft Teams – thanks largely to a comprehensive, on-going training programme. (Van Niekerk and Harper attended the Education Exchange E2 Africa Forum earlier this year, where Van Niekerk’s team emerged winner of the (video game) Minecraft group project, which involved coming up with a South African problem and then modelling a solution in a ‘Small South Africa Minecraft’ world.)



Most recently, Microsoft Office 365 was successfully used for interaction between students and teachers during SAHETI’s third term subject assessment module (SAM) project, which is a project based assessment introduced by the school for Grade 10’s as a replacement of mid-year examinations.

Applications used by the school also enable teachers to capture their ideas and to-do lists in one place wherever they are, says Harper. Microsoft Team keeps students up-to-date with assignments, announcements and grades. Technology also makes it possible for discussions to take place outside of class and gives teachers “a one-stop shop to create and grade assignments,” he says. SAHETI is equipped with more than 75 smart interactive white boards, 50 Aruba Wi-Fi access points, HP 3PAR and SAN data storage technology, and fibre break out.

The school’s approach is firmly based on the premise that correct use of technology in classrooms has the potential to enhance teaching and the student’s ability to learn.  “Creating a space for collaboration that takes learning far beyond the reach of the classroom is one of the reasons we use of technology in the classroom. Students can now easily participate in group projects even when they’re at home,” says Harper, adding that ensuring technology is in good working order and that the physical design of classrooms supports the best possible use of technology are also crucial to SAHETI’s on-going technology-driven success."

SchoolNet congratulates Justin and SAHETI School on this achievement.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #130

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2zWRPPw The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Friday, 10 November 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #119

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/w49SJB. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Screencasting with Screencast-o-Matic - a superb tool for making classroom videos

Submitted by Fiona Beal
My favourite screencasting tool, right now, is Screencast-O-Matic. Screencast-O-matic is a free, online tool to use if you want to quickly show someone how to do something on the computer. It easily creates a video of what you are doing and saying. These videos are called screencasts. If you want to create good screencasts without the hassle of downloading and installing any application on your computer then Screencast-O-Matic is the best available tool for the purpose. Screencasts are great to use in the flipped classroom.


I have written about Screencast-O-matic before, but as time has passed this application has some great new features that are well worth mentioning. It allows you to create up to 15 minute videos free of charge. 15 minutes is a long video. Mostly you will want to stick to 2 - 3 minute videos.

Get started with Screencast-o-matic
To summarise:
  1. Screencast-O-Matic is a free, online screen capture tool. 
  2. It has a free version (up to 15 mins video) and a paid Pro version
  3. You can use Screencast-O-matic to record narrated presentations or demonstrations and produce the recordings as videos for your classroom
  4. Screencast-o-matic can also be downloaded to your device and used offline.
  5. Navigate to http://www.screencast-o-matic.com to find Screencast-o-matic.
This video tutorial 'Screencast-O-Matic 2017 Tutorial' https://goo.gl/2YYNQL is excellent and it gives a step-by-step instruction on getting started with and using this great application.



Some of the great new features
There are a number of great new features some of which have tutorials

I want to mention four other features that have caught my attention.
 
1. Add a video of yourself presenting
You can now add a video insert of yourself presenting your screencast. You would do this by using the webcam and the screen at the same time.


2. Stock Music is now available with Screencast-O-Matic
You can now add stock music tracks to your recording directly from the Recorder. After you complete a recording, click the music icon to the right of the timeline to preview each track and then add music to your video.
With the Free Recorder, after you finish your recording Screencast-O-Matic will present you with a rotating selection of tracks for you to add to your recording. It’s easy to preview each track and then pick the one which suits your video best. Once selected, Screencast-O-Matic automatically adds ducking to the music, reducing the volume if you have recorded narration. Music will be automatically looped until the recording is finished.

With Pro Recorder you get access to all tracks and the option to add your own music. You can also use the Video Editor to adjust audio settings. Increase or decrease volume, set timing for fade in/out of music, normalizing sound tracks but using ducking and setting audio levels between music and narration and turn, looping on/off.

Screencast-O-Matics has some great tutorials where you can learn more about adding stock music:

3. Add Rich Text Annotations, Titles and callouts to your Videos
Many times your videos need additional visual aids to highlight a point. When you are narrating an explanation, having text annotations can help add important context.


4. Quickly share your published videos to Facebook, Twitter, Google Classroom and email directly from the Screen Recorder
You can now quickly share videos directly from the Recorder. As always, you can review your recording before publishing to ensure that it’s ready to share. Share options appear in the Recorder when your video is published so you can instantly share with friends or community. Teachers will love the fact that you can share your videos directly to Google Classroom.


How you can use Screencast-O-Matic in your classroom
The classroom possibilities for this tool are endless:
  1. Provide instruction for absent students and making a class video 
  2. Enhance your lessons by adding a screencast to explain a concept. You can make quick videos about anything really. 
  3. You can simply upload the file on YouTube or another platform and share the link with your students. 
  4. You can record lessons, provide demonstrations, present information to an online class, tell digital stories, and give feedback on student assignments.
  5. You can also create assignments that require students to produce a screencast. Because of its ease of use, Screencast-o-matic requires little or no training to get started.
  6. You can use captions with Screencast-o-matic 
  7. You can incorporate Screencast-O-Matic videos into Google classroom.
  8. In 1:1 environments your students can create videos  to explain their thinking using Screencast-O-Matic.
A fabulous tool, don’t you agree? Why not try it!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #129

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2zOsLdq. The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Friday, 3 November 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #118

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/vJGdcV. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)



Thursday, 2 November 2017

Do you know about the free Freemake Video Downloader and the Freemake Video Converter software?

One of the great, offline, freeware tools that I have used on my Windows laptop for several years – since 2014 when I first heard about it - is the very popular Freemake software. Do you know it? It consists of the Freemake Video Converter application and the The Freemake Video downloader.  I have found both of these to be safe and reliable free software, and have used them time and again very successfully.  You can obtain these from Freemake http://www.freemake.com/


Let's take a look at these two applications in more detail:

The Freemake video downloader
This software application downloads YouTube videos amongst other types of videos quickly and eaily. It is popular with over 83 million users. Its saves videos, playlists, channels in HD, MP4, MP3, AVI, 3GP, FLV, and more,


1. Download the software and install it
Once you have downloaded it from Freemake http://www.freemake.com/, and have installed it on your Windows laptop, and you open it for the first time, it will open with the interface as show.n below.


2. Click on Paste
Before clicking on Paste, find the URL of the video you want to download and copy it. All you do after that is click on Paste in the blue box of the Interface. The URL is automatically pasted and .  it then gives you the options shown below:


3. Click on Download
After you have made your choice of options, you click on Download and the download starts to take place.  On my laptop it downloads to my Video folder.  It is all very quick and easy. 


Here is a short video (0.39 mins) showing these steps. As you watch it bear in mind the limitations of the latest update. 




The Freemake Video converter
This is a tool that I use often to change the format of one type of video to another.  I also use if for converting audio files  from one format to another.

1. Download the software and install it
Go to http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/ and download the Freemake Video Converter software.  I noticed today that when you want to download it , it immediately also gives you a link to download the Freemake YouTube MP3 converter.


2. Take note of the limitations resulting from the latest update
What I discovered today on a post about Freemake on the TechRadar site is that the latest update to Freemake Video Converter removed the ability to download and convert files from URLs without upgrading to a premium subscription. This isn't immediately obvious from the interface, which still lists 'Paste URL' as an option in a blue box alongside the rest. The Freemake Video Converter interface is shown below.


3. Convert already downloaded video files from one format to another
However if you are just looking for a quick, free solution for converting one video format on your hard drive to another format, this software is GREAT and it offers a large amount of options.  It is just problematic, as far as I can see, downloading from URLs as a result of the latest updates. 
4. Convert audio files to different formats
You can also convert audio formats to other formats using this converter. Today I exported some of the audio files from the great note-taking app AudioNote on my iPad, and I found that these sound files exported as .CAD files. I couldn’t open them in Audacity but I could open and convert them to MP3s using Freemake Video Converter. 

Here is a short video (0.46 mins) showing these steps.


Why not try out this great freeware application. It really is worth downloading it to your Windows laptop. You'll enjoy exploring the different options, many of which I haven't mentioned in this post. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #128

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2yXShMz. The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ

Deputy Minister defines national plans for digital learning at the SchoolNet ICT in the Classroom Conference

Before opening the SchoolNet SA 2017 ICT in the Classroom Conference, the national Deputy Minister, Mr. Enver Surty, sat down with Janet Thomson, Executive Director for SchoolNet South Africa to discuss the DBE’s approach to digital learning.   


The Deputy Minister thanked Thomson for “the enormous contribution by SchoolNet in the ICT domain” asserting that “ICT is becoming more critical and central to the facilitation of teaching and learning”. Surty then demonstrated the department of education’s holistic approach to digital learning by describing the various streams of the Operation Phakisa framework as well as government’s efforts to digitise content effectively and in an interactive format.

In relation to the vital teacher development component of Operation Phakisa,  Surty noted  the vital role of education centres, stressing that ICT was central to the future development of educators.  He pointed out that The Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa, specifies the Provincial and District teacher development institutes and education resource centres and their contribution towards teacher development in the future.  

The DM revealed his knowledge of the value of the type of professional development that SchoolNet has always advocated, by noting that he was not referring to the computer literacy of teachers but rather to the higher, innovative levels of teaching, integrating ICT “├»nto the curriculum”.

The Deputy Minister discussed the strides that the national department has been making around school administration and the use of data-driven decision making. In particular he noted the Learner Unit Record Information and Tracking System (LURITS) which aims to collect data for each learner in South Africa.  Interestingly and crucially, the DM mentioned the ability of LURITS to track the impact of teacher absence on learning and learner achievement.   


The Deputy Minister pointed out that the department had listened to stakeholders and experts in the field whose interventions had shown the positive impact of ICT on learning.  When asked what support would be provided to provinces that were not making progress in crafting plans for implementation, the DM outlined the digital resources that were available to all provinces and said that his department was fully aware of challenges facing the so-called “Cinderella” provinces.  Surty pointed out that whilst Western Cape was the most effective out of all provinces at monitoring the use of the interactive workbooks other provinces had made notable strides including the Free State which had broken “the ceiling of 90% matric pass rate”.  The Deputy Minister made reference to two previous SchoolNet Conferences that he had opened in the Free State province during the previous 10 years.   

Thomson asked how the new Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning, being disseminated by the national DBE, was going to benefit teachers, bearing in mind that teachers seldom access policy documents. The Deputy Minister was quick to acknowledge that both teachers and learners must have access to both technologies and connectivity.  He went on to explain the impetus for the professional development framework and the need to standardise and reach a common understanding of minimum requirements, in teacher competences for digital learning, particularly pedagogical competences, across all interventions and initiatives in all provinces.  This would include minimum requirements for teacher education qualifications.

The Deputy Minister responded to the final question which was about the SACE (the South African Council for Educators) process in continuing professional development and the awarding of professional development points by indicating that SACE was independent from the DBE.  However he proceeded to clarify the need for service providers for professional development such as SchoolNet and the reliance on corporates such as Microsoft and Intel to support teachers and provide opportunities for their further professional development.  

The full interview can be viewed below and is also available on the SchoolNet YouTube Channel:  https://youtu.be/uK9xWNKxAZk



Speaking from the heart, rather than from the script, the Deputy Minister of Education, delivered a most engaging and informative opening address. Delegates felt they were being treated to a real-life insight into the national department´s thinking. Not only was the address directed at teachers and the most critical issues facing them currently but it also outlined the forward planning and wider policy development around digital learning for South Africa. The Deputy Minister included a tribute to Oliver Tambo and conveyed a broader message for our overseas presenters who were most appreciative of the national and continental context provided by the Deputy Minister. The tweet from Ollie Bray from Scotland, who was at the conference to present various sessions, provides some sense of the impact of the Deputy Minister’s words:

 pic.twitter.com/CfLSUFAcaz

The Deputy Minister then walked through the conference exhibition area and proceeded to the Opening Plenary in the main hall of Brescia House school.  






The full opening plenary address by the Deputy Minster can be viewed here:  https://www.facebook.com/maggieverster/videos/10155929274194994/  It was live-streamed via Facebook by Maggie Verster, the popular Maths Education and social media guru.   

A comprehensive album of conference photos is available from this link https://photos.app.goo.gl/k0ggFcOdEEmSpvoF2


ICT in the Classroom Conference – three days of learning, networking and sharing

Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
Over 400 delegates attended the SchoolNet SA ICT in the Classroom conference held at Brescia House School in Brynaston, Gauteng between 5 – 7 October 2017. The conference was opened by Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty who also sat down with SchoolNet’s executive director, Janet Thomson, to define the national Department of Basic Education’s plans for digital learning. (See here for more on this interview – http://bit.ly/2gUwRcb)


The opening keynote speaker was Stephen Reid from Immersive Minds, based in Scotland. In his keynote, Stephen explored a variety of emerging technologies and discussed how they can be merged to create blended learning and cross-curricular experiences for students. Across the three days of the conference, Stephen presented various hands-on workshops which gave delegates practical experiences of using Minecraft, 360 Cameras, and virtual reality headsets to provide opportunities for their learners to make, create, visit and explore.


Ollie Bray, another Scot, rounded off the conference with his keynote address entitled “The New Learning Landscape”. This session was thought-provoking and made delegates realise that Scotland and South Africa share many similarities in terms of embracing digital learning. In addition to his keynote session, Ollie shared his experiences of being a teacher and school leader in a range of sessions on social media, transforming learning in a 1:1 environment, and a highly enjoyable geo-cashing activity.

Ollie Bray is second from the left
The third international presenter was Peter Rafferty – an Intel visionary and teacher from Liverpool. Peter shared his experiences of creating a class blog, and encouraged delegates to get involved in a collaborative writing project by producing “Sparkly Letters”.

Peter Raffetry is on the left
Sarietjie Musgrave, a longstanding friend of SchoolNet SA, provided the keynote presentation on the Friday. In her address, entitled “Anywhere, Anytime Learning”, Sarietjie drew on her experiences of being a school teacher, a university lecturer and a student to encourage delegates to think of the possibilities that technology provides for learning in a range of different ways.

Sarietjie Musgrave
In addition to these featured speakers, we were grateful to the 35 other speakers – who presented one or more workshops or presentations. Many of these sessions involved practical, hands-on opportunities to try out a range of tools to help build the skills and confidence of delegates to try out new technologies when they return to school. Practical sessions included opportunities to learn the basics of coding, Minecraft and OneNote. A number of sessions also showcased teachers’ actual classroom projects, or their own success stories with digital learning – these included highlighting some projects SchoolNet has been involved in such as Change Leadership in the Eastern Cape, the Telkom Connected Schools project, and various teacher’s experiences with “going paperless” . Many of these stories were inspirational, and we are sure that a number of delegates may go on to try similar projects at their own schools. Some of the most popular sessions proved to be the ones where delegates got to be “learners” as they went on digital scavenger hunts, solved puzzles in a BreakOut EDU session, or looked for geocache treasures. The Department of Basic Education presented a number of sessions on using SA-SAMs  effectively as well as sessions to launch the DBE Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning. Many of the conference presenters have indicated a willingness to share their session resources with us. These are still being received and can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2gTCpUl


During tea times and breaks, delegates enjoyed visiting the more than 20 exhibition stands to see a range of classroom technologies on offer and to try out some new tools. A number of exhibitors ran competitons at their stands, and some lucky delegates received prizes at the closing ceremony from exhibitors, including Vastratech who presented a Kapp 84” board and Computers4Kids who awarded two Acer Cloudbooks. Some exhibitors also took the opportunity to present their solutions to delegates as part of the demo track. A number of these sessions proved to be very popular, with delegates enjoying hearing first-hand how tools can be used in the classroom to enhance digital learning or to build online communities.


Although SchoolNet SA has been holding an ICT in the Classroom conference bi-annually for over 15 years, the 2017 conference was particularly special because it gave us an opportunity to celebrate our 20th Birthday at a cocktail celebration sponsored by the Telkom Foundation. A great evening of networking and reminiscing was shared by conference delegates and other special friends of SchoolNet who joined us for the birthday celebrations. Read more about SchoolNet’s 20th birthday celebrations here: http://bit.ly/2gTO7OO 


The full opening plenary address by the Deputy Minster can be viewed here:  https://www.facebook.com/maggieverster/videos/10155929274194994/  It was live-streamed via Facebook by Maggie Verster, the popular Maths Education and social media guru.   A comprehensive album of conference photos is available from this link https://photos.app.goo.gl/k0ggFcOdEEmSpvoF2


If you attended the SchoolNet ICT in the Classroom Conference and you haven't yet completed the evaluation form, please could you still fill it in - http://tinyurl.com/SNSA-conference. This will help us plan our next conference effectively.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Join the 2017 online Global Education Conference in November - think about offering a presentation



SchoolNet is pleased to recomment the eighth annual Global Education Conference, free online event bringing together educators and innovators from around the world. It will be held Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 16, 2017 (November 17th in some time zones). The entire virtual conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform.
The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. To attend this year's conference and to be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please join this network.
Present at the 2017 Global Education Conference
The Global Education Conference Network invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 8th annual Global Education Conference. This annual celebration of globally connected teaching and learning will take place around the clock and online November 13-16, 2017. Present in your time zone at a time that is convenient to you!
The conference seeks to present ideas, examples, and projects related to connecting educators and classrooms with a strong emphasis on promoting global awareness, fostering global competency, and inspiring action towards solving real–world problems. Through this event, attendees will challenge themselves and others to become more active citizens of the world. Participants are encouraged to learn, question, create, and engage in meaningful, authentic opportunities within a global context!
The call for proposals for the 2017 conference opened on July 1st, 2017. Presenters can submit proposals for general sessions focused on five possible tracks:  Teachers, Students, Curriculum, Leadership, SDGs, Higher Education, and Exchange/Study Abroad Programs. 
Proposals should focus on ideas, projects, programs, and initiatives that promote global understanding and collaboration. Keep in mind that this conference is not focused on technology exclusively; proposals must focus on global collaboration and tie to the mission of the conference. Those who enter submissions that do not relate to the mission will be asked to revise. Companies must be sponsors of the conference to participate. 
The final deadline for submissions is November 1, 2017, and presenters will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis starting in August 1, 2017.
Important links
Website: http://bit.ly/2yWSq2S
Call for proposals: https://www.smore.com/x0ncv-2017-globaledcon-call-for-proposals

Think about joining an iEARN global, collaborative project...


What is iEARN?
iEARN (https://iearn.org/) is a non-profit organization made up of well over 30,000 schools and youth organizations in more than 140 countries. Omashani Naidoo from SchoolNet is the Country Co-ordinator for South Africa. iEARN empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communications technologies. More than 2,000,000 students and 500 educators each day are engaged in collaborative project work worldwide. 30 different languages are used. There are over 100 projects in iEARN, all designed and facilitated by teachers and students to fit their curriculum and classroom needs and schedules. Projects take place in the iEARN Collaboration Centre.  (We will provide a link to the iEARN project book below) To join a project, participants select an online project and look at how they can integrate it into their classroom.


Take a look at some of the current projects:

Holiday Card Exchange Registration Deadline ApproachingRegistration is open for the Holiday Card Exchange project. In this project, students share their holiday traditions by sending cards to their partners around the world. Register to participate on the Holiday Card Exchange forum by October 31, 2017.

 

Daffodils and Tulips Plantings
Classes in the northern hemisphere are invited to join the Daffodils and Tulips project to start plantings in November (the southern hemisphere cycle will start their plantings in April). Classes will being planting daffodils and tulips the last week of November either indoors or in outside gardens. Join the project today to start the "getting to know you" activities before planting.

Staying Healthy Project
You are invited to participate in iEARN Staying Healthy Project! This project enables students to develop a healthy lifestyle by adapting good eating habits and exercise to help keep their mind and body performing at their best. Visit the project forum in the Collaboration Centre and join the activities posted for the upcoming months.

Medicine in My Backyard
The Medicine in My Backyard project is seeking new project partners! This project is a preservation project that emphasizes transferring ancestral knowledge to--and preserving traditional plants for--future generations. In this project students play the role of ethnobotanists to investigate medicinal plants in their communities and read poetry written more than 900 years ago that helps reveal the healing power of plants. Join the project on the Collaboration Centre to take part in upcoming activities.

Here are some resources and opportunities provided by iEARN



Global Education Conference
Join iEARN educators and students around the world during the Global Education Conference, a free online event bringing together educators and innovators from held Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 16, 2017. The entire virtual conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform. Check out a listing of iEARN presentations at the GEC and submit your session proposal before November 5, 2017.

2017-2018 iEARN Project Book
Check out the 2017-2018 version of the iEARN Project Book and learn about more than 100 projects in iEARN! Thanks to all iEARN project facilitators for your contributions to the project descriptions, and your ongoing hard work and enthusiasm, and to all the students and teachers who make these projects a success.

                                 

Collaboration Centre Tips
Do you need help navigating the forums, posting discussions and replies, and sharing your media? Are you looking to update your notification settings? Check out the updated "Learning the Forum Basics" tutorials and make the most of the Collaboration Centre for your iEARN projects activities.

iEARN Videoconference Support
Are you an iEARN Project Facilitator or Teacher looking to connect with a partner via video conference? The iEARN Support Team is happy to help! We currently have a few iEARN Zoom Rooms we can schedule out as they are available for iEARN Member use. To request to use an iEARN Zoom Room, complete the this form and our Support Team will gladly assist you: http://bit.ly/iearn-zoom

SchoolNet to train KZN ELITS Officials on the Digital Library Course

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
SchoolNet SA has been contracted by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to conduct training for 30 Education Library Information and Technology Service (ELITS) Officials during the first week of December 2017.

The traditional role of a librarian as a knowledge manager has evolved to become that of being a curator of resources and a partner in the development of online learning materials. The intention of this course is to equip officials who run libraries with the skills to adapt to this changing role.

In order to conduct this training, SchoolNet SA has developed a new Digital Library Course, which was designed to equip librarians /ELITS officials with knowledge of digital issues pertaining to the management of a school library. Across the week long course, officials will see how digital tools and resources can enhance the services traditionally offered at libraries and resource centers.

Participants will walk away from the course with the skills and knowledge to develop a well-defined and well-informed personalized action plan designed to ensure that the school library or education centre that they are associated with fully utilizes the advantages of digitization.