Monday, 10 July 2017

MIEExpert Spotlight #28: Charmaine Roynon from Cape Town talks about coding and growing great teachers

Charmaine Roynon, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert from Cape Town, is currently the ICT Integrator at Wynberg Girl’s Junior School, (also coined WGJS). In addition she is also Head of Curriculum Development and Teacher Training at EDU 365 SA. Charmaine says, “Working in the Education space is an ongoing adventure – it is dynamic and exciting. I thrive on working with curriculum and learning new, authentic methods to deliver curriculum. I would like to see teachers being given FAR, FAR more time to learn, engage with and implement technology in meaningful way – to use technology as a relevant teaching, administration and delivery tool.” Charmaine's passion is two-fold. She loves introducing teachers and learners  to coding, and she also loves growing great teachers by means of professional development.

Professional development at Wynberg Girls Junior School
WGJS is a very well resourced school in terms of teacher devices and mobile devices for the girls. In her role at school Charmaine teaches the teachers how to use the various Microsoft tools. She finds that the teachers at WGJS are enthusiastic and interested in integrating ICT into the curriculum, so they are keen to attend regular training. “The teachers are required to attend professional development every 3rd or 4th Monday afternoon. I make sure that my development session has a spot at least twice a term. I try to vary further training to suit our teachers. For example I regularly hold a Muffin morning in my room where teachers have conversations about the technology they need to use. Each grade has an IT Champion who ensures that their colleagues keep up to date. WGJS is in the process of implementing O365, which is really exciting as I am aiming to grow 8 MIE’s! We will be implementing BYOD this year – we will not be prescribing which devices they must use, but my previous experience with BYOD clearly indicates that Windows laptops are a choice of device – especially from Gr 6 up.”



Crack the Code Conference
Charmaine believes strongly in sharing expertise. “I would like to see advantaged schools sharing their expertise more with disadvantaged schools. Education is definitely moving into a digital space where more learners will have access to resources and tools.” To this end she introduced an exciting coding initiative which spread the influence of WGIS beyond the school walls. She arranged a “Crack the Code – Promoting Cerebral Fitness” Conference at the school in March this year..


The aim of the event was to expose the wider school community to coding, robotics and the critical thinking skills it addresses. “The WGIS girls already work in Kodu, Minecraft, Scratch, Alice 3, www.code.org and Code Monkey. This two day conference allowed WGIS teachers and other presenters to introduce coding to the wider school community.” If you would like to hear more about this please listen to the coding webinar that Charmaine presented for SchoolNet in June 2017.


WGIS is developing a Wynberg Teaching AcademyThe second initiative that Charmaine is involved in is still in the pipeline but it involves forming a Wynberg Teacher’s Academy – called “Growing Great Teachers”. This will be a professional development hub at WGJS where teachers will have the opportunity to share best practice with others. Charmaine says: “Good teachers help other teachers find the good teacher in themselves”.

Charmaine's use of Microsoft tools at WGISCharmaine loves using O365! ‘With O365, I am able to organize my very busy life and make my job as a teacher trainer relevant, meaningful and exciting!” At her previous school, which was not a Microsoft school, Charmaine felt that the school would benefit from the powerful O365 tools. Once they were set up, she introduced the teachers and children to the O365 dashboard, Mix and Sway. “I am looking forward to starting this journey at my current school once our O365 has been activated. However in my role at EDU 365, I conduct O365 training. I think I motivate teachers by my sheer passion and enthusiasm about these powerful tools. Because I am an educator and I have worked in IT integration for many years, I know what ‘hooks’ teachers.”

Charmaine enjoys using a range of other Microsoft tools such as Office Mix, and Sway.  She says, “Roll on Microsoft Teams and Classroom!” She considers herself privileged to have such a fulfilling and exciting career in the area of ICT integration and believes that Microsoft has a big role to play in South Africa. “I would like to see the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” narrow and disappear with the input of institutions like Microsoft continuing to contribute where they can.”

Find out more about becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Recently we posted a post on the Schoolnet blog entitled: "Apply to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – applications close 15 July 2017. MIE Experts are part of an exclusive Microsoft
program created to recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to improve teaching and learning. Outstanding MIE Experts from South Africa and Lesotho are selected to attend Education Exchange (E2) events both locally and internationally; they participate in webinars to boost their own skills; they feature in case studies, blogposts and webinars; and they are part of a local and international community of teachers who share ideas and best practices.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting program we invite you to apply before the 15th July.  To apply, you will need to:
  • register on the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile;
  • earn at least 1 000 points on the Microsoft Education Community;
  • share a link to a 2-minute Sway, video or Office Mix that tells us if you’ve got what it takes to be an MIE Expert, and
  • complete the online self-nomination form by 15 July 201
See the Microsoft Educator Expert page on the Microsoft Educator Community to find out more and to apply.

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